About Birds of Pennsylvania


The Birds of Pennsylvania lists all of the species on the Official List of Birds of Pennsylvania as determined by the Pennsylvania Ornithological Records Committee.

Therefore, some species which in fact have been seen in Pennsylvania are not included, as they have not been substantially documented or the documentation (such as an old museum specimen) has been lost.


To select a species, either scroll down the box or type the first letter of the name to quickly jump to that section of the list in the Select Species box and click on the species desired. Note: Only the first letter works. Typing more than one letter takes you to the section that begins with that letter, not the section that begins with the two letters you typed..


The information displayed is defined as follows:


Abundance: Refers to the number of this species that a competent birder is likely to find during a typical day of birding in the proper habitat and time of year.


Occurrence: Refers to how frequently this species occurs in the state (regardless of abundance).


Seasonal Status: Whether this species is found year-round, migrates, breeds, etc.


PORC Review Species: Whether this species requires documentation to be accepted as a valid record.


Notable Records: Lists records for this species that appeared in the "Birds of Note" section of Pennsylvania Birds since 1992 and records of species prior to 1992 that have occured fewer than ten times in Pennsylvania. These are records that are unusual — either because the bird is rare or out-of-season. For instance, a Yellow Warbler (common during the summer) would show up in the Birds of Note section if it was found in February. Note: 1992 is the start date, as that is when the Birds of Note section was begun. Prior to then, these types of records were buried in county reports and were very difficult to find and extract.


Species of Special Concern: This is a list of breeding species that the Pennsylvania Game Commission has determined to have some conservation concern. Either the species is very rare or is being subjected to environmental stresses affecting its breeding status in the state. The status is determined solely on the bird's status in Pennsylvania, even if it may be abundant elsewhere.


More info: A link to the Handbook of the Birds of the World web site for life-history and other information about this species. NOTE: Since this is a European site, some of the names and species designations do not agree with the American version.


Photograph: A representative photograph of this species taken in Pennsylvania. The caption lists the month and county in which the photo was taken and the name of the photographer.


More photos: A page of additional photos of this species (taken in Pennsylvania) often showing other plumages, male/female/immature, in flight, perched, etc. Some species do not have additional photos.


Range Map: A map of Pennsylvania showing the seasonal occurrence of the species on a county-by-county basis. If the bird occurs in a county (even if only a small corner) the entire county is color-coded appropriately. For instance, in Berks County, Black-throated Green Warblers only breed along the northern boundary (the Kittatiny Ridge), yet the entire county is colored red (for Summer). Rarity dots are placed in the center of the county (not the specific location) regardless of the number and locations of sightings in the county. A red question mark(?) indicates possible or occasional breeding in that county. Summering information (Ie. breeding) is based on the maps in the Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in Pennsylvania, Wilson, Brauning & Mulvihill, 2012.


Seasonal Abundance Graph: This bar chart shows the seasonal occurrence using the abundance definitions cited above. Some of the graphs are split between regions. The regions are defined as shown on ths map.


PA Regions