In Pennsylvania, have you ever wondered what kind of bird is visiting your backyard? What are the common backyard birds in Pennsylvania? Do you need help recognizing these birds?
A bird feeder can be a great source of enjoyment, but it’s even better if you know who’s visiting. You can now learn which birds are most common in Pennsylvania, as well as whether they visit your feeders. To learn more about Pennsylvania backyard birding, continue reading this article.
When it comes to bird checklists, these are the species that are most commonly seen in Pennsylvania throughout the summer (June and July) as well as winter (December and January).
In order to provide you with the birds in Pennsylvania that you are most likely to see at your feeder or in your backyard, we eliminated the species that aren’t as common.
Throughout the year, the birds that flock to backyards in Pennsylvania vary. The following lists illustrate the most frequent backyard birds in Pennsylvania at various periods of the year.
American Goldfinch, American Robins, Dark-eyed Juncos, Gray Catbirds, and Downy Woodpeckers are just a few examples of birds in Pennsylvania that differ significantly between the summer and winter populations.
Table of Contents
- Most Common Birds of Pennsylvania
- 1. Blue Jay
- 2. Northern Cardinal
- 3. Mourning Dove
- 4. Song Sparrow
- 5. American Robin
- 6. American Crow
- 7. Tufted Titmouse
- 8. European Starling
- 9. House Finch
- 10. Gray Catbird
- 11. Dark-eyed Junco
- 12. Black-capped Chickadee
- 13. Barn Swallow
- 14. Common Yellowthroat
- 15. Hairy Woodpecker
- 16. House Wren
- 17. Indigo Bunting
- 18. Chipping Sparrow
- 19. American Goldfinch
- 20. White-breasted Nuthatch
- 21. Red-Winged Blackbirds
- 22. White-throated Sparrow
- 23. Common Grackle
- 24. Carolina Chickadee
- 25. Red-bellied Woodpeckers
Most Common Birds of Pennsylvania
1. Blue Jay
Blue Jays have a blue erect crown, blue and black backs, and white undersides, making them common songbirds.
They are loud birds that move in huge flocks throughout the Great Lakes and Atlantic coast, eating acorns when available.
They live in woods and consume acorns; therefore they want to be near oak trees. They’re also spotted around feeders in backyards.
Insects, nuts & seeds, and grain are among the foods they consume. They could also steal nestlings or eggs from nests.
In addition to peanuts or sunflower seeds, suet is an excellent technique to attract blue jays to your yard although they prefer hopper or tray feeders. A birdbath will be appreciated as well. Throughout the year, blue jays may be seen in Pennsylvania.
2. Northern Cardinal
Cardinals with black faces and vivid red bodies pop against the white winter background. With their brown coloration, bright brown crests, red accents, and red beaks, the females are likewise a bit conspicuous.
During the breeding season, Northern Cardinals will occasionally attack their own reflection in order to compulsively protect their territories. If you want to attract more Northern Cardinals to your backyard feeders, you may use peanut hearts, sunflower seeds, milo, and millet.
They’ll eat from big tube feeders, hoppers, platform feeders, and food strewn over the ground. Northern Cardinals can be seen all year in Pennsylvania.
3. Mourning Dove
Mourning doves have slender heads, rounded bodies, and long tails. The wings are a light brown with black markings. Perching on telephone lines and foraging for seeds on the ground in meadows, farms, and backyards, they can be seen.
You’ll find Mourning Doves in wide-open places or on the edges of densely forested areas. Mourning Doves may be found across the lower 48 states throughout the year, however, they may move after reproducing in the far north.
By sprinkling millet on the ground or using platform feeders, you may attract more Mourning Doves to your yard. You may expect them to eat peanut hearts, black sunflower seeds, and nyjer among other things. Mourning Doves are widespread year-round in Pennsylvania, but they are more visible in the summer.
4. Song Sparrow
Song sparrows aren’t as spectacular as other backyard birds, but they employ their nearly constant song to attract mates in the spring and summer.
In open, shrubby, and damp environments, they are commonly observed sitting on a low shrub and singing. They’re frequently seen at bird feeders in the backyard.
Beetles, caterpillars, midges, spiders, and earthworms are just a few of the insects and plants that Song Sparrows eat. The other items they’ll consume include buckwheat and sunflower seeds as well as raspberries, wheat, blackberries, wild cherries, and rice.
Use black oil sunflower seeds on platform feeders together with cracked corn and nyjer to increase the number of song sparrows attracted to your backyard feeding stations.
5. American Robin
A frequent lawn bird is the American Robin, which eats earthworms. There are no white parts on their heads, but they have black backs and red or orange breasts. Because they prefer to roost in trees during the winter, you’re more likely to see them in your backyard starting in the spring.
These birds live in a wide range of habitats, including wooded and mountainous areas as well as open areas like parks and lawns.
All of these items may be utilized to attract additional American Robins to your yard. It is best to use platform feeders or food that is distributed on the ground.
6. American Crow
Americans call them crows because of their enormous size and loud cawing sound.
Their habitats include trees, forests, fields, beaches, and urban areas where they can be found in large numbers.
They eat a wide variety of foods and prefer to graze on the ground, where they eat earthworms, insects, seeds, and fruit. Fish, mussels, juvenile turtles, and clams, as well as nestlings and eggs from a number of bird species, are also eaten by these creatures.
A huge flock of up to two million birds of the American Crow congregates in communal roosts during the colder months of the year to sleep. If you scatter peanuts in your backyard, you can attract more American Crows, but if you leave garbage or pet food out, they can become a nuisance.
7. Tufted Titmouse
The Tufted Titmouse has a cute grey crest and large eyes and is often seen with chickadees, nuthatches, and woodpeckers in flocks.
They are found in woodlands, parks, and backyard feeders, and can be aggressive towards smaller birds. Its major prey in the summer months is the caterpillars and beetles that feed on the wasps, ants, and spiders. Seeds, nuts, and berries are also eaten, with shelled seeds being hoarded.
It is possible to attract Tufted Titmouse to your backyard feeding stations by using sunflower seeds, suet, and peanuts. Platform feeders will also be consumed. To attract a breeding pair, consider erecting a nest box.
8. European Starling
European starlings are a non-native species that has become one of the most common songbirds in the United States.
Birds with purple, green, and blue iridescent tones, have a stocky build and are black in color.
Some of their favorite foods are blackberries and sumac. They also enjoy cherries and other fruits like holly berries.
Some people consider these birds to be pests because of their aggressive behavior. In flocks, they can be observed sitting on trees or soaring through fields. More European Starlings might be attracted to your garden if you use cracked corn and suet.
9. House Finch
Both sexes of House Finches have brown-streaked coloring on the head and breast. It was originally only found in western states, but it was introduced to eastern states and has thrived, even displacing the Purple Finch.
The best areas to search for them are in public spaces such as parks, farms, woodland borders, and backyards with bird feeders. They congregate in large, loud groups that are difficult to overlook.
Thistle, cactus, cherries, apricots, plums, strawberries, blackberries, and figs are among the seeds, blooms, and fruit they eat. To increase the number of House Finches at your backyard feeders, try using black oil sunflower seeds and nyjer seeds in tube or platform feeders.
10. Gray Catbird
Gray Catbirds get their name from their long-lasting catty mew sound.
They’re medium-sized songbirds with slate grey plumage, blackhead and tail, and a scarlet spot underneath their tails.
When they migrate to the Caribbean and West Indies, Gray Catbirds may be seen breeding over much of North America except for the Pacific Coast and Interior along West and Southwest. Along the Atlantic Coast, some linger all year.
Gray Catbirds can be found in thick bushes, tiny trees, forest margins, and hedgerows, among other places. Your backyard feeders will be more successful if you plant fruit trees or bushes such as dogwood, winterberry, and serviceberries. After a successful breeding season in Pennsylvania, Gray Catbirds migrate southward during the winter months.
11. Dark-eyed Junco
Dark-eyed Juncos are sparrows with varying hues depending on where they live. In the east, they’re slate-colored, whereas, in the west, they’re black, white, or brown. In the west and the Appalachian Mountains, some people live there all year. Breeding birds from Canada and Alaska travel south to most of the United States in the winter.
They are ubiquitous over the continent and may be found in open and somewhat forested regions, usually on the ground.
If you want to attract more Dark-eyed Juncos to your backyard feeders you can use a range of seeds, such as black oil sunflower seeds, and nyjer. The finest feeders are those that are spread out on a platform or dispersed on the ground. Dark-eyed Juncos can be observed throughout the year in Pennsylvania, although they are more numerous in the winter.
12. Black-capped Chickadee
With a large round head and a small body, the Black-capped Chickadee is a lovely bird. These birds will cheerfully feed on your garden feeders and examine everything, including you!
They have grey backs, wings, and tails with black caps and beaks. They have white cheeks and grey backs, wings, and tails.
Among their favorite foods are suet, sunflower seeds, and peanut butter. They’ll eat off your hand if you give them something to eat. Seeds, berries, insects, spiders, and suet are common foods for black-capped chickadees.
Forests, open woodlands, and parks all have them.
They’ll even eat from your hand, and they’re usually the first to notice new feeders. They’ll utilize nest boxes as well, especially if they’re filled with wood shavings.
13. Barn Swallow
Dark blue wings and tail with a reddish-brown underside and across the face distinguish Barn Swallows from other sparrows. Long outer feathers form a deep fork in the tail.
They breed over the majority of North America before migrating to Central and South America to breed.
They are commonly seen soaring over meadows, farms, and fields in search of insects, and they make mud nests in man-made buildings such as barns.
If you want to attract more Barn Swallows, put up nest boxes or cups, and they may consume ground-up eggshells on a feeder platform.
14. Common Yellowthroat
It is a little bird with a long tail with a brownish-brown upper back and a brilliant yellow underside. The guys wear a black mask that covers their entire faces. The intensity of the yellow varies by location, and certain areas beneath the surface may seem more olive.
They breed over most of North America and may be found in marshy or wetland regions, brushy fields, and thick, tangled vegetation in the spring and summer.
They consume primarily insects and can be found in vast, densely vegetated backyards.
15. Hairy Woodpecker
Hairy woodpeckers will be found in much of North America. They are largely black and white, with only an occasional flash of pink at the back of their head. They have a somewhat longer beak and are significantly bigger than the Downy Woodpecker. They’re located in big trees and maybe heard tapping if you pay attention.
An insect-eating bird in the eastern United States, the Hairy Woodpecker feeds largely on wood-boring beetle larvae. As well as suet feeders, you can also add black oil sunflower seeds and peanuts to your yard to attract more Hairy Woodpeckers during colder months.
In Pennsylvania, Hairy Woodpeckers are more prevalent in the winter, especially around suet feeders.
16. House Wren
Small brown birds with darker banded wings and tails and a lighter neck, House Wrens are unremarkable. Before traveling to the extreme south and Mexico for the winter, they breed in the majority of states.
They’re frequently seen jumping over tangles and low branches with their tails raised, occasionally pausing to sing their joyful song.
This little bird is aggressive when it comes to nesting, and will often battle larger birds to take eggs or nestlings from a nesting place they want.
By leaving brush piles or erecting a nest box in your backyard, you might attract more House Wrens.
17. Indigo Bunting
Indigo Buntings are tiny birds with brilliant blue males and brown females with black streaks on their wings and tails.
For the winter, they travel from their breeding grounds in eastern North America to Florida, Central and South America, and the Caribbean.
Indigo Buntings can be seen feeding on seeds and insects in weedy fields and shrubby places. Small seeds like nyjer and thistle might help you attract more to your yard.
18. Chipping Sparrow
Chipping Sparrows have a long, thin tail, a redhead, a black eye-line, a grey belly, and a brown and black-streaked back. The hues are more muted in the winter.
They reproduce over the majority of North America and Canada before flying to Mexico, Florida, or the further south, where they spend the whole year.
They may be seen in small groups on open land, and they will visit backyards in search of various types of birdseed.
19. American Goldfinch
The males of American Goldfinches have a brilliant yellow and black coloration in the spring. In the winter, ladies and males are both a drab brown color.
American Goldfinches breed in the far north and in Canada before moving to the south, where they spend the whole year.
They forage for sunflower, thistle, and aster plants in weedy fields and overgrown places. They’re also prevalent in parks, backyards, and suburbia.
Thistles and milkweed in your yard attract more American Goldfinches. They will come to most bird feeders, and they like sunflower and nyjer seed. American Goldfinches breed in Pennsylvania before flying south for the winter.
20. White-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatches are small, energetic birds with a grey-blue back and white face and belly, as well as a black crown. There’s often a chestnut color to their lower belly and tail.
They’re common in deciduous woods, woodland borders, parks, and yards with trees, as well as at bird feeders.
White-breasted Acorns, hawthorns, sunflower seeds, and maize crops are among the seeds and nuts eaten by nuthatches. They bury big nuts and acorns in tree bark and then bash them open with their bills to get the seed out. White-breasted Nuthatches may flock to your garden if you provide sunflower seeds and peanuts in tube feeders or suet feeders, which will attract them.
21. Red-Winged Blackbirds
With all-black coloration saves for the brilliant red and yellow shoulder patches, red-winged blackbirds are highly abundant and easy to see. In contrast to the brown streaky coloration of the males, the females are very drab.
Red-winged Blackbirds are found across the United States; however, they may travel south after breeding in the far north. They are frequently seen perched on telephone lines, and during the mating season, the males will fiercely protect their territory, even striking anyone who approaches nests too close.
Spread mixed grain and seeds on the ground to attract more Red-winged blackbirds to your garden. They’ll eat huge tube feeders or platform feeders as well.
22. White-throated Sparrow
White-throated Sparrows have a black and white striped head, a brilliant white throat, and yellow between the eye and the beak. They have brown backs and grey underbelly.
They are migratory birds that nest mostly in Canada before migrating to the eastern and southern United States, as well as California, in the winter.
White-throated Sparrows can be seen on the ground in big flocks in wooded areas and along the borders.
23. Common Grackle
The Common Grackle is a blackbird with glossy iridescent bodies that is taller and longer-tailed than other blackbirds.
They eat a variety of crops, but primarily corn, and congregate in noisy groups high in the trees. They will also consume trash, making them a nuisance. Open woods, marshes, parks, and fields are among their many habitats.
In the winter, they may congregate in the millions to feed and roost alongside other blackbird species. The Common Grackle spends the entire year in much of the east and the entire southeast but migrates south after mating in the extreme north and west of its range.
It is possible to increase the number of Common Grackles that visit your garden by spreading mixed grain and seed on the ground or on feeder platforms.
24. Carolina Chickadee
Carolina Chickadees have big heads, blackcaps and necks, white cheeks and bellies, and silky grey backs, wings, and tails.
They have a lot in common with the Black-capped Chickadee in terms of appearance, and they interbreed where their ranges intersect.
Black oil sunflower seeds, Nyjer seeds, suet feeders, or peanuts can all be used to attract additional Carolina Chickadees to your backyard feeders. Tube feeders, suet cages, and platform feeders are all acceptable sources of food for them. They will also build their nests in nest boxes or tubes.
25. Red-bellied Woodpeckers
With a pale red belly, a red crown and neck, and a black-and-white striped back, Red-bellied Woodpeckers can be difficult to detect.
They have a loud cry in the spring and summer and may be found in woodlands and forests, particularly in eastern states where there is deadwood.
Insects and spiders are the major foods of Red-bellied Woodpeckers, although they also consume acorns, nuts, and pine cones, as well as certain seeds and fruits.
Suet feeders will attract more Red-bellied Woodpeckers, and they will occasionally eat from hummingbird feeders. In the winter, Red-bellied Woodpeckers are more numerous in Pennsylvania.
This article depicts all of Pennsylvania’s typical backyard birds at various times of the year. This article also describes the birds you could observe in your yard and when they’re most active. To help you recognize the most common backyard birds, we’ve included photos and descriptions.
What is Pennsylvania’s official state bird?
Pennsylvania’s official state bird is the ruffed grouse, often known as the ruffed grouse. List of Pennsylvania Birds – Pennsylvania Ornithological Records Committee contains species documented in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania and recognized by the committee (PORC).
In Pennsylvania, how many different types of birds can you find?
This list of Pennsylvania birds contains species that have been reported and recognized by the Pennsylvania Ornithological Records Committee in the United States state of Pennsylvania (PORC). As of July 2020, there were 435 species included on the official list.