Norman Bird Sanctuary

Norman Bird Sanctuary

583 Third Beach Road Middletown, Rhode Island 02842

Official Website
Norman Bird Sanctuary map

Tips for Birding

The Norman Bird Sanctuary is a 325-acre wildlife refuge with trails through forests, fields, ledge, and beach habitats that offer a wonderful chance to see birds of many species and some breathtaking ocean views.

The ponds and streams attract species such as mute swan, mallard, great egret, green heron, and the black-crowned night-heron. In the woodland areas, you’ll likely see hawks, chickadees, the downy woodpecker, eastern towhee, and gray catbird, and field locations are great to spot blackbirds, tree swallows, bobolink, northern harriers, and the American Goldfinch.

Migration is an exciting time for birdwatchers at the Norman Bird Sanctuary. Every year, many species of birds journey from Canada and the United States to spend the winter in South America. Waning food supplies and shortening days cue our feathered friends to begin their trek. Don’t forgo feeding birds in the fall for fear of discouraging migration – their instincts will ensure that they leave before winter. In the spring, migrants return from South America hungry and eager to begin nesting.

The Norman Bird Sanctuary lies along the major route of the Atlantic Flyway. Because of the geographical advantage of being near the south end of Aquidneck Island in Narragansett Bay, returning migrants often stop in the vicinity of the Sanctuary. Spring, March, April, and May are the best months to come and observe returning birds such as warblers, shorebirds, swallows, and more. September, October, and November are equally busy migration months in the fall, as birds head south. Migrants usually stop to rest and find food before continuing on to their seasonal destinations.

About this Location

Norman Bird Sanctuary is a nonprofit wildlife sanctuary and environmental education center with more than 300 acres of diverse habitats and 7 miles of hiking trails.

Notable Trails

The AllTrails website has descriptions and maps of trails at Norman Bird Sanctuary. 

There are trail fees for non-members. The fees are: $7 for adults, $6 for seniors (65+) or military, $3 for students or child (ages 3 to 18), and $2 for AARP members.

Fees can be paid online.


  • Entrance fee

Content from Official Website and New England Bird House blog