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Birds of Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

 

The Ward Pound Ridge Reservation is a birdwatcher's paradise. From the gently sloping banks of the Cross river in the northern quarter to the high cliffs of Raven Rocks which loom above the Stone Hill River three miles to the south, birds of field and forest abound throughout the year.  This pamphlet contains a useful checklist of the 184 species which have been recorded in the park to date.

 

The reservation is rich in bird life because its borders circumscribe a wealth of habitats:  deciduous woods, pine and spruce groves, meadow, old fields, high ridges, deep hemlock ravines, steep cliffs, lonely swamps, sunny marshes, quiet rivers, rushing streams and a few scattered ponds.  Maps and trail information are available at the Trailside Nature Museum, located in the heart of the park.  The museum's naturalists are happy to pass on reports of recent sightings of particular interest.  If you need advice, or if you encounter a bird or birds of particular interest, please stop in at the museum.  Your reports will be added to park records and will help in revising this list in the future.

 

Reservation Specialties
Eastern bluebirds, uncommon in most of Westchester County, can be seen in Pound Ridge throughout the year.  The utility wires along Boutonville and Michigan Roads are the best place to look. Kingfishers, tree swallows, barn swallows, bank swallows, rough-winged swallows, sparrows and starlings also perch on the wires, so keep an eye out for these while hunting for bluebirds.  Bluebirds raise young in nest boxes, which hang from poles and trees throughout the park.

 

At dawn and dusk and on rainy days, the meadows along Boutonville and Michigan Roads are good places to watch for wild turkey.  After an absence of nearly 200 years, wild turkey resumed nesting in Pound Ridge woodlands in 1895.  Turkeys may be seen throughout the year.

 

During spring and summers, Wildcat Hollow is usually home to nesting barred owls, winter wrens, solitary vireos, hermit thrushes and black-throated green warblers.

The marsh at the Michigan Road trailhead is one of the best all-round birding sites in the park, particularly during migrations.

 

The footpaths, which follow the banks of the Cross River provide good birding year-round.  Each spring, one of the first warblers of the year, the Louisiana water thrush, can be found here, bobbing its tail as it runs along, occasionally stopping to belt out a high piping song.

 

The big sandpit near the junction of Michigan and Boutonville Road is home to nesting bank swallows, rough-winged swallows and kingfishers.

Good hawk watching can be had in autumn from the field just uphill from the parking lot at the Meadow Picnic Area.  Other good sites to see hawks, eagles, falcons and vultures during their southbound flights include the hilltop above the Leatherman's Cave. and the summit of Cross River Mountain.

 

Inquire at the museum about bird walks and other nature programs, which are offered in the Reservation throughout the year.  Beginners, experts and middle-of-the-roaders are all encouraged to participate.

Good luck and good birding!

 

Special Note
The casual use of tape recordings to attract birds is forbidden in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.  Studies have shown that such techniques may place great stress on territorial birds, and in some cases may cause parent birds to abandon eggs or young.  Recording may be used for serious scientific purposes only.  Written permission is required.  Please inquire at the museum.

 

s-March-May
S-June-August
F-September-November
W-December-February

C-common
U-uncommon
O-occasional
R-rare
*-breeding

 

Common

present in proper habitat, often in good number, though not necessarily throughout the period if a migrant.

Uncommonlikely to be present in proper habitat under proper conditions, but usually in limited numbers, and may not be encountered.
Occasionaloccurs at certain times during the period, but only on an irregular basis or for a very limited period. 
Rareseen only very infrequently and not necessarily every year.
Breeding

recorded at least once since 1970.

 

  sSFW
 Common LoonO O 
 Double-crested CormorantR   
 American BitternR R 
 Great Blue HeronOOO 
 Cattle EgretR   
 Green-backed HeronOO  
 Black-crowned Night-Heron R  
 Snow Goose  O 
 BrandtR   
 Canada Goose*CCCO
 Wood Duck*UUU 
 American Black DuckR R 
 Mallard*OOO 
 Black VultureR   
 Turkey Vulture*CUCU
 Swallow-tailed KiteR   
 OspreyURC 
 Bald Eagle RRR
 Northern HarrierCOC 
 Sharp-shinned HawkCOCO
 Cooper's HawkOOUR
 Northern Goshawk*RROO
 Red-shouldered HawkURU 
 Broad-winged HawkCUC 
 Red-tailed HawkCCCC
 Rough-legged Hawk  RR
 American Kestrel*CUCO
 MerlinRRO 
 Peregrine Falcon   R
 Ring-necked Pheasant*UUUU
 Ruffed Grouse*CCCC
 Wild Turkey*UUUU
 Northern BobwhiteRR  
 Killdeer*OOO 
 Solitary SandpiperOOO 
 Spotted SandpiperOOO 
 Upland SandpiperRR  
 Common SnipeURUR
 American Woodcock*CUUR
 Herring GullUUUU
 Rock DoveCCCC
 Mourning DoveCCCC
 Black-billed Cuckoo*OUR 
 Yellow-billed Cuckoo*OUR 
 Eastern Screech Owl*UUUU
 Great Horned Owl*UUUU
 Barred Owl*UUUU
      
  sSFW
 Long-eared OwlR  R
 Northern Saw-whet OwlR RR
 Common NighthawkUUU 
 Whip-poor-willOOO 
 Chimney Swift*CCC 
 Ruby-throated Hummingbird*UUU 
 Belted Kingfisher*CCC 
 Red-headed Woodpecker  R 
 Red-bellied Woodpecker*UUUU
 Yellow-headed SapsuckerU UR
 Downy Woodpecker*CCCC
 Hairy Woodpecker*CCCC
 Northern FlickerCCCO
 Pileated Woodpecker*UUUU
 Olive-sided FlycatcherRRR 
 Eastern Wood-Pewee*CCC 
 Yellow-bellied FlycatcherO O 
 Arcadian Flycatcher*RR  
 Willow Flycatcher*UOU 
 Least Flycatcher*COU 
 Eastern Phoebe*CCCR
 Great Crested Flycatcher*CCU 
 Eastern  Kingbird*CCC 
 Horned LarkO OO
 Purple MartinOOO 
 Tree SwallowCCC 
 No. Rough-winged SwallowUU  
 Bank SwallowCCU 
 Cliff SwallowOOO 
 Barn SwallowCCC 
 Blue JayCCCC
 American Crow*CCCC
 Black-capped Chickadee*CCCC
 Boreal Chickadee  RR
 Tufted Titmouse*CCCC
 Red-breasted NuthatchURUO
 White-breasted Nuthatch*CCCC
 Brown Creeper*CUCU
 Carolina Wren*OOOO
  House Wren*CCC 
 Winter WrenURCR
 Marsh Wren R  
 Golden-crowned Kinglet*COCO
 Ruby-crowned KnigletC CR
 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher*UUU 
 Eastern Bluebird*CCCU
 Veery*CCC 
 Gray-checked ThrushO O 
      
  sSFW
 Swainson's ThrushCRC 
 Hermit Thrush*CUCO
 Wood Thrush*CCC 
 American Robin*CCCU
 Gray Catbird*CCCR
 Northern Mockingbird*CCCC
 Brown Thrasher*CCCR
 Water Pipit  U 
 Cedar Waxwing*CCCU
 Northern ShrikeR RR
 European Starling*CCCC
 White-eyed VireoUOO 
 Solitary Vireo*CUC 
 Yellow-throated Vireo*CUR 
 Warbling Vireo*OOO 
 Philadelphia Vireo   O
 Red-eyed Vireo*CCC 
 Blue-winged Warbler*CCC 
 Golden-winged Warbler*RR  
 Tennessee WarblerCRC 
 Orange-crowned Warbler   R
 Nashville WarblerURU 
 Northern ParulaCOC 
 Yellow WarblerCCU 
 Chestnut-sided Warbler*CUC 
 Magnolia WarblerCOC 
 Cape May WarblerORU 
 Black-throated  Blue WarblerCOC 
 Yellow-rumped WarblerC CO
 Black-throated  Green Warbler*CU C 
 Blackburnian WarblerCOC 
 Pine WarblerR R 
 Prairie Warbler*CCU 
 Palm WarblerU U 
 Bay-breasted WarblerU C 
 Blackpoll WarblerCOC 
 Cerulean WarblerRR  
 Black-and-white Warbler*CCC 
 American Redstart*CUC 
 Prothonotary WarblerR   
 Worm-eating WarblerCCO 
 Ovenbird*CCC 
 Northern WaterthrushCOC 
 Louisiana WaterthrushCC  
 Connecticut Warbler  R 
 Kentucky WarblerRR  
 Mourning WarblerRRR 
 Common Yellowthroat*CCCR
      
  sSFW
 Hooded Warbler*OOR 
 Wilson's WarblerURU 
 Canada WarblerCOC 
 Yellow-breasted ChatRRR 
 Scarlet Tanager*CCC 
 Western Tanager R  
 Northern Cardinal*CCCC
 Rose-breasted Grosbeak*CCC 
 Indigo Bunting*CCU 
 Evening GrosbeakUUU 
 Rufous-sided Towhee*CCCO
 American Tree SparrowC CC
 Chipping Sparrow*CCC 
 Clay-colored SparrowR   
 Field Sparrow*CCCU
 Savannah Sparrow*UOU 
 Henslow SparrowR R 
 Fox SparrowC CU
 Song SparrowCCCC
 Lincoln's SparrowO U 
 Swamp SparrowCCCO
 White-throated SparrowC CC
 White-crowned SparrowO U 
 Dark-eyed JuncoC CC
 Snow Bunting  OO
 BobolinkCOC 
 Red-Winged Blackbird*CCCU
 Eastern Meadowlark*UUU 
 Common Grackle*CCCU
 Brown-headed Cowbird*CCCO
 Orchard OrioleOO  
 Northern OrioleCCC 
 Pine Grosbeak   R
 Purple Finch*COCC
 House Finch*CCCC
 Red CrossbillR  R
 White-winged CrossbillR  R
 Common RedpollR  R
 Pine SiskenO OO
 American Goldfinch*CCCC
 House Sparrow*CCCC