birding

Birding In Maryland: A Beginner's Guide

Eva Niessner

Birding In Maryland: A Beginner's Guide

Birds are a huge part of Maryland life. Both the football and baseball teams of Baltimore are named for birds, and the state is home to an enormous diversity of feathered friends. From the bald eagles of the eastern shore to the rare saw-whet owls of Garrett County, there are birds for you to learn more about all over the state. Let's get started!

 

What birds live in Maryland?

For such a small state, Maryland has lots of birds -- about 450 types have been seen here! Common birds include mourning doves, cardinals, hummingbirds, sandpipers, hawks, herons, owls, and woodpeckers.  

What kind of bird did I just see?

Because there are so many bird species right here, it's natural to be a little bit confused if you're just starting out on your birding journey. The Audobon Society has a great guide to getting started when it comes to bird identification! Keep the bird's size, shape, habitat, and behavior in mind, and you'll be able to narrow it down.

What should I do if I want to learn more about Maryland birds?

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is a great place to start! This page tells you more about how to help sick or injured birds that you may come across, how to begin birding right in your own backyard, and even a checklist of Maryland birds for the person who's determined to spot them all. 

Who can I go birding with?

Birding is great because you can do it alone, with a friend, or in a group! If you're the only person in your crew who loves birds, you can do it solo, but maybe you've got some buddies who want to spot more of Maryland's birds too. Want some expert guidance? There are chapters of the Maryland Ornithological Society that cover the whole state that have field trips and birding events all year long. Check out the calendar here

How do I set up a bird feeder?

Don't want to go out to see birds? Well, a bird feeder is a great way to get the birds to come to you! Consider what kind of birds you'd like to attract, and buy the food that they will like (your local garden store can help you choose!). Keep your feeder away from windows the birds could crash into, and near trees or shrubs where they can rest and hide.   

Where should I go to see birds?

Of course, some of us are ready to get out of the house, and if you want to see all of the birds you can, Maryland's state parks are a great place to start! You'll spot birds in every season. You can also head to a Maryland spot designed specifically for migrating birds, Blackwater Wildlife Refuge. This gorgeous area is a great place to spot a great blue heron or a bald eagle. 

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