Birds of the Chesapeake Bay

Osprey flapping wings

Ospreys can be found nesting on pilings and channel markers throughout the Chesapeake Bay region.

Birds of the Chesapeake Bay
The birds that live in the Chesapeake Bay's forests, wetlands and shorelines are some of the region's most beautiful — but vulnerable — species. While each bird has distinct behaviors and habitat needs, all are intricately entwined with the Bay's ecosystem and perform a different ecological function.

What Types of Birds Live in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed?
2CanadaGoose081201 -- Canada Goose.
Canada Goose

Hundreds of species of birds reside in the Chesapeake Bay region. Some live here year-round, while others are migratory and only visit during certain seasons.

Chesapeake Bay birds include:
Waterfowl such as ducks, geese and swans. Most waterfowl are migratory, though some Canada geese, as well as the invasive mute swan, have taken up full-time residence around the Bay.

Ospreys, bald eagles and other raptors, or birds of prey. Some bald eagles live in the Bay region year-round, while others only visit during winter. Ospreys visit the Bay from spring through summer to breed, then they migrate south for the winter.

Shorebirds such as ibis, willets, plovers, sandpipers, oystercatchers and ruddy turnstones. These birds are only found in the Bay region during certain seasons.

Great blue heron, North America
Great Blue Heron

Wading birds, including egrets and herons. The great blue heron and the black-crowned night heron are the only two resident wading birds in the Bay region; egrets and other herons migrate south for the winter.

“Aerial gleaners” such as gulls, terns, cormorants and barn swallows, all of which feed on fish or insects. Gulls are common year-round across the Bay watershed, while most terns leave the Bay in winter.

American Robin :: Turdus migratorius
American Robin

Familiar songbirds such as robins and cardinals, which live in our parks and backyards throughout the year.

Birds of the Chesapeake Bay information came from the Chespeake Bay Program found online at www.chesapeakebay.net

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