Top 15 Types Of Birds In Pennsylvania (with Photos)

Pennsylvania, a state known for its diverse wildlife, is home to a wide variety of bird species that grace its skies and woodlands.

From majestic raptors like the Bald Eagle and Red-tailed Hawk to charming songbirds like the Eastern Bluebird and American Robin, the avian population in Pennsylvania offers a captivating glimpse into the rich natural heritage of the region.

But it doesn't stop there. As we delve into the depths of this discussion, we will uncover even more intriguing bird species that call Pennsylvania their home, leaving you with a sense of wonder and a desire to explore further.

Bald Eagle

symbol of american freedom

The Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is a majestic bird of prey found in Pennsylvania, known for its iconic white head and impressive wingspan. This species prefers habitats near large bodies of water such as rivers, lakes, and coastal areas. These habitats provide an abundant food supply, consisting mainly of fish, which is the primary diet of the Bald Eagle. Additionally, tall trees near the water serve as nesting sites for these birds.

Bald Eagle conservation efforts in Pennsylvania have been successful in recent years. Due to habitat loss and hunting, the population of Bald Eagles declined significantly in the past. However, with the implementation of conservation measures such as habitat protection, nest monitoring, and banning of harmful pesticides, the population has rebounded. The Bald Eagle is no longer listed as endangered and has been upgraded to the status of 'threatened' in Pennsylvania.

These conservation efforts highlight the importance of preserving suitable habitats for the survival and recovery of this iconic bird species.

Eastern Bluebird

bright blue bird species

Having discussed the successful conservation efforts for the Bald Eagle, we now turn our attention to the fascinating Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis), a small thrush species commonly found in Pennsylvania.

The Eastern Bluebird is known for its vibrant blue plumage, rusty-orange breast, and white belly. This species can be found in a variety of habitats including open woodlands, farmlands, and suburban areas with scattered trees and open spaces.

They prefer areas with short grasses and perches, such as fence posts or low tree branches, which they use to scan for insects and small fruits. Eastern Bluebirds are cavity nesters and will readily use nest boxes provided by humans.

They typically build their nests in cavities of trees or in man-made structures, and females lay 4-6 pale blue eggs. The male and female both take part in incubating the eggs, which hatch in about two weeks. Eastern Bluebirds are known for their monogamous breeding habits and will often raise two broods in a single breeding season.

Red-tailed Hawk

majestic bird of prey

What are the distinguishing characteristics of the Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), a common raptor species found in Pennsylvania?

The Red-tailed Hawk is a large bird of prey with a wingspan of up to 56 inches and a body length of around 18-26 inches. As the name suggests, it has a distinct red tail that is visible when it soars through the sky.

This hawk is known for its broad wings and a dark belly band that contrasts with its light-colored chest. In Pennsylvania, Red-tailed Hawks are found year-round, but they are also known for their migration patterns. During the winter months, they may migrate to southern regions in search of food.

Conservation efforts for the Red-tailed Hawk focus on protecting its habitat and ensuring the availability of prey species.

American Robin

common north american songbird

The American Robin (Turdus migratorius) is a widely recognized and iconic bird species found in Pennsylvania and throughout North America. These birds are known for their distinctive red breast, gray back, and white underparts.

American Robins are migratory birds, with their migration patterns varying depending on the region. In Pennsylvania, they typically arrive in the spring and leave in the fall. During migration, American Robins can form large flocks and cover long distances.

Their diet consists mainly of earthworms, insects, and fruits. They are particularly fond of berries, such as those from holly and juniper trees.

American Robins have adapted well to human-altered environments and can often be found nesting in suburban areas, parks, and gardens. Despite their name, American Robins are not true robins, but rather a member of the thrush family.

Carolina Chickadee

small bird of carolina

The Carolina Chickadee (Poecile carolinensis) is another notable bird species found in Pennsylvania and shares a similar adaptability to human-altered environments as the American Robin. This small songbird is predominantly found in the eastern parts of North America, including Pennsylvania.

The natural habitat of the Carolina Chickadee includes deciduous and mixed forests, woodlands, and suburban areas with plenty of trees and shrubs. They are also known to inhabit parks and gardens.

In terms of diet preferences, the Carolina Chickadee primarily feeds on insects, spiders, and other invertebrates during the breeding season. They also consume seeds and berries, particularly during the winter months when their primary food sources are scarce.

Northern Cardinal

vibrant red bird species

Native to Pennsylvania and other parts of North America, the Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) is a prominent bird species known for its vibrant plumage and melodic song. The male possesses a striking red coloration, while the female exhibits a more subdued reddish-brown hue.

These birds are typically found in woodlands, gardens, and shrubby areas, where they forage for seeds, fruits, and insects. The Northern Cardinal is a monogamous species, with pairs often seen together year-round. They engage in courtship rituals, with the male serenading the female with its melodious song.

These birds are also known for their territorial behavior, defending their preferred feeding and nesting areas from intruders. Conservation efforts are crucial for the Northern Cardinal, as habitat loss and fragmentation pose threats to their populations.

Baltimore Oriole

bird of baltimore baseball

After exploring the fascinating traits and conservation efforts surrounding the Northern Cardinal, it is now time to shift our focus towards the Baltimore Oriole, another captivating bird species found in Pennsylvania and various parts of North America.

The Baltimore Oriole, scientifically known as Icterus galbula, is a medium-sized songbird with vibrant orange and black plumage, making it easily recognizable. These birds are known for their melodic songs, which can be heard during the breeding season.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the Baltimore Oriole is its bird migration behavior. These birds undertake long-distance migrations, traveling from their wintering grounds in Central America and northern South America to their breeding grounds in North America, including Pennsylvania. This annual migration is an extraordinary feat, requiring precise navigation skills and endurance.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

beautiful small iridescent bird

A remarkable avian species found in Pennsylvania, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) is renowned for its vibrant plumage and exceptional flight capabilities. These tiny birds are known for their distinctive ruby-colored throat patch, which glistens like a precious gem in the sunlight.

As migratory birds, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds spend their winters in Central America and Mexico, and then make an incredible journey northward to Pennsylvania and other parts of eastern North America during the breeding season. Their migration patterns are influenced by environmental factors such as food availability and weather conditions.

In terms of feeding habits, these hummingbirds primarily rely on nectar from flowers, which they gather using their long, specialized bills and extendable tongues. They also supplement their diet with insects for protein.

These fascinating birds are a delight to observe as they hover mid-air, their wings beating rapidly, while sipping nectar from flowers and engaging in high-speed chases with other hummingbirds.

Great Horned Owl

nocturnal bird with large horns

Continuing our exploration of avian species in Pennsylvania, we now turn our attention to the impressive Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus), a formidable bird known for its commanding presence and exceptional hunting abilities.

The Great Horned Owl is a bird of prey and is one of the largest and most powerful owls found in Pennsylvania. As a nocturnal bird, it is well-adapted to hunting in low light conditions, using its keen eyesight and excellent hearing to locate prey, which primarily includes small mammals and birds.

This owl is a common sight in Pennsylvania, as it can be found in a variety of habitats such as forests, woodlands, and even urban areas. Owl conservation is an important aspect of Pennsylvania wildlife management, as Great Horned Owls play a crucial role in maintaining the balance of the ecosystem by controlling rodent populations.

Their nesting habits are versatile, as they can utilize abandoned nests of other birds or even create their own nests in tree cavities. Understanding owl behavior and hunting techniques is essential for their conservation and ensuring their continued presence in Pennsylvania.

American Goldfinch

bright yellow bird species

The American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) is a small songbird native to Pennsylvania, known for its vibrant yellow plumage and cheerful, melodic song. Attracting goldfinches to your backyard can be achieved by providing the right environment. These birds are attracted to open areas with plenty of sunflowers, coneflowers, and thistles, as they feed mainly on seeds. Planting these flowers and providing a source of water will create an ideal habitat for goldfinches.

Understanding the migration patterns of goldfinches is another fascinating aspect of their behavior. These birds are partial migrants, meaning that while some individuals migrate, others stay in Pennsylvania year-round. Goldfinches migrate in flocks, and their movements are influenced by the availability of food and the changing seasons. They are known to gather in large numbers during the fall and winter months, forming impressive flocks.

Tufted Titmouse

small gray bird with crest

With its distinctive crested head and inquisitive nature, the Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) is a common songbird found throughout Pennsylvania. This small bird, measuring around 5.5 to 6.3 inches in length, is easily recognizable by its gray plumage, rusty flanks, and prominent black forehead patch. The tufted titmouse prefers deciduous and mixed forests, where it can be seen foraging for insects, seeds, and berries in the understory and mid-canopy levels. It is a non-migratory species and can be found year-round in Pennsylvania.

The tufted titmouse is known for its lively and social behavior. It is often seen in small groups, and its loud, whistling song can be heard throughout the day. This bird is highly curious and can be easily attracted to bird feeders, where it will readily consume sunflower seeds and suet. The tufted titmouse is also known to cache food, storing excess seeds in tree crevices or other hiding spots for later consumption.

Pileated Woodpecker

As we shift our focus to the Pileated Woodpecker, we encounter another fascinating avian species found in the forests of Pennsylvania. The Pileated Woodpecker, scientifically known as Dryocopus pileatus, is one of the largest woodpeckers in North America, measuring approximately 16-19 inches in length. This impressive bird is primarily known for its distinctive red crest and black plumage.

The habitat of the Pileated Woodpecker is predominantly mature forests with large trees, as they rely on these trees for nesting and foraging. They prefer areas with a mix of both open spaces and dense vegetation. Their diet mainly consists of insects, particularly carpenter ants and wood-boring beetle larvae, which they extract from trees using their strong bills.

Pileated Woodpeckers are known for their drumming behavior, which involves rapidly pecking on trees to communicate with other woodpeckers and establish territory. They also have a distinctive call, often described as a loud, high-pitched 'wick-a-wick-a-wick.'

American Crow

intelligent and adaptable blackbird

Native to Pennsylvania, the American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) is a highly adaptable and intelligent bird species that is widely distributed across the state. Known for its glossy black feathers, the American Crow can be easily identified by its distinctive cawing call. These birds exhibit complex social behavior and are often found in large groups called murders, which can consist of hundreds or even thousands of individuals.

American Crows are opportunistic omnivores, feeding on a wide range of food sources including insects, small mammals, fruits, and carrion. They are also known to be highly resourceful, using tools and problem-solving skills to obtain food. Their intelligence and adaptability have allowed them to thrive in various habitats, including urban areas.

Conservation efforts for American Crows primarily focus on maintaining their populations and habitats. These birds play an important role in ecosystems as scavengers and seed dispersers. However, they may sometimes come into conflict with humans due to their habit of raiding crops or nesting in urban areas. Efforts are made to educate the public about coexisting with crows and implementing non-lethal methods to manage conflicts when they arise.

Eastern Screech Owl

nocturnal owl species

The Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio) is a small, nocturnal bird species native to Pennsylvania. These owls are known for their distinctive calls, which can range from a low-pitched trill to a high-pitched whinny.

They have excellent camouflage, with plumage that can vary from gray to reddish-brown, allowing them to blend seamlessly into their surroundings. Eastern Screech Owls are cavity nesters, often taking up residence in tree cavities or nest boxes.

They have a diverse diet, feeding on a variety of small mammals, birds, and insects. These owls are solitary birds, typically only coming together during the breeding season. They are highly territorial and will defend their nests vigorously.

Eastern Screech Owls can be found in a range of habitats, including forests, woodlands, and suburban areas with suitable nesting sites.

Common Grackle

noisy blackbird with iridescent plumage

The Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) is a species of bird found in Pennsylvania that is known for its unique vocalizations and bold, iridescent plumage. These birds are often seen in urban and suburban areas, as well as in open fields and woodlands. Common Grackles have a varied diet, feeding on insects, seeds, fruits, and even small vertebrates. They are highly social and can be found in large flocks, especially during the breeding season.

One interesting behavior of the Common Grackle is its ability to mimic other bird species. They are known to imitate the calls of other birds, adding complexity to their vocal repertoire. Additionally, they engage in a behavior called 'anting,' where they rub ants on their feathers, possibly to obtain formic acid that acts as an insecticide or to stimulate preening.

When it comes to migration patterns, Common Grackles are considered short-distance migrants. In Pennsylvania, they can be seen year-round, but some individuals may migrate to southern regions during the winter months. Their migration patterns are influenced by factors such as food availability and weather conditions.

About the author

I'm Gulshan, a passionate pet enthusiast. Dive into my world where I share tips, stories, and snapshots of my animal adventures. Here, pets are more than just animals; they're heartbeats that enrich our lives. Join our journey!