State of Maryland

Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula ©Mdf - Wikimedia
Birding Maryland

Extending from the barrier island beaches of the Atlantic Coast to the mountain highlands of Garrett County in the West, Maryland spans four distinct geophysical regions: the Coastal Plain, the Piedmont Plateau, the Ridge and Valley area and the Allegheny Mountains. These four areas encompass a wide variety of habitats that offer the active birder many opportunities to seek out Maryland’s 415 species of birds.

The Coastal Plain includes the Eastern Shore Counties of Worcester, Somerset, Wicomico, Dorchester, and Talbot, the Assateague Island barrier beaches, and the back bays of Sinepuxent, Chincoteague, Isle of Wight, and Assawoman. These bays and their associated tidal wetlands teem with birdlife at all seasons of the year and are matched only by the vast wetland expanses bordering the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Further north, the Coastal Plain includes Caroline, Queen Anne’s, Kent, Cecil, and the shoreline areas of Harford and Baltimore Counties, all in the Upper Chesapeake section. Moving down the Western Shore of Chesapeake Bay leads the avid birder to the counties of Southern Maryland, including Anne Arundel, Prince George’s, Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s. Southern Maryland includes the wide expanses of the Patuxent and Potomac Rivers, two important watersheds of Eastern Maryland.

The Piedmont Plateau includes Cecil, Harford, Baltimore, Carroll, Howard, Montgomery, and eastern Frederick Counties and is the area of the state most beset by rampant growth. At the same time many wild areas are preserved as State or local parks or wildlife management areas and continue to offer oases of bird diversity amidst to canyons of office buildings and expanses of suburban lawns.

Frederick and Washington Counties comprise the Ridge and Valley area, with Allegany and Garrett Counties making up the Allegheny (and yes, they ARE spelled differently!) Mountain area. The Ridge and Valley section is essentially a transition zone between central Maryland and the mountain area to the West and is noted for its many species of grassland birds that breed in the wide valleys between the mountain regions. The Allegheny Mountains are the summer home for many species that normally breed far north of Maryland.

Although experienced birders flock to Worcester County, the diversity of birding habitats in the state offers birders a rewarding birding experience just about anywhere! The Maryland Ornithological Society’s State Web Site is your key to birding in the state. Here you will find information about birding in the state and the District of Columbia, as well as the official checklists, pictures of rare state birds, links to chapter sites and information about the activities of the MD/DC Records Committee. The Society’s newsletter is available for downloading, and you can also link to the Maryland discussion list archives from the home page.

Maryland is beautiful, as the state slogan goes, and we look forward to seeing you here!

MOS Publish a newsletter, ‘The Maryland Yellowthroat’.

  • Fran Saunders

    Silver Spring, Maryland

Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 452

    As of June 2018 - of which, 111 are rare anywhere in the state, 56 are rare in some part of the state, six have been introduced to North America, three are extinct, and one has been extirpated.
  • iGoTerra Checklist

    iGoTerra Checklist
    Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web
Useful Reading

  • A Birder's Guide to Montgomery County, Maryland

    | By The Montgomery Bird Club of the Maryland | Maryland Ornithological Society | 2008 | Spiralbound | 242 pages, b/w illustrations, b/w maps, 1 colour map | ISBN: 9781607250197 Buy this book from
  • Backyard Birds of Maryland

    | How to Identify and Attract the Top 25 Birds | By Bill Fenimore | Gibbs M Smith Inc | 2008 | Paperback | 96 pages, 40 colour photos | ISBN: 9781423603542 Buy this book from
  • Birds of Maryland & Delaware Field Guide

    | (Includes Washington, D.C. & Chesapeake Bay) | by Stan Tekiela | Adventure Publications | 2023 | Edition 2 | Paperback | 392 pages, colour illustrations | ISBN: 9781647553708 Buy this book from
  • Birds of Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia

    | By Bruce M Beehler | Johns Hopkins University Press | 2019 | Hardback | 504 pages, 684 colour photos, 2 maps | ISBN: 9781421427331 Buy this book from
  • Maryland & DC Birds

    | A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Species | By James R Kavanagh & Raymond Leung | Waterford Press | 2000 | Unbound | 12 pages, colour illustrations | ISBN: 9781583551516 Buy this book from
  • National Geographic Field Guide to Birds: Maryland and Washington, D.C.

    | By Jonathan Alderfer | National Geographic Society | 2006 | Paperback | 272 pages, colour illustrations, maps | ISBN: 9781426200076 Buy this book from
  • Second Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Maryland and the District of Columbia

    | Edited by Walter G Ellison | Johns Hopkins University Press | 2011 | Hardback | 494 pages, colour photos, b/w illustrations, colour distribution maps, tables | ISBN: 9780801895760 Buy this book from
Useful Information
  • State Bird

    Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula
Festivals & Bird Fairs
  • Blackwater Eagle Festival

    Birds of prey programs featuring live eagles and other raptors, kid’s activities, kid’s bird box construction, eagle prowls, Wildlife Drive tours, wildlife exhibits, live bird exhibits, and food all day! Call Visitor Services at 410-228-2677 or email
  • Delmarva Beans, Birds & Beers

    The Beans, Birds & Beers day trips will be held monthly throughout 2018. We’ll be pairing Delmarva’s great birding with our great coffee shops and craft breweries.
  • Waterfowl Festival

  • Allegany & Garrett Counties' Bird Club

    This site is now the home of the Allegany & Garrett Counties' Bird Club. Here you will find information about our meetings and general information about birding in Western Maryland including site guides to birding spots in Allegany and Garrett Counties
  • Audubon in Maryland

    Usual list of local chapters, centers etc
  • Audubon Maryland-DC

    Audubon Maryland-DC is the region's leading voice for the conservation and protection of natural resources for birds. Integrating science, conservation, policy and education, Audubon’s mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity.
  • Audubon Naturalist Society

    The Audubon Naturalist Society/Woodend Sanctuary is an oasis and hidden gem that our family loves to visit on weekends. When we discovered they have a preschool program we were even more thrilled. Our children are learning to enjoy and appreciate the earth and all its creatures.
  • Audubon Society of Central Maryland

    Audrey Carroll Audubon Sanctuary in Mt. Airy, MD; Audubon Adventures curriculum materials in local classrooms; Monthly Evening Nature Talks; Audubon Christmas Bird Count; Spring Birdathon; Conservation Easements; July 4th Butterfly Count; Seasonal Walks.
  • Chesapeake Audubon Society

    Chesapeake Audubon Society (CAS) is a group of citizens involved in the appreciation and preservation of the natural world around us. Linked together by membership in the National Audubon Society. Chesapeake Audubon, an independent, local Audubon Chapter, promotes the conservation of our natural resources through education and advocacy.
  • DC Audubon

    Our goal is to promote the appreciation and conservation of birds and their habitats through the participation of those in the DC area. Whether you’re someone who appreciates the sounds of the birds, a backyard feeder, or an experienced birder, we warmly welcome people of all skill levels. All trips are free, open to the public, and we have a limited number of extra binoculars available for use.
  • DelMarVa Ornithological Society

    The Delmarva peninsula comprises the state of Delaware and portions of Maryland and Virginia. Delmarva is characterized by the rolling hills of the piedmont to the north and the flat coastal plain to the south. Thousands of square miles of wetlands ring the peninsula, which is surrounded by the Delaware Bay, Chesapeake Bay, and Atlantic Ocean… [Primarily a Delaware society]
  • MOS Chapter - Baltimore Bird Club

    Welcome to the home page of the Baltimore Bird Club, a chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society. Here you will find the latest RBAs; information about the BBC, the MOS, and their activities; and links to some of the finest birding sites on the web…
  • MOS Chapter - Cecil Bird Club

    The Cecil Bird Club is a local nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the understanding and enjoyment of birds, as well as the conservation of habitats. We are located in Cecil County, Maryland, in the northeast corner of the state. Our county offers prime birding habitat including the shorelines of the upper Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, forests, grasslands, and agricultural fields.
  • MOS Chapter - Frederick Bird Club

    Frederick Bird Club meetings are normally held the first Thursday of each month beginning at 7:00 PM. This year we will meet at Homewood at Crumland Farms (7407 Willow Road) in Frederick, except in May. Please contact leaders by 5 PM the day before trips to confirm when and where to meet.
  • MOS Chapter - Harford Bird Club

    Welcome to the Home Page of the Harford Bird Club. Harford County is located in the northeast part of Maryland at the head of the Chesapeake Bay and offers a diverse habitat for both breeding and migrating bird species. With the bay and the Susquehanna River on the eastern border and Little Gunpowder Falls on the western border there is a variety of habitats. Four State Parks: Susquehanna, Palmer, Rocks and Gunpowder; as well as Eden Mill, Harford Glen and Conowingo Dam offer excellent birding opportunities. A total of 310 species have been recorded in Harford County…
  • MOS Chapter - Howard County Bird Club

    The members of the Howard County Bird Club welcome you to Howard County, Maryland. We hope to see you looking for birds at one of the county's birding hotspots such as the Daniel's Area of Patapsco State Park or Schooley Mill Park. Good Birding…
  • MOS Chapter - Kent County Bird Club

    The Kent County Chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society (MOS) is a local non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the understanding and enjoyment of birds, as well as the conservation of wildlife habitats. It promotes recreational and social events, educational programs and information exchange…
  • MOS Chapter - Montgomery Bird Club

    Our meetings are held at the Potomac Presbyterian Church, 10301 River Road. Doors open at 7:00 p.m., refreshments 7:30 and meeting starts at 8:00 p.m. Welcome to our site and happy birding.
  • Maryland Ornithological Society

    The Maryland Ornithological Society (MOS) is a non-profit, state-wide organization of people who are interested in birds and nature. It was founded in 1945 and incorporated in 1956 to promote the study and enjoyment of birds. MOS promotes knowledge about our natural resources, and fosters its appreciation and conservation. The Society also maintains a system of sanctuaries to encourage the conservation of birds and bird habitat, and to help record and publish observations of bird life.
  • Maryland/District of Columbia Records Committee

    The Maryland/District of Columbia Records Committee (MD/DCRC) was established in 1982 as a committee of the Maryland Ornithological Society. The function of the Committee is to review reports of unusual sightings within its area of coverage…
  • Nature Conservancy in Maryland

    Another new NC site with stunning pictures on the opening page - Welcome to The Nature Conservancy's Maryland/DC Chapter home page. Here you'll find information on the many ways we're working to help preserve the diversity of living things by protecting the habitats they call home…
  • Patuxent Wildlife Research Center

    To excel in wildlife and natural resource science, providing the information needed to better manage the nation's biological resources. Since its establishment in 1936 as the nation's first wildlife experiment station, the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center has been a leading international research institute for wildlife and applied environmental research, for transmitting research findings to those responsible for managing our nation's natural resources, and for providing technical assistance in implementing research findings so as to improve natural resource management.
  • Potomac Valley Audubon Society

    PVAS offers a wide range of programs and activities aimed at promoting greater understanding and appreciation of the natural world for youth, adults, and families such as field trips to natural areas, summer camps, monthly lectures, school programs and more.
  • Prince George's Audubon Society

    Serving the communities of Prince George's County, Maryland - PO Box 2598, Laurel, MD 20709-2598 - William Sefton, President
  • Southern Maryland Audubon Society

    The mission of the Southern Maryland Audubon Society is “to promote appreciation, conservation, and protection of birds, other wildlife, and their natural habitats through education, research and outreach”. We would like to invite you to join us in the many ways we work to fulfill our mission. We have monthly meetings and field trips throughout most of the year, offer a variety of ways to become involved in the local birding community and produce an excellent newsletter we are proud to share with you. Please explore our website and then consider joining us for an adventure outdoors sometime. We’d love to have you.

Abbreviations Key

  • Chesapeake Bay

    InformationSatellite View
    A Directory of Wetlands of International Importance entry with lots of pages for each area covered…
  • Maryland Department of Natural Resources

    WebsiteSatellite View
    The Department maintains Maryland's parks, forests and wildlife management areas. The site provides maps and information about each. Some sites offer camping opportunities
  • NC Patterson Park Audubon Center

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Our mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of Baltimore communities and the Earth’s biological diversity.
  • NC Pickering Creek Audubon Center

    WebsiteSatellite View
    With over 400 acres of forests, fields and shoreline, Pickering Creek is a private non-profit sanctuary dedicated to community-based conservation of natural resources and is preserved for the purpose of environmental education and outreach on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay.
  • NC Robinson

    InformationSatellite View
    The James and Anne Robinson Nature Center is a nature education facility situated on 18 acres of park land adjacent to the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area.
  • NC Watkins

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    Watkins Nature Center offers close-up wildlife investigation with its resident live animals, hands-on exhibits, interpretive programs, and special events. Live animal displays include insects, amphibians, reptiles, and birds of prey.
  • NS Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary

    InformationSatellite View
    Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary and Visitor's Center is a wildlife refuge in Upper Marlboro, Maryland that is operated by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The site encompasses 1,670 acres and is a wintering ground and breeding area for Canada geese.
  • NWR Blackwater

    WebpageSatellite View
    The best time for viewing waterfowl is between mid-October and mid-March. Wintering species include tundra swans, Canada and snow geese, and over 20 ducks species. The most common ducks found here are mallards, black ducks, blue-winged teal, green-winged teal, widgeon, and pintails…
  • NWR Eastern Neck

    WebpageSatellite View
    The refuge is a 2,285-acre island at the mouth of the Chester River and, while in sight of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, getting there requires a round-about journey of 50 miles from where the bridge is…
  • SP Elk Neck

    InformationSatellite View
    Turkey Point at Elk Neck State Park is located on a peninsula between the North East and Elk Rivers, the Turkey Point area of Elk Neck State Park is separated from the rest of the state park by a private residential community. The Turkey Point area consists primarily of hardwood forest and open meadows. A loop trail goes from the parking lot to the Turkey Point Lighthouse at the tip of the peninsula. Camping and a day use picnic area are available in the main part of the state park.
  • SP Janes Island

    WebpageSatellite View
    Located near Crisfield on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Janes Island State P​ark offers visitors a unique opportunity to enjoy the beauty and bounty of the Chesapeake Bay.
  • WA Woodlawn

    Facebook PageSatellite View
    Located in northern Cecil County, the Woodlawn Wildlife Area--New Beginnings is a reclaimed former landfill that has been transformed into a wildlife viewing area providing 90 acres of varied wildlife habitat. It consists of forested woodlands, a warm weather grasses meadow, shrubby areas and a small wetlands area. Well-maintained trails provide access to all of the areas.
  • WMA Idylwild

    InformationSatellite View
    Idylwild Wildlife Management Area is a Wildlife Management Area in Caroline County, Maryland near Federalsburg. The 3,800 acres area is bounded on the west by Marshyhope Creek, with areas of wetlands
  • WMA Whitaker

    InformationSatellite View
  • WS Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Our mission is to increase awareness, understanding, and appreciation of estuarine and other natural ecosystems and their conservation through outdoor education, research, stewardship, and volunteering.
Sightings, News & Forums
  • MD-SMAS · Southern Maryland Audubon Society

    Welcome to MD-SMAS, the email discussion list forAudubon in Southern Maryland, where you can:* share timely information about Southern Marylandenvironmental issues* compare notes about Southern Maryland Audubon chapter activities,* discuss birds and birding in Southern Maryland, and* stay in touch with the Southern Maryland Audubon Society Board of Directors
  • Maryland & DC Birding

    Sightings & News & Forum
  • Maryland Rare Bird Alert

    Sightings & News
    The report shows observations of rare birds in Maryland. It includes both unreviewed and reviewed/approved observations.
Guides & Tour Operators
Places to Stay
  • Lands End Manor on the Bay B&B

    Area Attractions: 17+ acres located on Bay in Maryland , Annapolis (30 minutes); Wild Life (birds) sanctuary, Seafood Restaurants, Antique Shops.
  • Whitehaven B&B

    Our guests may explore the many activities and sights the Delmarva peninsula offers and return to an environment of complete calm to enjoy the beauty of the marsh, the river, beautiful sunsets, a lovely garden and lots of pampering in a place where the peace of the night is broken by only sounds of night birds, where everyone is friendly and welcoming and nobody needs to lock their doors
Other Links
  • Assateague Birding

    Bird watching along Assateague Island gives visitors the chance to enjoy the islands` wealth of over 300 species of migratory and resident birds. Birdwatchers know the Chincoteague National Wildlife refuge as one of America`s finest places for Birdwatching along the East Coast. The US Fish & Wildlife Service Refuge at Assateague (Chincoteague NWR) is one of the richest birding regions in the US with outstanding year-round birding.
  • Birding in Kent County

    It has been said that years ago one could walk across the Chester River on the backs of the canvasbacks and other ducks that packed the waters. Those days are long gone, but still one can see great blue herons, osprey, Canada geese, several species of ducks, Forster`s terns, mergansers and even eagles…
  • Delmarva Birding Weekends

    The Delmarva Peninsula possesses an extensive variety of environments, including barrier islands, tidal wetlands, cypress swamps, upland fields and primeval forests.
  • Western Maryland Birding

    Birds and Birding in Western Maryland
  • Dan Haas - Nervous Birds

    A Maryland-Based Birding Blog focusing on Birds, the Environment and Conservation…
  • Viewing nature with Eileen

    This blog is basically reports on my vacations and birding outings. Anything to do with nature…
  • Warren & Lisa Strobel - Birding Couple

    She's a nerdy CPA. He's an award-winning journalist. But mostly they love birds, the outdoors and each other. This is a blog in celebration of nature, the environment and conservation. And, the birds.
Photographers & Artists
  • Photographer - Charlie Lentz - Birds in Maryland

    I started seriously photographing wild birds during 2005 as a stimulating retirement pastime. The Birds in Maryland gallery has quickly grown to a current 144 different species. A few of the photos were actually taken in VA and DE but all of these birds are occasionally seen in Maryland. I know that I have a long way to go but it is a good start

Fatbirder - linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see our sister site: WAND

Skip to content