Great Egrets Fishing in the Salt Marsh

Woodlands & Wetlands

We don’t think of the forest or even the marsh as having anything to do with the coast, but they do. Great Egrets fish not only the edges of Long Island Sound but also its coastal salt marshes and the rivers that meander through the trees and empty into Long Island Sound.

Birds like the Great Blue Herons typically seen hunting for fish along the shore of the Refuge nest high in the trees in the middle of the coastal woods. Herds of White-tailed Deer whose home range is a land of oaks and pines and undergrowth travel the tideline and graze the banks of the wide coastal estuaries. They even know how to swim.

It is all one habitat from  Nature’s all-encompassing point of view!

Bald Eagle

A pair of bald eagles is nesting near the edge of the marsh at the Stewart B. McKinney’s Salt Marsh Unit! When you visit the Refuge, there’s a really good chance of seeing them.

Adult bald eagles have a pure white head, a dark body and wings, and a pure white tail. Look for them above the mouths of rivers, flying high over marshes, and powering along the shoreline of Long Island Sound. 

Smeagull Says,

"Get the Facts"

How big is an eagle?  Stand in a doorway of your house: An eagle’s wingspan, wingtip to wingtip, is as wide as that doorway is tall. That’s almost 7 feet wide!  Except for the California condor, bald eagles are the biggest bird in the sky.

Common Yellowthroat

The yellowthroat is a beauty.  But they’re fast!  If you’re lucky you might see one scooting through the brush. They look yellow from behind, too. If you see a streak of yellow in flying away from you, it might well be a yellowthroat.

Smeagull Says,

"Get the Facts"

You may not see a yellowthroat but you are very likely to hear one.  They have a loud distinctive call.  Listen for a bird with a loud call that says, “Wich-a-tee!  Wich-a-tee!  Wich-a-tee!  Wich-a-tee!”  That’s a common yellowthroat.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

If you hear a loud,  rapid, tap-tap-tap-tapping in the woods, chances are it’s a red-bellied woodpecker.  Though they’re called “red-bellied” the thing to look out for is a bright scarlet head.

Great Crested Flycatcher

Great crested flycatchers (as their name tells you) eat insects. There are lots of different species in our woodlands.  If you see a medium-sized bird chasing insects it might be a flycatcher.

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow Pair

Tree swallows are small birds with electric blue backs and white bellies.  Look for them flying fast and low over marshes and meadows as they hunt for insects

Smeagull Says,

"Get the Facts"

A tree swallow fluffed up to add more air between the feathers. Fluffing their feathers helps keep birds warm on a cold morning.

Tree Swallow Feeding Babies

Tree swallows nest in holes in dead trees, often near ponds or sweet marshes. In the Spring look for them carrying food to their hungry babies. 

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