Gettysburg Bird Watching
Gettysburg National Military Park provides a very diverse habit for animals especially birds. From the grasslands to the woods, the battlefield provides a wide range of birds a place to call home. The park service is holding programs to encourage Gettysburg bird watching.
A 187 species of birds call Gettysburg home. The State of Pennsylvania designated the park an important Bird Area because of the protection of the open grasslands like along Howard Avenue, Barlow’s Knoll, Cemetery Ridge, Oak Ridge, and the route of Pickett’s Charge. In the grasslands you can find Eastern Blue Birds, Northern Bobwites, Loggerhead Shrike and Short-eared owls. Also a variety of hawks use the grasslands as hunting grounds.
The park also contains many wooded areas including: Rose Woods, Big Round Top, Stony Hill, and the backside of Little Round Top where the 20th Maine made their famous stand. In the park woods you will find Red-headed Woodpecker and Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Red-tails and Cooper’s Hawks will perch on the edges of the woods and watch the grasslands below for prey like in the Wheatfield.
A couple of local Bird Watchers
Licensed Battlefield Guide Sue Boardman shares my interest in Bald Eagles. Her photographs of Bald Eagles in and around the park are amazing. Her tour of the battlefield would also provide the opportunity to ask her for some pointers on Gettysburg bird watching. Next time I get to Gettysburg, I am going to take her tour.
I enjoy watching hawks hunt above the battlefield’s open fields, but to be honest, I haven’t paid that much attention to the other birds. I do specialize in photographing Bald Eagles, but they started becoming more common since my last visit. During my next visit, I am looking forward to tracking down the Bald Eagles in the area.