Pennsylvania’s 5 Best Bird-Watching Spots this Summer

Written by Abdulmumin Akinde
Updated: October 10, 2022
© Carolyn Lee Anderson/Shutterstock.com
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Despite being one of the most populous states in the United States, Pennsylvania still has a lot of untouched natural habitats. In fact, forestlands make up more than half of the state’s total land area. There are also several farmlands, mountains, parks, and open spaces where you can observe the wildlife of Pennsylvania. For bird watchers searching for birding sites, you will find several of Pennsylvania’s best bird-watching spots in the central part of the state. 

Even in the eastern and western areas where the state’s population is concentrated, there are a few productive locations to explore for birds. This post details some of the best bird-watching spots in Pennsylvania. 

Pymatuning State Park

Pymatuning State Park in Pennsylvania
Pymatuning State Park is home to an extensive myriad of birds.

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This park is located along the shores of the Pymatuning Reservoir, a vibrant habitat that includes a combination of ponds, lakes, and wooded land. Pymatuning State Park houses what is arguably the most extensive array of birds in Pennsylvania. 

In this park, you’ll find rare bird species like the Bald Eagle that have all but disappeared in other parts of Pennsylvania. There are several trails, roads, and lookout points where you can explore the Pymatuning State Park. You’ll also find an abundance of waterfowl that you can explore from various viewpoints along the shoreline. 

Common bird species at the Pymatuning State Park:

  • Yellow-Billed Cuckoo
  • Least Bittern
  • Indigo Bunting
  • Black-Crowned Night-Heron
  • Wood Duck
  • Willow Flycatcher
  • Marsh Wren
  • American Redstart
  • Acadian Flycatcher
  • Bald Eagle
  • Osprey
  • Swamp Sparrow
  • Wild Turkey

Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area

Geese fly at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area in Pennsylvania
Canadian Geese fly at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area.

©MH Anderson Photography/Shutterstock.com

The vast fields and woodland area of Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area is home to various species of nesting birds. This 6,000-acre Wildlife Management is known primarily for its abundance of waterfowl, grassland birds, and different wetland species. There are more than 270 species of birds that call this area home. However, the massive flock of snow geese that visit this area will be the major highlight of your visit to Middle Creek if you stop over to do some bird watching. 

Middle Creek is actually one of just six globally important bird areas in Pennsylvania. A lot of effort is invested in making this wildlife management area an ideal place to view different bird species. For instance, artificial nesting has been placed in the entire area. The land around the lakes is also farmed to provide pasture for the birds and wildlife of the park. 

Common birds at the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area:

Bald Eagle State Park

Bald Eagle State Park in Pennsylvania
America’s most famous bird can be seen at Bald Eagle State Park.

©Jennifer Pisch/Shutterstock.com

As the name suggests, the Bald Eagle is the main birding highlight of this state park. America’s most famous bird can be seen here in Pennsylvania all year round. However, it is not the only bird species you can see in this park. In fact, Bald Eagle State Park probably has the highest number of bird species in Pennsylvania. 

The hotspot of birding activity in this park is the 1,700-acre lake. Birders can find a combination of waterbirds on this lake, including migrant species and nesting birds. The surrounding hardwood forest and fields also house several interesting nesting birds. In addition, there are several viewing areas, boat ramps, auto roads, and hiking trails winding through the park from where you can observe the park’s birdlife. 

Common birds at the Bald Eagle State Park:

Peace Valley Park

Peace Valley Park in Pennsylvania
You can find Peace Valley Park in Bucks County.

©Dan Josephson/Shutterstock.com

The Peak Valley Park is located in the center of Bucks County, north of Philadelphia. This 1500-acre park boasts a long list of bird species, including some very rare ones that birders have spotted recently. The park is built around a 350-acre reservoir, visited by several species of ducks and other water birds. 

In addition to the lacustrine habitat around the park’s major reservoir, Peace Valley Park also has open fields, hardwood forests, and open fields. Peace Valley’s diverse habitats make it an excellent site for visiting migratory songbirds. Several miles of trails run through the fields and woods of the park from where you can observe the different bird species it has to offer. 

Common birds at Peace Valley Park:

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Pennsylvania
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is located in Lehigh Valley.

©Zack Frank/Shutterstock.com

If you’re a fan of birds of prey, the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, located in Lehigh Valley, is the best place to see them. When the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary was established in 1934, it was the first protected area for raptors and other birds of prey. Today, the sanctuary is one of Pennsylvania’s best bird-watching spots for Ospreys, hawks, falcons, and eagles. The park is open-all-year round to visitors from all over the world. 

The Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is located along the Appalachian flyway. Up to 18,000 migratory birds of prey pass through this flyway every year, and they often stop at the sanctuary during their yearly flight. 

Common bird species to see at the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary:

Pennsylvania’s Best Bird Watching Spots – Notable Mentions

In addition to these five spots, other notable bird-watching spots in Pennsylvania include: 

  • Loyalsock State Forest
  • John Heinz At Tinicum National Wildlife Refuge
  • Lake Ontelaunee
  • Yellow Creek State Park
  • Blue Knob State Park

Conclusion 

Pennsylvania is a hot spot for bird watching during the summer season. The five locations covered in this post are some of Pennsylvania’s best bird-watching spots. Whether you’re a newbie looking to try bird watching or an avid birding enthusiast, these locations are some of the best to explore in the state. 

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The Featured Image

Pymatuning State Park in Pennsylvania
Pymatuning State Park in Pennsylvania.
© Carolyn Lee Anderson/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Abdulmumin is a pharmacist and a top-rated freelance writer on Upwork. He can pretty much write on anything that can be researched on the internet. However, he particularly enjoys writing on health, technology and animals. He is inquisitive and currently aspires to become a software engineer. He loves animals, especially horses and would love to have one someday.

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Sources
  1. Visit Pennsylvania, Available here: https://www.visitpa.com/article/13-best-bird-watching-spots-pa
  2. Audubon, Available here: https://www.audubon.org/news/birding-pennsylvania
  3. Bird Informer, Available here: https://www.birdinformer.com/birding-pennsylvania/