As the pollen ebbs, urbanites (Districtia picnicea) shed spring coats and migrate from the concrete jungle to the 30-odd designated picnic areas inside Rock Creek Park. When a flock exceeds 25, a permit is required, but choice nesting grounds are plentiful.
Meadowlarks: Frequent grassy fields; court over croquet, cornhole, and bocce.
Ideal habitat: Picnic site No. 6, near petite architectural gem Miller Cabin on Beach Drive.
Diet: Cork Market’s specialty picnic basket ($40) packed with Kristin Hutter’s herb-marinated buttermilk fried chicken, farro salad, asparagus with dried apricots, and fruit crostada.
Northern Shovelers: Prefer elaborate potlucks and postprandial volleyball displays.
Ideal habitat: Site No. 13, near the nature center and planetarium; veer south of Military Road toward the barbecue pit and covered tables.
Diet: Neatly trimmed flank steak, tri-tip, and the lesser-known teres major cut by master butcher Julien Shapiro, as well as naan or potato rolls from Society Fair.
Roadrunners: Favor blood-pumping displays of plumage after friendly races and bike rides.
Ideal habitat: Site No. 7, near park police stables on Beach Drive.
Diet: New England-style lobster feast from Red Hook Lobster Pound (minimum delivery: ten $17 rolls).
Lesser Thrashers: Chill on blankets under shady trees alongside guitars and bongos.
Ideal habitat: Site No. 10, good for looking after the newly hatched (it’s close to bathrooms).
Diet: A mix of fresh white hots and red hot dogs from Georgetown’s new butcher of choice, Stachowski Market and Deli (1425 28th Street Northwest, at P Street; 202-413-7355).
To reserve a picnic area for 25 or more, go to the Department of Parks and Recreation, 1250 U Street Northwest, second floor (202-673-7646), Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Reservation fee is $7.
Photo: Dougal Waters / Getty Images