Trustom Pond NWR - South Kingstown

Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge provides access to mixed forests, fields and an undeveloped coastal pond. In the spring and fall, the refuge is a good place to look for migrating birds and in the fall and winter, Trustom Pond can contain large numbers of waterfowl.

View Larger Map


South Kingstown, RI.

Trustom Pond NWR
Field of Native Grass


US Fish and Wildlife Service


From Rt 1, go south on Moonstone Beach Road and then west on Matunuck Schoolhouse Road. Follow Matunuck Schoolhouse Road for about 0.5 miles where the wildlife refuge will be on the left (south).


Frog on Farm Pond

Fields, mixed forests, freshwater pond, coastal pond and wetlands.


Trail Map
Trail Map

The trail from the parking area leads to the restored field of native grasses. From here the trail forks. The left branch goes past farm pond and out to Otter Point and the right branch goes out to Osprey Point. Both Otter and Osprey Points provide good views of Trustom Pond. The Red Maple Swamp Trail connects the two points. The western end of this trail is usually the best place on the refuge to find migrating wood warblers.

Best Seasons to Visit

Spring, Fall and Winter.

Birds Most Likely to Be Seen

Trustom Pond's diverse habitats attract birds in all seasons.

Spring and Fall Migration

Snow Goose
Snow Goose

The birds that can be found on Trustom Pond in the spring and fall include: Snow Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Wood Duck, Gadwall, Eurasian Wigeon, American Wigeon, American Black Duck, Mallard, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Red-breasted Merganser, Ruddy Duck, Pied-billed Grebe, Double-crested and Great Cormorants and American Coot.

Herons and egrets that may be seen feeding along the edge of the pond include: American Bittern, Great-blue Heron, Great Egret and Snowy Egret.

Raptors that may be seen include: Osprey, Northern Harrier, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Merlin and Peregrine Falcon.

In the spring, Tree Swallows, Northern Rough-winged Swallows, Bank Swallows and Barn Swallows feed over the pond and fields. In the fall, large flocks of Tree Swallows and Barn Swallows gather over the pond and fields.

In the early evening, Common Nighthawks may be seen flying high above the fields. In the late winter and early spring, American Woodcock perform their mating display over the fields.

A nice variety of wood warblers are possible during spring and fall migration. Possibilities include: Blue-winged Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Northern Parula, Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Pine Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Palm Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Connecticut Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Hooded Warbler, Wilson’s Warbler and Canada Warbler.

Swamp Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow

The brushy areas along the edges of the fields are good places to check for sparrows that could include: American Tree Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow and Dark-eyed Junco.

Summer Residents

In the summer, Trustom Pond may contain Canada Goose, Mute Swan, American Black Duck, Mallard, Wood Duck, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Green Heron, Osprey, Least Tern and Common Tern.

White-eyed Vireos, Red-eyed Vireos and Yellow Warblers can usually be found in the wooded areas along with the more secretive Veery, Hermit and Wood Thrushes. Both Black-billed and Yellow-billed Cuckoos are also possible.

Otter Point is a good place to listen for Willow Flycatcher and Eastern Kingbird along with a possible Marsh Wren or even a Least Bittern or a Common Moorhen.

After dark, Whip-poor-wills and Great-horned Owls can sometimes be heard calling from the woods.


When Trustom Pond isn't frozen over, winter birds may include: Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Gadwall, Eurasian Wigeon, American Wigeon, American Black Duck, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Canvasback, Redhead, Greater Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Red-breasted Merganser, Ruddy Duck, Pied-billed Grebe, Great Cormorant and American Coot.

Northern Harriers can usually be seen feeding over the fields. Sometimes they are joined by Red-tailed Hawks and in some years, Rough-legged Hawks and Short-eared Owls can also be found there.

Winter gulls that can usually be found include: Bonaparte’s Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull and Great Black-backed Gull.

Birds that may be found in the woods include: Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Brown Creeper, Carolina and Winter Wren, Golden-crowned Kinglet and small flocks of Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmice and White-breasted Nuthatches.

Potential obstacles

  • Deer Ticks can be present. Avoid wandering off the trails.
  • The small parking lot may fill up on nice weekend days.

External Links