Birding DC

Visiting other capital birding sites?

Visit our associate web site at Birding London for birding in the United Kingdom.

Central Washington

The heart of the city can seem an intimating place to go birding, particularly if you are new to the city. With a little effort, however, good birding opportunities exist even if you have only a little time.

If staying downtown, the National Mall can offer some great early morning exercise and the water attractions near the Mall attract birds at any time of the year. For example, the extensive area of trees near the Washington Memorial that stretches down to the Lincoln Memorial can be a wonderful site for spring warblers.

Baltimore Oriole
A male Baltimore Oriole.

The nearby Potomac River attracts gulls, of course, and it is worth scanning for waterfowl on the river particularly during or after hard weather when the river maypartially freeze in the winter months. Always keep an eye on the sky for passingraptors, with Bald Eagle a real possibility year-round and maybe a migrating falcon or hawks.

A little further from downtown, near Rosslyn, Virginia, Roosevelt Islandoffers both woodland and water habitats with a good chance for local specialities including Pileated Woodpecker, a variety of warblers in spring and summer, and various sparrows in winter.

If you have time, Rock Creek Park in upper Northwest DC can be a treasure trove for birders and nature lovers in general. This is a real hot spot for spring migration and its 2000 acres offer a variety of year-round bird species.