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Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Ruffed Grouse
Ruffed Grouse Bonasa umbellus ©Mdf - Wikimedia

Stretching from the tidal Delaware River in the southeast to Lake Erie in the northwest, Pennsylvania offers a wide variety of habitat and bird life. Many northern warblers nest in the mountains, yet many southern species range north into the river valleys.

The low-lying Piedmont in the southeastern corner hosts the only tidal marshes in the state. These marshes and mud flats, mostly confined to the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, attract shorebirds, waders, and other wetland species.

The river valleys (Delaware, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Allegheny) provide migration corridors as well as more southerly climates.

The mountains provide forested habitat for many of the neo-tropical migrants. For instance, Pennsylvania has so much forest that it has been estimated that more Scarlet Tanagers nest here than anywhere else.

Many man-made and a few natural lakes attract migrating waterfowl.

Pennsylvania is home to the first (and most famous) hawk migration sanctuary-Hawk Mountain Sanctuary- where thousands of raptors can be observed on migration each fall. Bald Eagles, Ospreys, and Peregrine Falcons have all made a great comeback and now nest in many areas around the state, however, the Peregrines are limited to urban areas at this time.

Lake Erie (and especially Presque Isle State Park) provides ocean habitat for migrants and is a haven for shorebirds and waterfowl, as well as a great passerine migrant trap in both spring and fall.

Contributor

Frank and Barb Haas

Narvon, Pennsylvania

fbhaas@ptd.net

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 437

As at July 2014

Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist

Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web

Useful Reading

Atlas of Breeding Birds in Pennsylvania

Edited by DW Brauning 528 pages, 190 maps, illus. University of Pittsburgh Press 1993

ISBN: 0822936925

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birder's Guide to Pennsylvania

Paula Ford Paperback - 268 pages (February 1995) Gulf Publishing Company

ISBN: 0884150739

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birding the Delaware Valley Region : A Comprehensive Guide to Birdwatching in Southeastern Pennsylvania, Central and Southern New Jersey and Northcen

Paperback - 223 pages (May 1980) Temple University Press

ISBN: 0877221820

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Hawks Aloft

By Maurice Brown The Story of Hawk MountainPublished by Stackpole BooksPaperback 288 pages

ISBN: 0811727904

Buy this book from NHBS.com

The Birds of Pennsylvania

Gerald M. McWilliams, Daniel W. Brauning, Kenn Kaufman(Frw) Hardcover - 688 pages ( 6 January, 2000) Cornell University Press

ISBN: 0801436435

Buy this book from NHBS.com

The Birds of Western Pennsylvania and Adjacent Regions

Robert C Leberman 52 pages, tabs, maps. Carnegie Museum of Natural History 1988

ISBN: 0911239294

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Useful Information

Pennsylvania Birds

The state birding journal is Pennsylvania Birds. Information can be found at the Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology.

State Bird

Ruffed Grouse Bonasa umbellus

Forums & Mailing Lists

PABirds

Mailing List

To post to list: pabirds@list.audubon.org

To subscribe to list: listserv@list.audubon.org

subscribe pabirds

Mailing List – Discussion Group - USA - Pennsylvania.

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Birding Pal

Information

Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2016 [05 May] - Jaap Westra - Birding Eastern North America

PDF Report

We started in New York then travelled through New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York State to Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada and back.

Places to Stay

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

A Place in the Woods B&B

Accommodation

Our Bed & Breakfast is Mercer County's best kept secret. We are situated in the center of three and one-half acres of wooded property, surrounded by Goddard State Park on three sides. Lake Wilhelm is a five-minute walk from our front door. Enjoy Mother Nature at her finest. Our guests enjoy a generous full breakfast as they watch the many birds, squirrels and chipmunks feed in the copse of trees opposite our dining room. At nightfall, our guests are entertained by the critters that come to feed.

Carriage Corner B&B

Accommodation

The surrounding area has a myriad of attractions and historical sites including antique shops, flea and farmer's markets, the Strasburg Railroad, and many more. A little further and one can venture to Longwood Gardens, Brandywine River Museum, Gettysburg, or Valley Forge.

Line Limousin Farmhouse B&B

Accommodation

The large lawn with giant sugar maple trees is great for a picnic in the shade. This spot is perfect for cookouts and barbecues in the summer. Guests are free to tour the beef farm, hike the woods and cross the stone fences to spot wildlife and many birds.

Organisations

Allegheny Plateau Audubon Society

Information

We are a non profit chapter of the National Audubon Society with facilities in Bedford, Cambria and Somerset Counties of PA. Members come from all across South Central and Western PA…

Appalachian Audubon Society

Website

Welcome to the official website of the Appalachian Audubon Society. Appalachian Audubon is a local chapter of the National Audubon Society serving the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area. We serve Dauphin, Cumberland, Perry and part of York Counties…

Audubon Society in Pennsylvania

Website

Audubon's local chapters can bring you bird walks, advocacy campaigns, nature outings, educational programs and other events. And with more than 20 chapters around the state, there's likely to be one nearby!

Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania

Website

Welcome to the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania, one of the premier, non-profit, environmental education organizations in western Pennsylvania. Mission Statement: The mission of the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania is to inspire and educate the people of south-western Pennsylvania to be respectful and responsible stewards of the natural world. Discover our facilities!

Bartramian Audubon Society

Website

The Bartramian Audubon Society was established as a local chapter in 1982 by three Slippery Rock University students. As members of BAS we understand that the Earth is a unique, whole, interacting, interconnecting, and interdependent system of systems. In the face of the current Earth-human crises, we declare our intention to rescue, recover, and reheal the Earth`s integrity, to secure the future of all life and its support systems, and to teach ourselves, our children, and the public that whatever we humans do to the web of life, we do to ourselves…

Birding Club of Delaware County

Website

The Birding Club of Delaware County (BCDC) is a birding club in Delaware County, Pennsylvania with the purpose to expand the individual interest and study of wild birds. The Birding Club of Delaware County is open to birders and bird watchers of all skill levels…

Bucks County Audubon Society

Website

The Bucks County Audubon Society (BCAS) is a private, non-profit organization founded as a chapter of the NAS in 1969. Since its inception, BCAS has been dedicated to conserving wildlife , promoting awareness of environmental problems , watching birds, educating the community about the interdependence of humans and their world, and furthering the wise use of land, air, and water. With over 2300 members, BCAS is one of the largest citizen membership groups representing environmental and ecological interests in Bucks County. A better than average chapter website…

Conococheague Audubon

Website

Conococheague Audubon is a chapter of the National Audubon Society based in Chambersburg in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. The group started in 1961 as the Conococheague Naturalists. Through programs, field trips, displays, and a newsletter, we promote conservation of wildlife and the natural environment with a focus on appreciating, studying, and observing birds…

Delaware Valley Ornithological Club

Website

The Delaware Valley Ornithological Club was founded on February 3, 1890 in Philadelphia at William L. Baily's family home at 1624 Arch Street, not far from its present home since 1891, the Academy of Natural Sciences at Nineteenth and the Parkway. The mission of this club is the advancement and diffusion of ornithological knowledge.The members of this club shall be persons who are interested in ornithology considered in its widest sense…

Gifford Pinchot Audubon Society

Facebook Page

We are a chapter of the National Audubon Society consisting of members from northeast Pike County PA and northwest Sussex County NJ. Our chapter is proudly named for Gifford Pinchot, first Chief Forester of the United States and twice Governor of Pennsylvania. He is considered the predominate conservationist of his time. Many of our meetings and programs take place at his home, Grey Towers in Milford, PA. The mansion is now a National Historic Landmark administered by the US Forest Service.

Greater Wyoming Valley Audubon Society

Website

The Greater Wyoming Valley Audubon Society is an official chapter of the National Audubon Society. Its geographic area includes most of Luzerne and Wyoming Counties…

Juniata Valley Audubon Society

Website

The Juniata Valley Audubon Society (JVAS); chartered in 1969, is a chapter of the National Audubon Society and a member of Audubon Pennsylvania, covering the Southern Alleghenies region of Pennsylvania. With nearly 400 members, the JVAS is one of the state's 22 Audubon chapters…

Lakawanna Audubon Society

Website

The Lackawanna Audubon Society is an independent organization of nature loving folks cantered in Lackawanna County in north-eastern Pennsylvania. The society, originally called the Scranton Bird Club, has been in existence for 85 years. It has yearly series of field trips, both day trips and and overnights, and a series of speaker presentations in association with the Scranton Anthracite Museum…

Lancaster County Bird Club

Website

Welcome to the home page of the Lancaster County Bird Club. The club had its beginnings in December 1937 and has been active ever since in pursuit of its goals: to record the observation of bird life in the county, to disseminate in a popular manner the result of such observations, to provide education concerning the habits and identification of birds and to secure the cultivation of public sentiment in the preservation of our native bird life. Articles of Incorporation were filed and approved by the Department of State on December 12, 1983, under the Pennsylvania Nonprofit Corporation Law of 1972….

Lehigh Valley Audubon Society

Website

The Lehigh Valley is an area of eastern Pennsylvania encompassing Lehigh and Northampton Counties. Included are the cities of Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton, surrounding smaller towns, and rural and undeveloped areas. The Valley is bounded on the east by the Delaware River and on the north by the Kittatiny Ridge. The Lehigh River runs roughly north south through the western part of the region, then turns sharply and flows roughly west east to join the Delaware River. Geography consists of rolling hills forming foothills to the Appalachian Mountains…

Lycoming Audubon Society

Website

A chapter of the National Audubon Society, with members in Lycoming and Clinton Counties, PA. Like all Audubon chapters, our members enjoy birdwatching and an appreciation of 'nature' at all levels. We hold field trips regularly on an informal basis led by one or more of the chapter’s ardent “birders”. Everyone is welcome to participate regardless of their birding experience. Our meetings are open to the public and often feature a birding excursion or a conservation topics. (Review our Program and Field Trip pages for upcoming events.)

Nature Conservancy in Pennsylvania

Website

The Nature Conservancy of Pennsylvania has a single focus: protecting the biological diversity of the Commonwealth… …Our success in the Pocono Mountains is a compelling example. There, we have worked closely with many partners in ways that take into account the impact on biodiversity of the surrounding area, ecological processes, and people. Our goal has been to conserve the entire functioning landscape…

Northeast Pennsylvania Audubon Society

Website

Serving the communities of Wayne, Northern Pike, parts of Susquehanna, and Lackawanna counties…

Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology

Website

The Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology was founded to foster the study and appreciation of the birds of Pennsylvania and to promote the conservation of birds and their habitat…

Presque Isle Audubon Society

Website

Welcome to the Presque Isle Audubon Society web site. PIAS is a chapter of the National Audubon Society and a member of the Pennsylvania Audubon Society serving north-western Pennsylvania including Erie and Crawford counties. It is named after Presque Isle, a peninsula on the shore of Lake Erie near the city of Erie. Our mission is to promote the conservation and protection of wildlife, plants, soil, and water in relation to human activity; to initiate and carry out plans and activities which would contribute to the conservation and protection of these natural resources; and to provide opportunities to become more aware and appreciative of our physical and biological environment…

Quittapahilla Audubon Society

Website

Founded in 1979 as a chapter of the National Audubon Society, the Quittapahilla Audubon Society has a membership of approximately 380. Special projects include: Audubon Adventures for area elementary school children; National Audubon Society camp scholarships; money to Wildlands Conservancy; Lebanon County Elementary and High School Envirothon Support; and input on National and State Conservation issues…

Seneca Rocks Audubon Society

Website

Seneca Rocks Audubon Society is a chapter of the National Audubon Society active in the Clarion, Forest, Jefferson and Venango County region of northwestern PA. If you are interested in enjoying the world of birds, protecting wildlife and its habitat or gaining an appreciation of the natural environment…

Seven Mountains Audubon

Website

Local chapter events etc…

South Mountain Audubon Society

Information

The South Mountain Audubon Society aims are to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity focusing on Adams County, PA.

Tiadaghton Audubon Society

Facebook Page

Our chapter was founded in 1906 with 23 members, making it the oldest chapter in the state. The Tiadaghton name was selected in 1953, and in 1972 the chapter was officially chartered.

Unami Audubon Society

P.O. Box 75, Harleysville, PA 19438 - (610) 326-3874

Valley Forge Audubon Society

Website

Eva R. Meng was kind enough to make a gift upon her death of 86 acres of open space in Lower Frederick Township to the Valley Forge Audubon Society. This land is now known as the Eva R. Meng Wildlife Preserve and Bird Sanctuary of the Valley Forge Audubon Society…

Wapiti Audubon Society

Welcome to the home page of the Wapiti Audubon Society. The Wapiti Audubon Society is a chapter of the National Audubon Society, and is located in west central Pennsylvania. The Wapiti Chapter boasts a membership of approximately 180 people…

West Chester Bird Club

Website

The West Chester Bird Club was founded in 1910, making it one of the oldest continually active bird clubs in the United States. We are based in West Chester, the county seat of Chester County, in south-east Pennsylvania. In addition to field trips and evening programs, the club participates in the National Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count, winter feeder counts, the Pennsylvania Migration Count and local breeding bird counts. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in birds. No previous birding experience is necessary.

Wyncote Audubon Society

Website

The Wyncote Audubon Society is one of the oldest nature oriented clubs in North America. It was founded in 1914 as the Wyncote Bird Club and birding continues to be one of our primary activities. In 1970 we became a chapter of the National Audubon Society and now have over 2000 members in the Philadelphia/Eastern Montgomery County region.

York Audubon Society

Website

So you would like to get started birding in York County or you and your family are interested but are not sure how to start. Well, the first step would be to turn off the TV and take a look out a window of your own home and see what you can see. Depending on the season, what birds you may see can be different…

Museums

Academy of Natural Sciences - Department of Ornithology

Information

Growth and modernization have characterized the last 26 years during which Frank Gill has guided the Ornithology Department. The collection of over 163,000 skins was the first in the nation to be housed in compactors and entirely recorded on a database. A variety of progressive programs have become integral parts of the department. Birds of North America (BNA) is a series of 720 life histories of the nesting species on this continent.

Carnegie Museum - Bird Section

http://www.carnegiemnh.org/birds/index.html

Nearly 195,000 specimens, including 555 holotypes and syntypes, are held by the Section of Birds. These are divided among six components, according to type of specimen or method of preservation; most components are among the largest in North America or the world: study skins (156,000); spread wings (5,500; probably largest in world); skeletons (15,700; 10th largest in world); fluid-preserved specimens (6,700); eggs (10,000 sets; 12th largest in North America); and nests (1,000).

Powdermill Avian Research Center

Website

Powdermill Avian Research Center (PARC) is part of Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s biological research station Powdermill Nature Reserve. PARC operates a bird banding station, conducts bioacoustical research, and performs flight tunnel analysis with the goal of reducing window collisions…

Reserves

Gwynedd Wildlife Preserve

Webpage

Satellite View

Ponds and wetland areas, large meadows, woodlands and successional areas with interconnecting hedgerows provide habitat for a variety of wildlife…

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary

Website

Satellite View

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is a 2,400-acre natural area straddling the Kittatinny Ridge in eastern Pennsylvania. Established in 1934, it was the world's first refuge for raptors. During the last 64 years, the Sanctuary has become an international centre for conservation, education, and research about raptors…

Honey Hollow Environmental Education Center

Website

Satellite View

The Bucks County Audubon Society (BCAS) is a private, non-profit organization founded as a chapter of the National Audubon Society in 1969. Since its inception, BCAShas been dedicated to conserving wildlife, promoting awareness of environmental problems, watching birds, educating the community about the interdependence of humans and their world, and furthering the wise use of land, air, and water.

John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove

Webpage

Satellite View

The First Home of John James Audubon in America…

Mariton Wildlife Sanctuary

Webpage

Satellite View

A conservation project of the Natural Lands Trust, Inc., this beautiful sanctuary features 200 acres of woodlands, fields and trails, and is home to a wide variety of mammals, reptiles and birds.

Monocacy Nature Center

Webpage

Satellite View

Welcome to the Monocacy Nature Center. This area has been set aside as a sanctuary by the city of Bethlehem. This is a place to enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of nature. Please do not litter or run your dogs here. Motorized vehicles are not permitted.

Pennsylvania National Parks

Website

Information on a variety of parks

Pennsylvania Refuges - US Fish & Wildlife Service

Website

Comprehensive information

Pennsylvania State Parks

Website

Useful resource

Powdermill Nature Reserve

Webpage

Satellite View

The reserve is used by scientists to monitor and study changes in the local ecology and wildlife populations. It has served as a refuge for many plants and animals which, as a result of habitat distruction, are now becoming increasingly rare in our region as their habitats are destroyed. Powdermill Run, the mountain spring stream that traverses the mixed deciduous forest property, was found to be one of the very few unpolluted streams available for ongoing studies of aquatic life…

Presque Isle State Park

Webpage

Satellite View

A National Natural Landmark, the peninsula is recognized internationally as an ecological gem, making it important as a research and educational area. With its ever changing wealth of habitats, it is considered the world's best-known place to see and study plant succession. It is listed in Birder's World magazine as one of the top birding spots in the country, with at least 321 species having been seen.

Blogs

Birdchaser

Blog

The art, science, sport, and mystery of living with birds…

Deep Creek Images

Gallery

Deep Creek Images TM specializes in artistic photos taken of Deep Creek Lake and the surrounding areas in Western Maryland, West Virginia and the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania…

Outside My Window - Kate St John

Blog

Though her job is in computer management at WQED, Kate St. John has been fascinated by birds nearly all her life.

Philly Bird Nerd

Blog

Birding friends BLOG and pics…

Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky

Blog

Poetry, birding, gardening and other reflections on Pennsylvania life…

Words about Birds - Tim Schreckengost

Blog

I am a student at Penn State University studying Wildlife Science. I am extremely interested in birds and have been actively birding since the fall of 2009. I have worked as a technician for both the University of Tennessee and Penn State University. With the University of Tennessee, I surveyed for grassland species throughout south-central Kentucky. I surveyed vegetation and banded songbirds for Penn State University throughout the northwestern portion of Pennsylvania.This year I am trying to see over 400 species of birds throughout the United States…

Other Links

Bird Bath & Beyond

Website

Save time and money shopping for a solar bird bath fountain, bluebird house, hummingbird feeder and many other wild bird accessories and back yard decor at Bird Bath & Beyond. Bird Bath and Beyond offers low prices and fast shipping so you don't have to run all over town to find what you need.

Bird Treks

Website

Our goal at BIRD TREKS [based in Pennsylvania] is to provide you with a quality, enjoyable, professionally organized birding experience, to beautiful and exciting destinations, all at a reasonable and affordable price. Our tours are designed to satisfy the needs of all types of birders, from the brand new bird watcher to the seasoned veteran. Please don't be shy if you are just beginning to learn about birds. People with birding knowledge and experience take great pleasure in helping to guide you and point you in the right direction. Helping others is one of the great joys of birding.

Delmarva Birding

Website

Sightings and adventures in birding on the Delmarva Peninsula…

Nutty Birdwatcher

Website

The beauty of birds, their songs and the ease of watching birds is a pleasureable and inspirational factor that helps us to develop our interest in them. Birdwatching fits so well with other outdoor activities of nature, fishing, walking, and camping which takes us out into the fields and woods where we may hear a bird song or see a colorful bird in a bush. This is the beginning of exploring the nature of birds.

Pennsylvania Birding Trails

Website

Interactive list - Pennsylvania is a state with beautiful rolling hills, vast grasslands, old forests and scenic mountain views. It is the perfect backdrop for any birdwatcher. We have four distinct seasons for birdwatching, during which bird species fluctuate from season to season…

Perky-Pet Feeders & Bird Food

Website

Our site is an excellent resource for information on Hummingbirds, Wild Birds and Orioles as well as the greatest selection of gorgeous and affordable Hummingbird Feeders, Wild Bird Feeders, Oriole Feeders, Feeder Accessories, Bird Baths, and Birdhouses….

Shaver's Creek Environmental Centre

Website

Shaver's Creek is one of only a few federal and state facilities in central Pennsylvania licensed to conduct educational programs with permanently injured (non-releasable) birds of prey. With approximately twenty birds of over a dozen species, the Raptor Center offers the visiting public a variety of live specimens, including vultures, falcons, owls, hawks, and eagles. The main goals of the Raptor Center include the conservation of these majestic birds through education, as well as captive breeding programs that promote the understanding and well being of native raptor populations. Volunteers provide over 2500 hours of their time each year, and donations help offset the costs of the medical care and daily maintenance of the birds.

Tussey Mountain Spring Hawkwatch

Website

Part-time spring counts made at Tussey Mountain during the late-1990s showed that it is an excellent spot to see GEs on their spring migration. The first year of full-time coverage (2001) produced 166 GEs (easily the highest ever spring count east of the Rockies); as well as thousands of other hawks…

Venango County Birds

PDF

Venango County is located in northwestern Pennsylvania, between Pittsburgh and Erie, surrounded by Forest County to the east, Clarion to the east and southeast, Butler to the south, Mercer to the west, Crawford to the west and north, and a little of Warren to the north.

Photographers & Artists

Arts ‘N Images - Nature

Gallery

Nature Photography with emphasis on birds local to Mid Atlantic and Texas and more…

Library - Visual Resources for Ornithology

Gallery

VIREO, the world's most comprehensive collection of bird photographs, includes over 85,000 photographs of 5,832 species of birds. VIREO was established in 1979 to create a centralised, well curated collection of bird photographs accessible for scientific and public use. VIREO makes photographs available to a wide spectrum of users. Some of the world's best bird photographers are VIREO contributors. VIREO is constantly expanding its collection and looking for new talent.

Photographer - Andy Smith

Gallery

Some excellent portraits of birds among other wildlife subjects…

Photographer - Harris Brown

Gallery

Gallery of fine bird photos…

Webcam - The Franklin Institute Hawk Nest

Facebook Page

A few weeks ago, the hawks began to construct the outer shell of a nest by positioning sticks on the ledge. Before they were able to complete their project, however, strong winds knocked the structure from the ledge. After consulting with experts at the nearby Academy of Natural Sciences and the Pennsylvania Game Commission to learn that the hawks would not abandon the nest if humans intervened, The Franklin Institute's staff carpenter added a wooden extension to the ledge and replaced the nest…