|Coastal Birding in Rhode Island|
Rhode Island has a long and varied coastline that provides excellent birding opportunities throughout the year.
Each season offers its own species: songbirds and shorebirds that migrate up the coast in spring, wading birds and terns that nest here in summer, hawks and swallows that funnel down the shore in fall, and waterfowl that spend winters here.
Return visits to each of the birding hot spots listed below are likely to result in different species in each season. The viewing spots, all accessible by car or by a relatively short walk, range from tidal marshes and brackish ponds to rocky shorelines, barrier beaches, mud flats, and fresh water. The diverse habitats are the reason for the variety of birds.
The Audubon Society of Rhode Island (ASRI), in cooperation with the Rhode Island Ornithological Club, publishes a Checklist of Rhode Island Birds that lists 322 species that may be seen in the state at varying times through the year, along with 90 other species that have wandered here but are only rarely found. The checklist is available at ASRI’s nature shops (12 Sanderson Road, Smithfield, and 1401 Hope St., Bristol).
Birding programs are offered by ASRI, the Norman Bird Sanctuary, Save The Bay, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. These interpreted walks often use coastal access points as destinations.
A good field guide and a pair of binoculars or a spotting scope are usually the only equipment needed, but also take along an updated visitors’ road map since space here does not permit detailed directions to the suggested viewing areas. Among the best bird identification guides for use in Rhode Island (also available at ASRI and other nature shops, as well as at most commercial bookstores) are the following:
Coastal Birding Hot Spots in Rhode Island:
-Audubon Society of Rhode Island
|Auto & Truck Services|
|Bank and Lending Services|
|Dining & Entertainment|
|Fine Arts & Photography|
|Groceries & Markets|
|Health & Beauty|
|Home & Commercial Services|
|Industry & Manufacturing|
|Landscape & Gardening|
|Marine & Boating|
|Museums & Attractions|
|Organizations & Clubs|
|Public Relations & Marketing|
|Shopping & Gifts|
|- - - - - - -|
|- - - - - - -|