BNL Home


A total of 216 species of birds have been identified at BNL since 1948; at least 85 species are known to nest on site. Some of these nesting birds have shown declines in their populations nationwide over the past 30 years. The Laboratory conducts routine monitoring of songbirds along seven permanent bird survey routes in various habitats on site.

A total of 132 bird species have been identified in surveys in the past 14 years; 59 of these species were present in each of the past 15 years. Variations in the number and species identified during each survey may reflect the time of observation, variations in weather patterns between years, and possible changes in the environment.

The eastern bluebird (Sialia sialis) has been identified as a declining species of migratory birds in North America. This is due to loss of habitat and nest site competition from European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) and house sparrows (Passer domesticus). BNL’s Natural Resource Managment includes habitat enhancement for the eastern bluebird. Since 2000, the Laboratory has installed and maintained nest boxes around open grassland areas and the Long Island Solar Farm to enhance their population.

Migratory birds occasionally cause safety and health concerns, particularly Canada geese (Branta canadensis) and several species of migratory birds that occasionally nest on buildings or in construction areas on site. Over the past several years, the resident Canada goose population at BNL began increasing, with the potential to reach large enough numbers that could result in health and safety issues. In 2007, under a permit from FWS, the Laboratory began managing the resident goose population by limiting the number of eggs that could hatch and has successfully limited the growth of the goose population.

Birds NY State Threatened, Endangered, of Special Concern, or of Greatest Conservation Need (nesting, transient, or potentially present)

Common Name Scientific Name Status
American kestrel Falco sparverius SGCN
American woodcock Scolopax minor SGCN
Black-billed cuckoo Coccyzus erythropthalmus SGCN
Black-crowned night heron Nycticorax nycticorax SGCN
Blue-winged warbler Vermivora cyanoptera SGCN
Brown thrasher Toxostoma rufum SGCN
Common Nighthawk Chordeiles minor SGCN
Cooper's hawk Accipiter cooperii SC
Glossy ibis Plegadis falcinellus SGCN
Great egret Ardea alba SGCN
Greater yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca SGCN
Northern Bobwhite Colinus virginianus SGCN
Osprey Circus cyaneus T
Northern harrier Pandion haliaetus SC
Prairie warbler Dendroica discolor SGCN
Red-headed woodpecker Melanerpes erythrocephalus SC
Scarlet tanager Piranga olivacea SGCN
Sharp-shinned hawk Accipiter striatus SC
Whip-poor-will Caprimulgus vociferus SC
Wood thrush Hylocichla mustelina SGCN
Worm-eating warbler Helmitheros vermivorum SGCN