Black-bellied Plover
Hudsonian Godwit
American Goldfinch
Black-and-white Warbler
Northern Shoveler
Northern Harrier
Horned Grebe
Scarlet Tanager
Eastern Kingbird
Prairie Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Ring-necked Duck
American Robin
Northern Saw-whet-owl
Snowy Owl
Hooded Merganser
Horned Lark
Northern Parula
Eastern Meadowlark
Purple Martin
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Belted Kingfisher
Ring-necked Pheasant
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Laughing Gull
Yellow-throated Warbler
Grasshopper Sparrow
Hooded Warbler
Broad-winged Hawk
Magnolia Warbler

Bird Surveys


The US Fish & Wildlife Services Division of Migratory Birds has once again asked Pennsylvania to participate in the Fall Sandhill Crane Survey.  This year the survey will be conducted on October 30. If October 30 is not possible, then the survey should fall within the period Oct. 30 - Nov. 3

Experienced birders are invited to join this statewide monitoring effort. Counts are best conducted within 30 minutes after sunrise or 30 minutes before sunset. If dawn/dusk surveys are not possible, cranes can be tallied during the day as they forage in small groups. Background info, protocol and data sheet are available on the PGC website on the PGC Birding and Bird Conservation page. PGC Birding and Bird Conservation page.

Survey sheets can be printed from the web page and mailed to the address provided. Online reporting is also available via the website. Thanks for your help in making others aware of this effort, and please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

166 cranes were observed in the November 2016 survey. This is 15 more cranes than observed in 2015, 40 more than that of 2014, and 68 more than in 2013.  This is further evidence that the sandhill crane population is continuing to expand in PA. Cranes were observed in seven counties: Bradford, Crawford, Lackawanna, Lawrence, Mercer, Sullivan and Wyoming.




The Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) is responsible for protecting heron populations and tracking their distribution in the state.  The PGC is conducting a comprehensive survey of heron colonies.  The goal is to count all the nests of each species—Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Black-crowned Night-Heron, and Yellow-crowned Night-Heron—at each site, creating a "snapshot" of the distribution of nesting herons statewide. If you know where herons are nesting, the PGC would appreciate hearing from you. Don't assume someone else will report local nests.

To get started, visit the PGC’s Heron Colony Observation Survey page. By following the protocol you'll ensure your fieldwork will help science and not disrupt nesting herons. Submit your completed survey forms to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

With such widely distributed species and limited resources, the PGC relies on the help of volunteers like you to improve our understanding of their distribution and numbers.  Even though many heron colonies are documented across the Commonwealth, you may know about colonies that the PGC does not. Your contributions are critical to improving PGC’s information and developing the most complete picture possible of the current status of Pennsylvania's heron populations. The information will be used to update the Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program database and provide protection for colonies.

But remember: as much as we want all the nests counted, the birds come first.  Their nests should be monitored with binoculars from a safe distance. Do not approach nests.

For more information contact:

Patricia Barber, Endangered Species Biologist

Pennsylvania Game Commission

2001 Elmerton Avenue

Harrisburg, PA  17110-9797





The Ornithological Technical Committee of PA Biological Survey is seeking birders' assistance in reporting sightings of Northern Goshawks across the state, particularly between early April to July.  The last Atlas results suggest that goshawks may no longer nest along Kittatinny Ridge. This project wants to send experienced birders into areas where known nests were once reported or where a model of habitat needs suggests possible prime habitat to see if there are signs of goshawks or territories that are occupied, specifically potential or historically-used habitat from Appalachians northward. If sites are still occupied, the project will try to provide protection to ensure their safety.

If you have time to spend a day exploring deep woods locations in your county, contact Dr. Laurie Goodrich at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Dr. Margaret Brittingham at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You will be provided with maps of areas in need of checking and a protocol of what to record. In part the goal is to at least check the habitat to see what the forest looks like in these sites: if there are big disturbances or forest cuts, if redtails have moved in, if it still looks to have potential for habitat, etc.

Go to for information on Northern Goshawks, their identification, etc., and a link to an online reporting form and a printable form for reporting your sighting. All reports will be kept in a highly confidential database housed at Penn State University, overseen by Dr. Brittingham. 

Another way to report Northern Goshawk sightings is by contacting the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC). The PGC is especially interested in sightings on state game lands. The State Wildlife Action Plan identifies this “ultimate forest raptor” as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need and a Near-Threatened species. Very few reports of goshawks on territory have been received in 2017. If you did search for goshawks on game lands where you found them before, but did not detect them again, the PGC would like to know. Also, any goshawk observations on game lands in an area where there may be conflict issues between goshawks and humans should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or directly to Doug Gross at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Read an extensive news story on goshawks on PA eBird.

For more information, contact Lisa M. Williams, PGC Wildlife Biologist, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 




Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania is seeking help monitoring usage of its 150 Chimney Swift towers throughout the Southwestern Pennsylvania region. Swifts are a neo-tropical migratory bird that has experienced a serious decline over the last 50 years.

They are now considered Near Threatened. The Chimney Swift towers have been installed throughout the region to provide nesting and roosting habitat for this important bird. If you see birds entering or near the chimneys, take note of the tower ID number and submit your observations to In addition, if you know of any roosting locations that are not on the map, submit them to or email them to Sarah This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For more information on Chimney Swifts, a map of Chimney Swift tower locations, and ASWP's conservation programs, visit