McLean Mystery Bird Watching


McLean has a growing, multi-species flock of birds inhabiting some of  its road signs. Perhaps you’ve noticed them.  These birds can’t fly and they don’t chirp or sing.  They are colorful and some show signs of aging.  The largest congregation can be seen near the largest entrance to Scott’s Run Nature Preserve off of Georgetown Pike.  Passing by in a car you might not even notice the owl and the black bird because they blend into the trees so seamlessly. These two have been there the longest, as far as I am aware.

Downtown did have one on Chain Bridge near Westmoreland Road and along 123, but those seem to have been removed.  The local #McLean sign police, as I refer to them, who pull down the meekest and most innocent signs for lost pets and garage sales, are probably behind the removal. I’m surprised the other birds have been permitted to stay in place.

Other locations include one each at Old Dominion at the intersections with Swinks Mill and Balls Hill Roads.  You have to look closely.  The most curious and impressive to me is the one that dangles near the Beltway overpass on Old Dominion, which is way up in a tree in a spot not easily reached.  Perhaps this person has some climbing experience, and a really bad case of insomnia.  I can only imagine what time of the night and morning the installations occur.


Whomever is behind the construction of these birds, he is getting better at it.  The originals were primarily made of wood. The newer ones are painted and sculpted metal.  Finding them would make a nice scavenger hunt on a quiet weekend, or good fun for visiting holiday guests.  Years ago there was a elephant up a pine tree near Cooper Middle School, which disappeared at some point, and there’s a butterfly way up Georgetown Pike on a tree.  Hard to know if these are from the same hands.

If you go looking for these birds, please be careful to drive safely. #local, #landmarks, #localcharm, #forthebirds

One thought on “McLean Mystery Bird Watching

Would love to hear from you.

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.