State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations

Rhode Island Red Gallus gallus (Domestic fowl developed from the Red Jungle Fowl) ©Heathe Lion - Wikimedia
Birding Rhode Island

Rhode Island, the first state to declare independence from Great Britain is also the smallest of the 50 states. Comprising of approximately 1,545 square miles, the mean elevation is 200 feet. It’s highest point is Jerimoth Hill at only 812 feet.

The state bird is the Rhode Island Red, a popular breed of chicken. The coloring includes golden brown feathers that tend to become reddish in the sun. Their eyes are orange and have reddish brown beaks and yellow feet.

The ‘Ocean State’ is known to have about 400 species of birds. The state includes 5 wildlife refuges in Charlestown, South Kingstown, Middletown, Narragansett and Block Island.

The Audubon Society of Rhode Island is located in Smithfield. You may hear weekly updated reports of rare bird sightings by calling the Voice of Audubon at 401-245-7500 ext: 55. To report rare sightings, call 401-949-7301 and leave a message. Some of the more recent sightings include the Black-tailed Gull, Sandhill Crane and the Bald Eagle.

Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 431

    (As at October 2018)

    State Bird - Rhode Island Red Gallus gallus

  • iGoTerra Checklist

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

  • Bird Walks in Rhode Island

    by Adam J Fry & Keith Gannon | Backcountry Publications | 1992 | Paperback | 146 pages, Maps, illustrations | ISBN: 0881502189 Buy this book from
  • Rhode Island Birds: An Introduction to Familiar Species

    By James Kavanagh & Raymond Leung | Waterford Press | 2003 | Unbound | 1 page, colour illustrations | ISBN: 9781583552254 Buy this book from
  • Audubon Society of Rhode Island

    Stay involved with Audubon's birding programs and resources: Audubon's Upcoming Birding Programs; Recent Bird Sightings; Report a Sighting; BIG YEAR in a little state; Audubon Avian Ambassadors
  • Nature Conservancy in Rhode Island

    Make a Difference in Rhode Island - When you donate today, you’ll help ensure a future in which people and nature can thrive.

Abbreviations Key

  • BS Gallilee Marshes

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    The Galilee Marsh is a 52 hectare marsh located within the Galilee Bird Sanctuary in Narragansett, Rhode Island, approximately 32 miles south of Providence, Rhode Island and 30 miles east of New London CT. The Galilee Escape Road is a four lane causeway that bisects the marsh separating extensive salt marsh habitat to the north of the causeway (The "North Unit" from smaller units (East, Central and West Units) to the South. Salt marsh habitat within the Galilee Bird Sanctuary was enhanced by the replacement of twin 75 cm diameter culverts with 1.8 meter high x 1.4 meter wide twin culverts and self-regulating tidal gates in 1997 which expanded the reach of the tidal range south of the causeway. The salt marsh system of Galilee Marsh is similar to the nearby Succotash Marsh, South Kingstown in that both systems provide breeding habitat for a number of salt marsh birds including the Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed and Seaside Sparrows (Ammodramus caudacutus and A. maritimus), Willets(Catoptrophorus semipalmatus), and Clapper Rails (Rallus longirostris). Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes and T. melanoleuca), Semipalmated Plovers (Charadrius semipalmatus), Least Sandpipers (Calidris minutilla) and other shorebirds frequent the marsh during spring and fall migrations.
  • BS Norman Bird Sanctuary

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    Norman Bird Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary and environmental education center with more than 325 acres of diverse habitats and 7 miles of hiking trails.
  • IBA Prudence & Patience Islands

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    Prudence and Patience Islands are located in Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay. Prudence Island, together with Conanicut Island to the south, form the dividing line between Narragansett Bay's East and West Passages. Prudence Island and its smaller sister island, Patience Island, both lie within the municipal jurisdiction of the Town of Portsmouth in Newport County. Three large salt marshes along with associated fringe marsh on the north end of Prudence Island and an additional marsh on the adjacent Patience Island together provide habitat for a sizeable Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow population.
  • IBA Weetamoo Woods

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  • NWR IBA Trustom Pond

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    The Trustom Pond IBA includes fine examples of Rhode Island's coastal habitats. For instance, it contains the only undeveloped salt pond left in Rhode Island. This salt pond has not been artificially or permanently breached by man and is a major feature of the IBA, supporting a variety of waterfowl species whose collective numbers range into the thousands during the spring and autumn migration and wintering seasons. The varied habitats in Trustom Pond support more than 300 bird species, including breeding and winter residents, and migratory stopover spp.
  • NWR Ninigret

    WebpageSatellite View
    This site contains extensive tidal sand flats. Much is underwater at high tides and most is exposed at low tides. This area was created when a breachway to the ocean was made. Currents have caused silt and sand to collect over the years creating the tidal flats. This area is very important to migratory shorebirds. It is their main foraging place in the state. More than 100 species have been sighted here, including rare and endangered species. The sand flats are bordered by grassy salt marsh areas that are used by breeding Seaside and Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed sparrows. Also there is an area of deciduous trees and shrubs used by herons for roosting and which shelters other species. The whole site also features salty ponds and channels.
  • Rhode Island Refuges - US Fish & Wildlife Service

    Facebook PageSatellite View
    Listings of useful numbers, areas of special interest etc…
  • SP Brenton Point

    InformationSatellite View
    Occupying the former grounds of one of Newport's grandest estates, Brenton Point State Park affords its visitors one of the most commanding and spectacular views on the East Coast. The park is located at the point of land where Narragansett Bay meets the Atlantic, midway along renowned Ocean Drive.
  • WMA Sapowet Marsh

    WebpageSatellite View
    The Sapowet Marsh is a 260 acre state-owned wildlife management area located in the town of Tiverton Rhode Island approximately 9 miles northeast of downtown Newport, and approximately 19.5 miles southeast of Providence. This IBA lies proximal to the Emily Reucker Wildlife Refuge which is owned by the Audubon Society of Rhode Island (ASRI). The main ornithological significance of this site is its importance to Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow.
Trip Reports
Other Links
  • ABA Birding News - Rhode Island

    Recent Postings from Rhode Island Birds
  • BirdZilla

    The 25 Most Common Birds of Rhode Island
  • Birds of New England

    Some excellent photographs
  • Catherine Hamilton's Sitings

    Birdspot, aka artist Catherine Hamilton, is on the road drawing and studying birds. Translated, this means she is properly homeless and focusing on dubious pursuits.
  • RIBird

    This site contains information about birds and birding in the state of Rhode Island. It is not affiliated with any organization.
  • Rhode Island Birding

    Website has been established to provide those interested in birding in Rhode Island with information to assist them in making their birding time more fun and productive

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