Bragging flights!

The blackpoll warbler’s song is one of the highest pitched known among birds. (Donna Dewhurst / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

The facts listed here are no flights of fancy. Each describes a bird found in the watershed at some point of its life. Can you match them up? Answers are below.

Acadian flycatcher

American raven

Blackpoll warbler


Peregrine ralcon

Red-breasted merganser

Ruby-throated hummingbird


1. I can fly backwards and hover! (This comes in handy when plucking my insect meals from trees.)

2. I can fly upside down and one of my species was once recorded doing this for at least a kilometer!

3. I can fly 160 miles in one night!

4. I’m smart enough to know to hang onto a fish with its head facing forward because it makes my meal more aerodynamic when flying!

5. My dives have been recorded at 175 miles per hour or more!

6. My migration route can include 1,864 miles over water. This means I can fly almost 88 hours nonstop. And by the way, I weigh less than half an ounce.

7. My wings can beat 80 times in one second; this means that I can hover!

8. I hold the record for the fastest flight by a duck, at 100 miles per hour. You’d fly that fast, too, if you were being chased by an airplane like I was at the time.


1. Acadian flycatcher  

2. American raven 

3. Veery  

4. Osprey

5. Peregrine falcon  

6. Blackpoll warbler  

7. Ruby-throated hummingbird  

8. Red-breasted merganser

Kathleen Gaskell is the Bay Journal's copy and layout editor and author of the Chesapeake Challenge. Contact Kathleen at

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