Thursday, November 10, 2005

Zoo Birds

Late this afternoon I took a short stroll through the National Zoo and the part of Rock Creek that flows through its lower portions. Despite the stiff wind, it was a beautiful afternoon: plenty of sun with the foliage near its peak. I was a little underdressed for the wind. Once I started birding, though, the chill went away.

There may have been birds out other than the ones I have listed here, but I was primarily interested in checking the waterfowl numbers along the creek. The upper zoo was mostly quiet except for the flocks of starlings and robins that gather in the tree tops at night. The creek held mallards and wood ducks. The close range between the path and the creek allows the best looks at wood ducks that one could hope to see. The males are particularly spectacular at this time of year when their breeding plumage is fresh. Further along the creek there were several robins bathing themselves in the shallows.


Wood Duck
Rock Pigeon
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
American Robin
European Starling
House Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Northern Cardinal