Maryland Birding

Yellow-crowned Night Heron

My baby sister and her husband live in University Park, Maryland . . . just a few miles outside of our nation’s capital.   Their neighborhood is a beautiful suburb of lovely homes all meticulously landscaped, lots of green space and several small streams.  This combination makes for terrific backyard birding.

Saturday morning we woke to a cacophony of singing Cardinals and White-throated Sparrows.  The latter are just moving through but dozens have seemingly paused in Maryland for the weekend, all singing “Oh-sweet-canada-canada”.

A Carolina wren soon joined the chorus.

The neighborhood is great place to see Yellow-crowned Herons.  Saturday morning we counted at least 11 on nests; flying by or moving through oak trees above the streets.

On a visit to the the National Arboretum, we saw our first east coast warbler of the year . . . a Palm.  We’ll be seeing them coming through Maine in a few weeks.

On a Sunday morning walk around nearby Lake Artemesia we saw dozens of the ubiquitous Yellow-Rumps, a few more Palms and a Horned Grebe in breeding plumage.  The latter is a common winter bird in Maine . . . but we had never seen one with it’s “Breeding Horns” . . . beautiful.

As we were leaving Lake Artemesia a Green Heron posed for some closeups.

As of this writing, we’ve added four birds to our year list: the Carolina Wren, a Peregrine Falcon, the Palm and a Carolina Chickadee.  The Carolina looks exactly (to my eyes) like New England’s Black-capped Chickadee . . . but their “chickadee-dee-dee” song is noticeably faster.

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