CONTACT: 410-887-2503


Bird Monitoring

Due to its varied habitat of woods, open fields, farmland and streams, Cromwell Valley Park is attractive to a large variety of birds.

Many birders enjoy recording their bird observations at eBird, an online database run by the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. Birders use eBird to keep track of their personal observations from year to year and site to site. Scientists use the compilations of bird observations from thousands of birders around the world to understand large-scale trends in bird populations, ranges, migratory routes and more.

You can be a part of eBird at Cromwell Valley Park and make a contribution to our understanding of bird populations in the park. For example, from eBird observations, we know that 181 species of birds have been spotted at Cromwell Valley Park, and that a Sand Hill Crane was observed on 9/11/2012.

CVP Monitoring Trails and Sites

Five trails and two stationary sites, representing different habitats, have been set up for eBird monitoring at CVP. The seven locations are shown on this map and further described in the bird monitoring information below.

Bird Monitoring Information

Please remember to share your monitoring checklist with the eBird account: cromvalpark


Blue Trail N39.414287/ W76.549609/

A linear trail through scrub riparian woods and clearings along SE bank of Minebank Run. Couple with East/West Trail to loop back to Parking Lot through very different habitat.

Access/Start: Willow Grove Parking Lot
Walk downhill (SE) on East Entrance Road
Cross bridge to trailhead on R (W)

1-way direction: SW, parallel to Minebank Run on R (N)
1-way distances: 0.2 mile Intermittent stream culvert, old fence 0.5 mile End, Park Road from West Entrance

East/West Road N39.414697/ W76.551336/

Linear trail across largely human-maintained open fields and parklands with nearby scub habitat edges. Couple with Blue Trail to loop back to Parking lot through very different habitat.

Access/Start: Willow Grove Parking Lot West end Start W on paved Emergency Access Road

1-way direction: West/Southwest
1-way distances: 0.2 mile Hawkwatch station
0.3 mile Paved road to Park Office
0.5 mile Paved West Entrance Road
0.6 mile End at bridge on West Entrance Road

White/Blue Loop N39.417597/ W76.546117/

A monitoring loop that combines portions of two trails: White (Lime Kiln) and Blue (NW portion). The short, complete loop provides a cross-section of open field and riparian scrub habitats with a scattering of larger trees and numerous habitat edges. Note that continuation of the Blue Trail beyond the lime kilns currently is not part of the monitoring program.

Access/Start: Willow Grove Parking Lot
Walk uphill (NW)
Pass R (East) of Nature Education Center
Pass L (West) of Cider House
Find Lime Kiln Trail sign on front of Barn R
Start White Trail portion at fork in gravel lanes

Loop direction: Clockwise
Loop distances: 0.11 mile Trail crossing in field; lone walnut N
0.23 mile End White Trail portion SW edge of lime kiln clearing Begin Blue Trail portion
0.32 mile End Blue Trail portion at gate

Red Trail N39.420469/ W76.549473/

Big trees are the primary feature of this more challenging trail through woodland habitat along an abandoned farm lane. It begins with a climb through a small woodlot, then levels a bit across open meadow to play tag with the Yellow Trail, then finally climbs more steeply through a mature forest with some grand trees to end near an overgrown clearing at a height of land.

Access/Start: Parking Lot
Walk uphill as for White/Blue Loop
Bear L where gravel lanes fork
Look for red paint blaze on tree ahead Pass tree; start at gate (water faucet)

1-way direction: Northwest
1-way distances: 0.08 mile Water hydrant
0.15 mile Yellow Trail forks off NE (R)
0.21 mile Green Trail forks off SW (L)
0.42 mile End at Red Trail Loop terminus

Red Trail Loop N39.421727/ W76.552514/

An OPTIONAL monitoring route separate from the Red Trail itself, this loop is for those who have survived the 250-ft uphill walk from the Parking lot to the end of the Red Trail – and want an easier walk for their effort. The reward is a pleasant stroll around the top of the ridge through additional forest habitat that is isolated from the field, scrub, and edge habitat types in the valley. Please be alert to follow the red paint blazes carefully. If you follow the loop clockwise, bear R at any confusing trail junctions and you cannot become lost. The loop is well-populated with dog walkers on weekends.

Access/Start: Far end of Red Trail at Loop terminus

Loop direction: Clockwise
Loop distances: 0.09 mile Mowed clearing Trail continues on opposite side (W)
0.13 mile Sign; bear right trail well blazed beyond this point
0.29 mile Lime-green (Barren) Trail junction 1
0.40 mile Lime-green (Barren) Trail junction 2
0.43 mile Junction; overgrown clearing begins
0.64 mile Finish loop at Red Trail end


Hawkwatch Station N39.416349/ W76.549580/

Occupied most days during fall hawk migration, this hilltop location affords good views of the valley, nearby ridges, and the sky above. It is also surrounded on three sides by scrub-edge habitat which can provide good birding with minimal effort at any time of year.

Access: From Willow Grove Parking Lot walk 0.2 mile uphill (W) on paved Emergency Access Road

Willow Grove Nature Education Center N39.417427/ W76.547710/

This former farmhouse is situated in representative yard habitat replete with scattered big trees and open lawn areas typical of local residences. Bird feeders and nest boxes around the Center are included in this stationary count area.

Access: Uphill (N) from Willow Grove Parking Lot


To submit observations for our monitoring trails and stationary sites, you will need to enter the CVP Monitoring locations into your personal eBird account and then share them with the CVP account: cromvalpark.

Stepwise Directions:

  1. Open your eBird account and go to “Submit Observations”
  2. Click on “Use Latitude and Longitude”
  3. Copy a location’s latitude from the listing above and paste it into the “Latitude” box that appears; then copy the same location’s longitude and past it into the “Longitude” box. NOTE: The convention is to precede longitudes in the Western Hemisphere with a minus sign. The listing above is formatted correctly so all you need to do is copy and paste. Typing in coordinates is not recommended as any typo could lead to rejection of one or more of your checklists. You need only do this once for each standardized location, after which they will all appear together in “My Locations” in your personal eBird account.
  4. Click on “Continue”
  5. The map page that appears will ask you to name the location; copy and paste the exact name as given in the list, including the words “CROMWELL VALLEY PARK: ” (with all punctuation, including caps and spaces). Use of this prefix will ensure that all of the locations will group one after another in the “My Locations” list of your eBird account and keep all your shared checklists congruent with the standardized locations in the Cromwell Valley account. Again, typing the name is not recommended due to the possibility of errors.
  6. Click on “Continue” and you will be returned to the “Submit Observations” page. You are not required to submit bird checklist data in order to have the location added to your “My Locations” list. If you do not have bird checklist data to enter, go back to step #2 above and repeat the process for the next location until you have entered them all.
Eastern Bluebird

Use the precise wording and coordinates shown here to enter the CVP monitoring locations:

39.414287 -76.549609

39.414697 -76.551336

39.416349 -76.549580

39.420469 -76.549473

39.421727 -76.552514

39.417597 -76.546117

CROMWELL VALLEY PARK: Willow Grove Nature Education Center
39.417427 -76.547710


FOR THE MOST CURRENT AND ACCURATE BIRDING CHECKLIST, we recommend going to our “hotspot” site on E-bird using this LINK, which provides real-time update to sightings based on exact date and time of year.   We are pleased to have, John Canoles, a well respected ecologist and birder on our Board of Directors.   John provides essential insight to the natural ecology of Cromwell Valley Park.