Every day of the year brings birding pleasures at Oakwood. More than 70 species of birds make Oakwood their home or use it as a way-station on their migratory path. Present all year are crows, blue jays, cardinals, chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, bluebirds, goldfinches, starlings, red-tailed hawks, and several different woodpeckers. An eagle or osprey flies over occasionally, and even wild turkeys make a rare appearance. The most common birds in winter are the flocks of juncos, easily recognizable by the white stripe on each side of their tails.
In spring, each day brings the excitement of a new FOS-birder-talk for a “First of Season” sighting. Robins, orioles, indigo buntings, scarlet tanagers, flickers (our one woodpecker who doesn’t stay all year), phoebes, catbirds, mockingbirds and red-winged blackbirds all return to Oakwood to nest. The goldfinches turn gold again. Canada geese, mallards, and wood ducks can be seen in pairs, mating and later guiding their babies around the ponds.
Among the flocks of migrant warblers, you can see or hear a great variety of different species, among them yellow-rumped, black and white, yellow, chestnut-sided, and blackburnian warblers. In spring and summer, the ponds are also home to great blue herons and green herons. In late spring and summer, you may even find a red-bellied woodpecker nest, and view the parents going in and out, taking turns feeding their babies. One year a pair of great horned owls raised a family in a stolen red-tailed hawk nest high above the small pond.
The birds of Oakwood can be appreciated best with a pair of binoculars and a field guide for identification. We invite you explore on your own, or join our bird-watching tour, an annual favorite at Oakwood.