Birds at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in North Carolina. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).
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U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge Bird List Indigo Bunting Black-throated Green Warbler Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge This blue goose, designed by J. N. “Ding” Darling, has become a symbol of the National Wildlife Refuge System. Pileated Woodpecker Northern Parula Birds of Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge provides a variety of habitat for over 250 species of birds. The diversity of refuge habitat includes high and low pocosin (pond pine bogs), fresh and brackish water marshes, hardwood swamps, Atlantic white cedar swamps, and managed farming areas. The Refuge is of importance as a major breeding area for many species of songbirds. Truly impressive are the breeding populations of Prairie Warblers, Prothonotary Warblers, and Common Yellowthroats. The Refuge is of special significance as the last major stronghold of the Southeastern Coastal Plain population of Black-throated Green Warblers. Observant birders will notice that several species of “common” songbirds are relatively scarce (completely absent in some cases) as breeders in this coastal location—species like Wood Thrush, Red-eyed Vireo, American Redstart, and Summer Tanager. This biologically fascinating area may still hold ornithological secrets—it was recently discovered that Blackbilled Cuckoos over-summer (and presumably breed) in the Refuge some years, and that Northern Sawwhet Owls sometimes overwinter in numbers. The Refuge has several colonies of the endangered Redcockaded Woodpeckers, although these are rather inaccessible. This bird list covers birds found within the Refuge’s 152,000 acres, as well as the 45,000+ acre Dare County Range found within the Refuge’s borders and waters immediately adjacent. Although much of the Refuge can be difficult to access, especially during wet weather, accessible areas are an unexplored adventure for the enthusiastic birder. At any season, The Refuge can be an excellent complement to a birding excursion on the nearby Outer Banks (Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge). During late fall and winter, the 5,100-acre farming area attracts an impressive variety of waterfowl and raptors, and several rarities—such as Swainson’s Hawk and Ash-throated Flycatcher—have been found here. At any season, you might see Northern Bobwhites, and maybe a King Rail. Please pay attention to refuge regulations and signs marking closed areas. Prothonotary Warbler When and Where In addition to walking trails, there are 15 miles of paddling trails which offer access to Refuge habitats. Creef Cut Wildlife Trail includes an observation platform which overlooks a moist soil management unit and a boardwalk over a freshwater marsh. Waterfowl (during the winter months), raptors, and woodpeckers are common at this location. Sandy Ridge Wildlife Trail offers access to Milltail Creek wetland areas and wanders through Atlantic white cedar stands, areas with wood duck boxes, and Prothonotary Warbler nesting areas. Swainson’s Warblers have also been heard here. Sp - Spring S - Summer F - Fall W - Winter Northern Flicker March-May June-August September-November December-February C Common (easily seen in suitable habitat) F Fairly common (seen most of the time in suitable habitat) U uncommon (usually present but not certain to be seen) O occasional (seen only a few times during a season) R rare (seen at intervals of 2 to 5 years) A Accidental (extremely rare; birds that are completely outside of normal range) Eastern Screech-Owl * breeds or has bred on the Refuge SP S F W ___Greater White-fronted Goose A ___Snow Goose O O O ___Canada Goose U O U U ___Brant R ___Tundra Swan U U C ___Wood Duck* F F F F ___Gadwall U U U ___American Wigeon O U U ___American Black Duck* U O U U ___Mallard F O F C ___Blue-winged Teal U F O ___Northern Shoveler F F F ___Northern Pintail O C C ___Green-winged Teal U F C ___Canvasback O O ___Redhead O O ___Ring-necked Duck U U F ___Greater Scaup O O O ___Lesser Scaup U U U ___Common Eider A ___Surf Scoter O O O ___Black Scoter O O U ___Bufflehead F F F ___Common Goldeneye O ___Hooded Merganser U U F ___Red-breasted Merganser U O U ___Ruddy Duck O U F ___Wild Turkey* U U U U ___Northern Bobwhite* C C C C ___Red-throated Loon O O U ___Common Loon F R U F ___Pied-billed Grebe U R U F ___Horned Grebe O U ___Wilson’s Storm Petrel A A ___Brown Pelican C C C C ___Double-crested Cormorant C U C C ___Anhinga* O O O ___American Bittern U R U U ___Great Blue Heron* C F C C ___Great Egret U F F U ___Snowy Egret U U U O ___Little Blue Heron O U U O ___Tricolored Heron U U U O ___Cattle Egret U U O ___Green Heron* F F U ___Black-crowned Night-Heron O O O O ___Yellow-crowned Night-Heron R R R ___White Ibis F F F U ___Glossy Ibis O O O ___Black Vulture O O O O ___Turkey Vulture* C C C C SP S F W F ___Osprey* F U R ___Swallow-tailed Kite R ___Mississippi Kite R R R ___Bald Eagle* U U U F ___Northern Harrier C R C C ___Sharp-shinned Hawk U F F ___Cooper’s Hawk U R U U ___Northern Goshawk A ___Red-shouldered Hawk* F F F F ___Broad-winged Hawk R ___Swainson’s Hawk A A ___Red-tailed Hawk* C F F C ___Rough-legged Hawk O ___Golden Eagle R ___American Kestrel F C C ___Merlin O U O ___Peregrine Falcon O U O ___Yellow Rail R R ___Black Rail* O O O R ___Clapper Rail* F F F F ___King Rail* U U U U ___Virginia Rail* U O U U ___Sora O U O ___Purple Gallinule A ___Common Moorhen R R R R ___American Coot O U U ___Black-bellied Plover R R R O ___Semipalmated Plover O O O R ___Killdeer* C C C C ___Black-necked Stilt A ___Greater Yellowlegs U O U U ___Lesser Yellowlegs O O O O ___Solitary Sandpiper O O ___Spotted Sandpiper U U O ___Semipalmated Sandpiper R R R ___Western Sandpiper R R O O ___Least Sandpiper O O O R ___Dunlin F F F ___Short-billed Dowitcher R R R R ___Long-billed Dowitcher R O U ___Common Snipe F F F ___American Woodcock* U R U F ___Long-tailed Jaeger A ___Laughing Gull C C C O ___Franklin’s Gull A ___Bonaparte’s Gull U U ___Ring-billed Gull F O F C ___Herring Gull F F F F ___Great Black-backed Gull F U F F ___Gull-billed Tern R O R ___Caspian Tern O O U ___Royal Tern F F F O SP S F W ___Sandwich Tern O U U ___Common Tern U U O ___Forster’s Tern F F F F ___Least Tern O O O ___Bridled Tern A ___Sooty Tern A ___Black Tern O O ___Black Skimmer O O O ___Rock Pigeon* O O O O ___Mourning Dove* C C C C ___Black-billed Cuckoo* R R R ___Yellow-billed Cuckoo* C C F ___Barn Owl R R ___Eastern Screech-Owl* C C C C ___Great Horned Owl* F F F F ___Barred Owl* F F F F ___Long-eared Owl A ___Short-eared Owl O R O U ___Northern Saw-whet Owl R R ___Common Nighthawk R R O ___Chuck-will’s-widow* U U U ___Whip-poor-will* U U U ___Chimney Swift* U U U ___Ruby-throated Hummingbird* C C C R ___Belted Kingfisher* F U F F ___Red-headed Woodpecker O O O ___Red-bellied Woodpecker* C C C C ___Yellow-bellied Sapsucker O U U ___Downy Woodpecker* C C C C ___Hairy Woodpecker* F F F F ___Red-cockaded Woodpecker* U U U U ___Northern Flicker* C C C C ___Pileated Woodpecker* C C C C ___Eastern Wood-Pewee* F F F ___Acadian Flycatcher* U U U ___Eastern Phoebe F C F ___Ash-throated Flycatcher R ___Great Crested Flycatcher* C C C ___Western Kingbird R R ___Eastern Kingbird* F F F ___Scissor-tailed Flycatcher A ___White-eyed Vireo* C C F O ___Yellow-throated Vireo O R ___Blue-headed Vireo F F F ___Philadelphia Vireo R ___Red-eyed Vireo* F O F ___Blue Jay* F F F F ___American Crow* C C C C ___Fish Crow* C C C F ___Horned Lark R R ___Purple Martin* C C U SP S F W ___Tree Swallow U O F F ___Northern Rough-winged Swallow O O ___Bank Swallow R O ___Cave Swallow A ___Barn Swallow* C C C ___Carolina Chickadee* C C C C ___Tufted Titmouse* U U U U ___Red-breasted Nuthatch O U O ___White-breasted Nuthatch* O O O O ___Brown-headed Nuthatch* C C C C ___Brown Creeper U U ___Carolina Wren* C C C C ___House Wren* U O C C ___Winter Wren U U U ___Sedge Wren F F F ___Marsh Wren* F F F F ___Golden-crowned Kinglet U C C ___Ruby-crowned Kinglet C C C ___Blue-gray Gnatcatcher* C C C R ___Eastern Bluebird* U U U U ___Veery R R ___Gray-cheeked Thrush R R ___Swainson’s Thrush R R ___Hermit Thrush F F F ___Wood Thrush* O O O ___American Robin* C F C C ___Gray Catbird* C C C C ___Northern Mockingbird* U U U U ___Brown Thrasher* U U U U ___European Starling* C C C C ___American Pipit U U ___Cedar Waxwing* C O F F ___Blue-winged Warbler R R ___Orange-crowned Warbler U U U ___Nashville Warbler R ___Northern Parula* F F F ___Yellow Warbler U U U ___Chestnut-sided Warbler R ___Magnolia Warbler R O ___Cape May Warbler O ___Black-throated Blue Warbler O U ___Yellow-rumped Warbler C C C ___Black-throated Green Warbler* C F U ___Blackburnian Warbler R R ___Yellow-throated Warbler* F F U ___Pine Warbler* C C C C ___Prairie Warbler* C C C R ___Palm Warbler U C U ___Bay-breasted Warbler R ___Blackpoll Warbler U U SP S F W ___Black-and-white Warbler* F F F R ___American Redstart U R F ___Prothonotary Warbler* C C U ___Worm-eating Warbler* C C F ___Swainson’s Warbler* U U O ___Ovenbird* C C U R ___Northern Waterthrush R O ___Kentucky Warbler R R ___Mourning Warbler A ___Common Yellowthroat* C C C F ___Hooded Warbler* F C U ___Wilson’s Warbler R ___Canada Warbler R ___Yellow-breasted Chat* O O O R ___Summer Tanager U O U ___Scarlet Tanager U U ___Eastern Towhee* C C C C ___American Tree Sparrow A A ___Chipping Sparrow U O U U ___Clay-colored Sparrow R ___Field Sparrow* O O U O ___Vesper Sparrow R R ___Lark Sparrow R ___Savannah Sparrow C C C ___Grasshopper Sparrow O O O ___Henslow’s Sparrow R R R ___Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow O U R ___Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow O U R ___Seaside Sparrow* O O O R ___Fox Sparrow U U ___Song Sparrow C C C ___Lincoln’s Sparrow R R R ___Swamp Sparrow C C C ___White-throated Sparrow C C C ___White-crowned Sparrow R O O ___Dark-eyed Junco O U U ___Snow Bunting R R ___Northern Cardinal* C C C C ___Rose-breasted Grosbeak O U ___Blue Grosbeak* F F F ___Indigo Bunting* C C C ___Painted Bunting R R R ___Dickcissel* R R O ___Bobolink O U ___Red-winged Blackbird* C C C C ___Eastern Meadowlark* C C C C ___Yellow-headed Blackbird R R ___Rusty Blackbird O O O ___Brewer’s Blackbird A ___Common Grackle* C C C C SP S F W ___Boat-tailed Grackle U U U U ___Shiny Cowbird A ___Brown-headed Cowbird* C C C C ___Orchard Oriole* U U R ___Baltimore Oriole O F R ___Purple Finch R R R ___House Finch* U U U U ___Common Redpoll A A ___Pine Siskin O O O ___American Goldfinch* U O U U ___Evening Grosbeak A A ___House Sparrow* U U U U Great Egret All photos courtesy of Jeff Lewis (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please assist the Refuge by reporting sightings of new species to email@example.com or by calling 252/473 1131. Field Notes Yellow-billed Cuckoo Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge P.O. Box 1969 Manteo, North Carolina 27954 http://www.fws.gov/alligatorriver U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 1 800/344 WILD Join us for Wings Over Water http://www.wingsoverwater.org August 2009