A Guide to the Common Species of Birds Found in Pennsylvania

The Birds of Pennsylvania is a collection of information on every species in the state, including where to see them, when to visit them, and which birds are most likely to be seen in which area.Pennsylvania is home to some amazing birds. From the majestic bald eagle to the colorful cardinal, Pennsylvania boasts a vast variety of species that are worth visiting. Here are some of the birds that call Pennsylvania home.

Turkey Vulture

birds of pennsylvania

The turkey vulture is one of the largest birds of prey in the world. Its wingspan can reach up to 9 feet long, and its body can weigh in excess of 6.5 lbs. The turkey vulture eats dead animals, carrion, and human food waste. It spends most of its time in high elevations in the Andes and at high altitudes in Africa. Unlike birds of prey, vultures have a lot of fat stored in their bodies. This fat makes them very heavy and allows them to survive in sub-optimal habitats like deserts and jungles. A vulture eats dead animals. It waits patiently and flies down to eat the carcass. After that, it moves away from the site and looks for another place to eat. The vulture can also take the animal off the ground and into the air. If you have never seen a vulture or even a picture of a vulture, you can get a pretty good idea of what one looks like by looking at pictures of vultures.

Black Vulture

birds of pennsylvania

The black vulture is a large, crow-like scavenger. The species is found in the arid grasslands of western and southern Africa and has been classified as near-threatened due to its low population numbers. Their diet consists primarily of carrion but they will also consume berries, insects, and small mammals such as mice. The black vulture is a large predatory bird of the New World tropics, found in grasslands, savannas, dry thorn forests, swamps, wetlands, and seasonally flooded areas. It is usually ˜10 cm (4 in) long with a wingspan of 90–100 cm (35–39 in). It is a scavenger that feeds on carrion and carcasses of wild animals. They have been observed hunting by perching in the treetops and swooping down upon their prey. Black vultures are also known to scavenge for food around human settlements in search of scraps. They roost on cliff faces, rocks, and even rooftops during the day and can be seen all over the globe.

Northern Harrier

birds of pennsylvania

The harrier is a medium-sized hawk and a member of the accipitrid family. It is native to Europe and Asia, but it has been introduced to North America, Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Africa. It is most closely related to the buzzards and kites. Its scientific name is Accipiter gentilis.The Northern harrier can weigh up to 3.5 lbs. Their diet includes rodents and small reptiles, but they will also eat small birds such as sparrows. The northern harrier is a very powerful predator and will attack other species of raptors. They are large birds of prey and hunt by hovering, but they also have a fairly powerful wing beat. Their flight is strong and steady and they do not need to spend a lot of energy to keep in the air. They typically fly at heights of between 300 feet and 1,500 feet above the ground. In a natural habitat, harriers live alone but can travel far distances in a short period of time. They hunt small prey like frogs, mice, and young birds. They have been seen chasing and killing golden eagles, and they can eat up to 15% of their own body weight daily. In captivity, harriers need a very large cage, often over 1,500 sq. ft., with lots of space for flying. They can be aggressive with other birds in the enclosure and may attack people who feed them or play with them.

Golden Eagle

birds of pennsylvania

The golden eagle is one of the largest birds of prey in North America. At 6 feet tall, it is among the heaviest flying birds, with a wingspan reaching over 9 feet. It has a yellow head, red eyes, and a black, spiky crest. Its tail is long and thin, and it has a black throat pouch. Although this bird is capable of eating large animals such as deer, it primarily eats meat from rabbits and squirrels. According to the USGS, golden eagles are large, heavy-bodied, powerful raptors of the genus Aquila. They live in family groups and are very social. The golden eagle is found throughout the entire northern half of the United States and in Canada. The golden eagle’s wingspan averages around six feet (1.8 m) and it has a relatively short tail. Its plumage ranges from a rich russet-golden color to a deep blue color, with a wide variety of markings and patterns. These include large white patches under the wings, a distinctive white cheek patch, a black eye stripe, and a long white plume on the tail. A novel mutation in the COL2A1 gene causes. The golden eagle has a wingspan of up to 2 meters (6.5 feet) and can weigh up to 19 kg (42 pounds). Their legs are very powerful. They are capable of landing on their feet, jumping distances of about 9 meters (30 feet), and making leaps of 15 meters (50 feet) from the ground.

Bald Eagle

birds of pennsylvania

The bald eagle, a member of the avian family Haliaeetae, is the national bird of the United States. Its scientific name is Aquila guide. The bald eagle is the only living species in the genus Aquila and the only extant member of the family Haliaeetae. The bald eagle is the largest eagle species, but it is not the heaviest. Its wingspan may reach up to 10 feet (3 m), with a weight of 6.8 lb (3 kg). The male bald eagle is larger than the female, and it also has a more rufous head.

Sharp-shinned Hawk

birds of pennsylvania

The Sharp-shinned Hawkbird is a bird of prey found in North America. It can be distinguished from its cousins by its bright red head and chest, and distinctive black stripes on its back. It usually nests in trees or other open places near lakes and rivers and eats fish, frogs, snakes, lizards, moths, small mammals, and insects. Its breeding habitat is northern Wisconsin, north-central Minnesota, southeastern Manitoba, and southern Ontario.

House Sparrows

birds of pennsylvania

House sparrows are among the most familiar birds in North America and have been recorded as far north as Alaska. They prefer wooded habitats but are generally found in suburban areas, parks, and even backyards. House sparrows are omnivorous, eating insects, seeds, berries, and sometimes small animals such as ground squirrels. They are commonly considered to be a pest, as they eat the birdseed that people set out for their feeders, but they also help to pollinate flowers. There are many things we love about house sparrows. They’re smart, friendly, beautiful, and fast. These birds are extremely helpful. Not only do they eat pests like aphids and mites, but they also serve as a source of food for many other animals. House sparrows are popular pets, and they can provide entertainment for children. They’re even used in scientific research.

House Finches

birds of pennsylvania

House finches are small, bright-colored birds with short tails, rounded heads, and long pointed bills. They are similar in appearance to greenfinches, but are a little smaller and generally have a brighter color. Their diet consists mainly of seeds and insects. The average house finch will live to be between two and six years old. This bird is active during the day and is considered an urban species. House finches tend to be very social birds. They often live in flocks of up to 50 individuals, but occasionally a pair will reside together. These birds also tend to live in cities and suburbs, where they can be seen on rooftops, perching in trees, and feeding at feeders. House finches are omnivores, eating a variety of seeds and grains. They are known for their ability to mimic the call of other species, which often gets them into trouble with owners who feel that the birds are making a nuisance of themselves.

Which of these birds have you seen before in Pennsylvania?

We’ve been on the lookout for the American Kestrel since last month, but have yet to find one. It’s a small bird, mostly brown in color, with a white belly and chest, a dark back, and white wings. It’s the only kestrel native to Pennsylvania.

What Can Pennsylvanians See During Fall Migration?

A Pennsylvanian sees a lot in migration season. You see the birds flying, migrating south for the winter. You see the leaves changing color, making them yellower, with warmer temperatures. You see the weather getting colder and more wintry. You may even see snow in some areas if you live in a northern region of Pennsylvania.


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