Patuxent Wildlife Research Center

Bird Update From Dan Roddy

To all,


WILLOW FLYCATCHER - first record for Kenilworth area although someone recently informed me that they have heard them before at the site. The bird hung around thru the 10th of June then disappeared. Willow Flycatcher back in the marsh area on June 25th and has been there ever since. Only one singing male as far as I can tell.

YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT - first record for the park. Heard thru June 13th but haven't heard since.

The week following the Blitz (June 2-8) I had a Bobwhite, Prothonotary Warbler, Field Sparrow, and a Red-tailed Hawk in Kenilworth Park/Gardens area. Also, in the Kenilworth Marsh area (vicinity of the landfill) we had Long-billed Marsh Wrens. This is the first record since the 1940's. Three males have established territories within the marsh. As of Friday, June 28th they were still there and singing away.

June 11th Grasshopper Sparrows showed up at the meadow area in Kenilworth Park. Last check there were 4-5 males that have set up territories.

As far as a Yellow-throated Warbler at Kenilworth, since the day of the Blitz I have heard on two occasions an unfamiliar song which after listening to bird cd I can't say for sure it is or isn't a Yt Warbler (sorry Peter). If anyone wants to try and confirm or deny the presence let me know. I can tell you where I've heard it and get you into the area. (202-690-5185)

Pretty good birding spot for being right here in our Nation's Capital!


Besides the Prothonotary Warbler, Red-tailed Hawk, Field Sparrow, Long-billed Marsh Wren, and Grasshopper Sparrow that have been seen since the Blitz, we have also had a Swamp Sparrow that has set up territory in the recreated/restored marsh (mass fill #2). This is the same area where the above mentioned LB marsh Wrens and Willow Flycatcher have been observed.

There is alot of interest especially towards the three species that have been observed in the recreated/restored marsh area. This is the 4th year in which I have been conducting a breeding bird census (mapping technique) to determine what bird species have been attracted to the

wetlands. Up until this year (1993-1995), the only birds establishing breeding territories within the marsh were Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Yellowthoats. This year the Long-billed Marsh Wrens, Willow Flycatcher, and Swamp Sparrow all showed up at the same time.

Since the 1940's this area has been basically a mudflat at lowtide but in the spring of 1993 sediment was added from the Anacostia River (some toxicity within the sediments) channel and then it was planted with thousands of hydrophytic plants. What species of wildlife attracted to this area is an important component of cost benefit ratios, pros and cons, was it worthwhile, what has benefitted from the restoration effort, etc.

I am interested to know if the late arrivals of Long-billed Marsh Wrens (June 6th) and Swamp Sparrows (June 25th) is a little unusual or is this typical of these species in this area.

Dan Roddy

U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Laurel, MD, USA 20708-4038
Contact: Sam Droege
USGS Privacy Statement