Friday, August 23, 2013

Birding the Norman Bird Sanctuary in Rhode Island

1. tree swallow-kab Tree Swallow at the Norman Bird Sanctuary 6-15-13

While visiting Connecticut this summer my sister and her husband took me along one morning to the Norman Bird Sanctuary in Rhode Island. While they were going there to do a road race I went off through the sanctuary to count birds. I had never been here before and found it amazing. Before this day I had only counted birds in Rhode Island at Misquamicut and my Rhode Island Bird list consisted of about 20 species of birds. I had high hopes that I would significantly add to that count today.

2. path-kab I followed the path through a green meadow filled with swallows!


3. swallow over meadow-kab Tree Swallow hunting over grass.


4. into the box-kab While tree swallows occupied most of the nest boxes, there were a few with House Sparrows inside!

5. lupine-kab Lupine

I loved seeing lupine in bloom!

6. follow the sign-kab I followed the path down through the woods with robins everywhere…


7. woodland path-kab In this damp shade the mosquitoes swarmed!


8. in the rock-kab 

9. habitat-kab I heard a few catbirds, titmice, and downy woodpeckers.


10. boardwalk-kab Along this trail I found Carolina Wrens and Eastern Towhees.


11. pond-kab I was surprised there were not as many birds near the water, but I did hear the call of a Common yellow throat and a few Red-winged Blackbirds.


12. black-crowned night heron-kab But the Black-crowned Night Heron was the only heron I saw.


13. catbird-kab Gray Catbird


14. yellow warbler-kab Yellow Warbler

After crossing the bridge near the pond the trail wound up through the woods over rocky ledges and back down again to  a mixed woodland. I could just see the ocean beyond the trees with seagulls wheeling overhead and runners pounding by on the road. Near a little stream I saw a Ruby-throated Hummingbird and this yellow warbler.

15. bh cowbird-kab Brown-headed Cowbird

In an overhead snag a cowbird called.

16. ocean beyond the meadow-kab Ocean beyond the meadow

As the trail crossed a meadow before returning me to the original farm with the visitor’s center I saw a few sparrows and a Northern Mockingbird. A Red-tailed Hawk had a nest in a tall tree by the farm house. Once again there were birds everywhere and I thoroughly enjoyed my time here. The Norman Bird Sanctuary is an eBird Hotspot and definitely worth a visit!

DSC_0353 My Rhode Island Life List before and after birding at the Norman Bird Sanctuary:

(Bird species listed below bold type were seen at the same location/date.)

  1. Mute Swan-Watch Hill Cove 5-12-1985
  2. Great Black-backed Gull-Misquamicut Beach State Park 6-1-1996
  3. Double-crested Cormorant-Misquamicut Beach State Park 9-17-2010
  4. Great Blue Heron
  5. Great Egret
  6. Snowy Egret
  7. Glossy ibis
  8. Osprey
  9. Piping Plover
  10. Sanderling
  11. Laughing Gull
  12. ring-billed Gull
  13. Herring Gull
  14. Mourning Dove
  15. European Starling-Napatree Point 9-17-2010
  16. Turkey Vulture-Westerly Rhode Island 8-17-2012
  17. Blue Jay
  18. American Robin
  19. Fish Crow-Misquamicut Beach State Park 8-17-2012
  20. Semipalmated Plover
  21. Barn Swallow
  22. Rock Pigeon-Middletown Rhode Island 6-15-13
  23. Red-winged Blackbird
  24. Common Grackle
  25. House Sparrow
  26. Black-crowned Night Heron-Norman Bird Sanctuary 6-15-13
  27. Red-tailed Hawk
  28. Ruby-throated hummingbird
  29. Downy Woodpecker
  30. Northern flicker
  31. Eastern Phoebe
  32. Great Crested Flycatcher
  33. American Crow
  34. Tree Swallow
  35. Black-capped Chickadee
  36. Tufted Titmouse
  37. House Wren
  38. Carolina Wren
  39. Gray Catbird
  40. Northern Mockingbird
  41. Cedar Waxwing
  42. Common Yellowthroat
  43. Yellow Warbler
  44. Eastern Towhee
  45. Field Sparrow
  46. Song Sparrow
  47. Northern Cardinal
  48. Brown-headed Cowbird
  49. American Goldfinch


In the end I spent 2 hours and 15 minutes at the Norman Bird Sanctuary and walked approximately 1.2 miles. I counted 31 species of birds here as well as 10 species I saw along the way while driving through town for a total of 35 species seen on this day. Obviously some birds were seen in town and at the sanctuary.




  1. This looks like another great spot! Beautiful boardwalk. Plus you've got some great birds here. I'd like to find a catbird in Arizona at some point. It just seems like yesterday since our trips.

    1. Chris, once again, you would love this place!

  2. Wow, this does look like a great spot!

  3. Kathie, what a great birding spot. Love the BC Night Heron and the sweet Yellow Warbler. Nice list of birds.. happy birding.

  4. Looks like a wonderful spot!!! LOVE those birds!!

  5. It really does sound like somewhere ideal to relax and enjoy the birds.

    1. Happy wanderer, it was! I was a happy wanderer on this day!


Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.