Patterson Park offers an oasis for all kinds of birds, ducks, and geese in the middle of some of the densest residential development in Baltimore.
Local bird watchers have identified over 170 different species within the park.
The two predominant habitats of these birds are the many trees located throughout the park and the Boat Lake. The lawn and trees attract many of the common “edge” species usually found in urban and suburban areas, so-called because these species tend to be present in forest edges. The Boat Lake environment, rarely found in an urban area, provides a perfect habitat for some water birds that, under other circumstances, would not be found in the greater Baltimore area. For this reason, the diversity of species that have been observed in the park is greater than the diversity found in three-quarters of the city.
Most of the water birds observed pass through and do not breed in the park, however, three species do breed there annually. The Red-wing Blackbird enjoys breeding in the cattails while Mallards make their nests among the reeds. The most treasured of all are the Wood Ducks that breed in cavities of trees, then stick around to raise their young.
Some abundant species that have been observed by resident bird watchers include the American Robin, American Crow, Blue Jay, Chimney Swift, European Starling, House Swallow, Mourning Dove, Northern Cardinal, Northern Mockingbird and the Rock Dove.
Less common species include the Baltimore Oriole, Barn Swallow, Dark-eyed Junco, Downy Woodpecker, House Wren, and the Northern Flicker. Uncommon species observed are the Eastern Kingbird, American Goldfinch, Killdeer, Wood Thrush and the Chipping Sparrow.
Rare species observed include the Black-Crowned Night Heron, Black Duck, Canvasback Duck, Laughing Gull, Marsh Wren, Purple Finch, Ring-billed Gull, Peregrine Falcon, and the Ruddy Duck. The rarest species observed include the American Bittern, American Coot, Brown Creeper, Canada Goose, Swamp Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Great Egret, March Hawk, Great Blue Heron, Green Backed Heron, Little Blue Heron, Ring-necked Duck, Marsh Hen and the Pied-billed Grebe.
Of all of the birds in Patterson Park, songbirds make up the majority of the population.
Interested in taking a bird walk through the park?
If so, The Patterson Park Audubon Center leads a monthly Bird Walks beginning at 8 am. Click here to learn more about the Patterson Park Audubon Center!