Pennsylvania Birds Identification

In addition to being one of the biggest industrial hubs in the country, Pennsylvania is also renowned for its historical significance to the history of the country. In addition to all of that, the state is proud to be one of the states in North America with the highest density of bird species!

More than 435 distinct bird species may be found in Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania Ornithological Records Committee (PORC). This page is for you if you want to learn more about Pennsylvania’s birds.

We’ll take you on a tour of some of the most intriguing and vibrant birds you may see in the Keystone State today. Let’s dig in and learn more about these birds without further ado!

Birds in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s official bird is the Ruffed Grouse. Early settlers relied heavily on this bird as a source of food, hence it was chosen in 1931. Brown with black ruffs on its neck, the Ruffed Grouse has a chicken-like appearance.

The Bald Eagle, with a wingspan of up to 8 feet (2.5 m) for females, is the largest bird in Pennsylvania. This American bird of national symbolism, which has a white head, is a strong raptor.

The Calliope Hummingbird, which is the smallest bird in Pennsylvania and measures just about 3 inches long, can fly far—all the way from Canada to southern Mexico.

The Northern Cardinal is the most prevalent bird in Pennsylvania, appearing on 50% of checklists for the state that have been submitted to ebird during the year.

Although Pennsylvania does not have any national parks, it does contain 121 state parks, 3 national wildlife refuges, 20 state forests, and 1 national forest, all of which are good places to go bird watching.

Continue reading to learn more about the birds that may be seen in Pennsylvania’s backyards throughout the year, view images, and download a free bird identification chart to keep track of your observations.

Northern Cardinal

Pennsylvania is a year-round home to several Northern Cardinals. They are listed in 47% of the state’s winter checklists and 55% of the summer checklists supplied by bird watchers.

An amazing sight, especially against a white winter backdrop, is the male Northern Cardinal’s brilliant crimson body and black face-ring. In addition, they feature crimson beaks and crests.

The brown hue, distinct brown crest, red accents, and red beaks of the females also give them a spectacular appearance.

The Eastern part of the US, as well as several southern states as far west as Arizona, are home to Northern Cardinals.

Foraging for seeds, fruit, and insects, Northern Cardinals can be seen in areas with thick vegetation. Occasionally during the breeding season, Northern Cardinals would attack their own reflections in an effort to zealously protect their lands.

Purple Martins

In eastern North America, purple martins (Progne subis) are widely recognized for nesting in artificial colonies, and during the fall migration, they are well known in southern North America for roosting in large groups.

Their breeding area includes the central Canadian prairies and the Canadian Maritime Provinces to the north. Because it uses holes in trees and cactus there for breeding, the bird is less frequent and less noticeable throughout much of the western half of the continent.

Adult Progne subis are around the size of European Starlings, and they may appear to be similar in flight. Males have pointed wings, a short forked tail, and are consistently shining blue-black. Females have a similar appearance but have a light gray forehead, neck, and breast. Western women often have lighter-colored breasts.

Colonies are found close to water, where the birds may find an abundance of food. For example, Purple Martins eat insects that they catch in the air. Breeding males arrive first, choosing and protecting nesting sites, and then they wait for the arrival of the females a few weeks later.

House Finch

Another popular bird that can be seen all throughout the nation and is fairly prevalent in Pennsylvania is the American House Finch, which may be seen nesting in birdhouses.

The majority of the male birds’ heads and wings are covered in rosy red plumage with brown streaks.

The bird’s food, however, has a significant impact on the color brilliance. Females, on the other hand, are a light brown color with gray accents.

American Robin

The northern part of the United States is home to this ubiquitous garden bird, while the southern half sees it frequently in the winter.

American robins live all year long in Pennsylvania and have a wide range there.

Identification: In order to compare this species to an unidentified bird.

10 inches from the tip of the beak to the end of the tail. around the same size as a Blue Jay or a Scrub-Jay. Greater than Red-winged Blackbird in size. lesser than a mourning dove in size.

Breeds in the north spanning Alaska and Canada. residing primarily in the United States (lower 48). American, Mexican, and Central American winters.

Hops on your lawn and starts circling in search of food. One of the earliest indications of spring in the north is the sound of their carols.

Worms and other invertebrates in the yard provide good food, according to the feeder. Fruit from a feeder tray or the ground may be eaten. Consume berries that grow on trees and bushes.

White-throated Sparrow

Color and markings: The White-throated Sparrow’s wings and tail are primarily brown, although there is some white edging at the shoulders and some black edging all over its plumage.

While the sides are gray, the breast and underbelly are white. This bird has a gray face with a white chin and a very striking white ‘eyebrow’ that ends with a yellow mark close to the short, silver bill.

This bird has “skunk” patterns on the cap, with the top of the head being black and divided by a distinct white stripe down the middle. The ‘Tan Striped’ version of this swallow has the same patterns but in brown rather than black.

Blue Jay

In Pennsylvania, you may see blue jays year-round. They are found in 46% of the state’s summer checklists and 36% of its winter checklists.

Common big songbirds with a blue erect crest, blue and black backs, and white undersides are called blue jays.

Blue Jays spend their entire year in southern Canada and the eastern US states. Some birds will migrate west during the winter, although this is not particularly common.

They are obtrusive birds that move in family groups and consume acorns when they are available. As they consume acorns, they are typically found in woodlands close to oak trees. They can also be discovered in yards next to feeders. In addition to acorns, they consume insects, grains, nuts, and seeds. They may also steal nestlings or eggs from nests.

Large birds like blue jays prefer to fly in, snag some sunflower or peanut seeds, and carry them away to eat. To facilitate a speedy evacuation, they like platform or tray feeders.

Nuts, seeds, and suet all be used to entice Blue Jays to your garden. The open tray feeders or hopper feeders on a pole are preferred by them. And a birdbath will be fun for them.

Green Heron

This bird’s distinctive green-black crown, which contrasts sharply with its brown face and neck, is one of its identifying characteristics.

Greenish yellow legs and an array of brown and green colors in the bill contrast with the white belly and foreneck. All herons regard their bills highly since they can stab their prey with just a swift movement of their necks.

In Ontario’s southern areas, the Green Heron is most frequently spotted, whereas it is scarcer in the north and central sections of the province. They are most frequently observed around freshwater lakes, marshes, and streams. They can stay near the water and more quickly swoop down on prey because to their small legs.

A Green Heron favors a coastline with a lot of emergent foliage because it makes it simpler for them to skulk while feeding. The Green Heron is known for its keen cry and is typically observed soaring fast out of bushes or shrubs.

Tiny water creatures including small fish, frogs, tadpoles, and crayfish, as well as small rodents and snakes, are the main food sources for these herons. The Green Heron stalks and waits for its victim, like the majority of herons, before striking rapidly with a long, pointed beak.

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

In terms of bird species, woodpeckers are among the most prevalent in Pennsylvania. Red-bellied Woodpeckers are among the most prevalent of all the birds.

This intriguing bird has a number of distinguishing traits that make them quite simple to recognize. For instance, the bird has a very vivid red patch that extends from the rear of its head to the top of it.

The bird also has a crimson wash on its abdomen and checkered wings and back, which is how the species names came to be.

The Red-bellied Woodpecker is frequently drawn to water, such as tiny rivers and ponds, but you can also see them hanging around in suburban areas in search of insects.

Tufted Titmouse – Baeolophus bicolor

As implied by the Latin names, this bird’s primary coloration is bicolor. With one slight exception, the Tufted Titmouse’s ings and tail are blue and gray while its breast and underside are a light shade of white. There will be a hint of peach on the bird’s flanks.

Facetiously, the bird’s upper face is the same silvery-blue as its body, with the exception of its white chin, cheek, and eye-outlining white. The identification of this bird is made possible by its short, slightly curved black beak and a black mark located above the bill.

Habitat: Although the Tufted Titmouse prefers deciduous woodlands, it will obediently visit parks and yards. Keep an eye out for them and be sure to lay out some snacks—this is a beautiful bird, and you don’t want to miss it!

Suet, peanuts, and Black Oil sunflower seeds provide an excellent diet for luring and maintaining this bird as a guest.

Mourning Dove

In Pennsylvania, mourning doves are visible throughout the year, but from March to September, when they breed, is when they are most numerous. They are listed in 48% of the state’s summer checklists and 36% of its winter checklists.

Mourning Doves have tiny, beautiful heads, rounded bodies, and long tails. They have wings that are a light brown tint with black markings. Men are a little bit heavier than women.

Mourning Doves are widespread across the lower 48 states throughout the year, however they occasionally move after nesting in the northern Midwest and southern Canada.

Mourning In meadows, farms, and backyards, doves can be spotted perching on telephone lines and scavenging for seeds on the ground. They may also be found in open spaces at the borders of forests.

Put out platform feeders or sprinkle millet on the ground to draw mourning doves to your garden. They will also consume broken corn, peanut hearts, black sunflower seeds, and nyjer.

Least Sandpiper

The Least Sandpiper has a white tummy and a brown breast with faint black spots. Over its eye, they have a light stripe. It has golden legs and a short, elongated, curved beak. Its tail is covered with a black stripe that starts on its rump. Both sexes are similar in color.

Alternate adult: The Least Sandpiper has a brown head, dark-colored plumage, and brown wing feather margins. It has black spots on its brown breast. The bird’s crest is a smoky tint, while its stomach is ivory.

Average wing and tail lengths are around 3 1/2 inches and 1 1/2 inches, respectively.

The tundra in Central Alaska and across Northern Canada is where the Least Sandpiper breeds. They construct their nests in hollows or simple depressions on the dry ground near water.

In the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Sable Islands, Nova Scotia, and the Magdalen Islands, they also lay their eggs. They cover the nest in moss and grasses.

The female Least Sandpiper produces four golden, brown eggs with chestnut and lavender colored markings after mating. The male bird typically sits on the eggs by himself for around 21 days, after which the young birds hatch and the pair raises one brood year.

On mud flats, birds look for food. Insects including mosquitoes, beach fleas, and flies, as well as tiny crustaceans, mollusks, marine worms, and snails, make up the majority of their food. They occasionally hunt for food by sight and occasionally use their bill to probe the mud flats’ subsurface. They’ll consume some plant material.

Red-Winged Blackbird

The amazing Red-winged Blackbird is one of the most prevalent blackbird species in Pennsylvania.

This bird has a crimson patch on top of its shoulder that runs down the first half of its wing in orange and yellow tones. The bird’s normal shiny black plumage covers the remainder of its body, much like other blackbirds.

The plumage of female birds differs, with the bird’s belly and wings mostly being dark with white streaks running through them. This type of blackbird is drawn to sources of water like garden fountains, like the majority of blackbirds.

Gray-cheeked Thrush

The Gray-cheeked Thrush has large wings and a short tail, and is mostly brown or gray on top. The majority of the breast and underside are typically smooth gray, with the top portion of the breast typically being gray and brown with patches.

You’ll see that the spots form lines at the throat and continue to do so until they frame the cheek, at which point the bird’s face takes on the color of the rest of its body. The golden beak of this bird is small and pointed.

Size: This bird measures around 6.7 inches in length and has wings that are about 12.6 to 13.4 inches wide.

This is one of the habitats to search for. Deep within the woods or along their edge, these timid tiny birds hide themselves in areas of dense foliage.

The Gray-cheeked Thrush’s natural diet consists of insects, therefore mealworms are an excellent choice. If you have shrubs and fruit vines in your yard, the Gray-cheeked Thrush could be enticed to come.