Woodend Wildlife

The diversity of habitats at Woodend Sanctuary supports innumerable species of insects that in turn feed many species of birds and other animals.

What does that mean for you?
It means there is a lot to see, learn and enjoy! Purple wildflowers, bright red beetles, blue and yellow polka-dotted salamanders are among the many natural wonders waiting to be discovered at Woodend Nature Sanctuary.

See more highlights below. Click the images for a closer look.




One of Woodend’s oldest trees is an enormous Black Walnut.

It has provided food for squirrels and nesting places for birds for nearly 100 years.

Look for it along the drive, just below the mansion parking lots.


This easily grown native plant thrives under a Black Walnut tree in our restored meadow.  It feeds birds and butterflies with its nectar and seeds, while producing glorious yellow blooms all season long.


Used by Native Americans for medicinal teas, this plant is in the mint family and graces our restored meadow with an expanse of pale purple in early summer.


Many birds and mammals rely on acorns, while more than 500 species of caterpillars feed on Oak leaves.  Want more wildlife in your yard?  Plant an Oak!  We’ll be doing it here at Woodend as we restore our forest.


The Prickly-pear is native to Maryland and can be found in the sandy soils of the coastal plain, as well as the rocky soils of the mountainous regions. 

Look for this summer bloomer in the native plant collection of the Blair Garden.



Six species of woodpeckers are frequently observed at Woodend. The two smallest are the Downy and Hairy, medium-sized are Red-Bellied, Northern Flickers, and Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers.  Much larger than the others is the Pileated Woodpecker, seen in the photo.


These charming reptiles are frequently encountered along our trails.  If you find one with red eyes, it is a male.  Females have brown eyes.


Similar in shape to the more familiar cardinal, these birds are often found in flocks, feasting on ripe fruits, including the blue berries of its namesake tree.


The Yellow-Spotted Salamander spends most of its time underground, but between March and May they can be found under logs as they make their way to breed in the pond. 

The other common salamander at our sanctuary is a Red-backed Salamander, which spends all of its time under logs and debris in the woods.


Look for the bright red milkweed beetle on the leaves of the plant for which it is named.  Its coloring sends a warning signal to predators that it is toxic.

iNaturalist Observations at Woodend

Visit Woodend Sanctuary

8940 Jones Mill Road
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

Trails are open daily from dawn to dusk
Admission is free

If you are in Northern Virginia,
you also can 
visit our Rust Sanctuary

Thank you for leaving dogs and other pets at home