Exploring Avian Wildlife: A Guide to Common Birds in Pennsylvania

Common Birds in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is not just one of the greatest industrial centers in the country, but it also has a prominent place in American history. And on top of all that, it’s one of the states in North America with the highest number of bird species. 

Whether you are an experienced birder or just starting, exploring the birds of Pennsylvania can be a rewarding and exciting experience. 

In this guide, we’ll discuss some of the most common birds in Pennsylvania you’ll see when you go birding. So grab your binoculars, and let’s start our trip to see the amazing birds of Pennsylvania.

How to Identify The Birds? 

Before getting into the details of the different kinds of birds that live in Pennsylvania, it’s essential to know how to identify them. With more than 400 different kinds of birds in the state, it can be hard to tell them apart. So these tips are going to help you identify them: 

Examine The Bird’s Characteristics.

Check the bird’s size, contours, color, and markings to understand its overall appearance. If you see these, then you should be capable of identifying the bird.

Bird’s Behaviours

Watch the bird as it flies, perches, and eats to learn more about its behaviors. These actions help you determine what kind of bird you’re looking at.

Hear The Birds Chirp

Hear what the bird is singing. The songs and calls of various birds can be used to assist you in determining which species you’re listening to.

Use A Bird App

You can download a birding app on your smartphone to help you recognize the various species of bird life you meet.

Common Birds In Pennsylvania 

Here we will talk about these common birds you can spot in Pennsylvania, how you can identify them, and what to feed them. So keep on reading. 

1. Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal

How to Identify

It might be challenging to identify it correctly. These birds are an eye-catching red throughout, with black tips on the wing and tail feathers. From the mask mark and the cheek coloration, these birds appear to have black faces, while the rest of their heads are red, including the magnificent crest. 

The females have good feathers, but they are light brown with some reddish tints. Both genders have orange beaks that are thick and pointed at the tip.


The average cardinal’s height is 8.3–9.3 inches, and its wingspan ranges from 9.8–12.2 inches.


These birds are often seen at the forest’s edge, although they are also frequently spotted in parks and cities. These fearless birds will come to you if you leave out even a tiny treat.


You can throw anything at these birds, and they’ll eat it. Black Oil Sunflower seed is their favorite, but you can also give them peanuts, suet, and millet.

2. Purple Finch

Purple Finch

How to Identify

Purple Finch is one of many species where the male has more attractive plumage. The wings are brownish-pink and fade into a medium-sized, wagging tail. 

The male has a pinkish face with white spots and raspberry and pink stripes on his chest and stomach. The mask, the mustache line, and the crown of the head are all typically a darker raspberry shade. 

And the beak of these birds are normally gray with an occasional black spot on top, and they are a decent size overall. Female Purple finches are brown with a distinct line on the throat and an off-white eyestripe, while males are raspberry-purple.


The length of these lovely little birds is between 4.7 and 6.3 inches, while the size of their wingspan is between 8.7 and 10.2 inches.


Birds of this species are most often spotted in densely forested areas, but they are also known to frequent forest margins and underbrush. But they aren’t afraid to venture into backyards if there’s any food for them.


These birds like the black oil sunflower seed.

3. House Finch

 House Finch

How to Identify

The male House Finches have backs that are a dark gray or brown color, and they also have dark stripes on their wings and tails. The top part of the breast is almost entirely rosy red, while the bottom part and the underbelly are white and gray with rosy-red speckles.

The rosy-red speckles are more densely distributed on the upper breast. You can’t see that this bird has a red rump unless it flies. The male has a largely red face, except for a tiny mask of gray that zigzags from the eye, forks at the back of the head, and opposite to frame the cheek. Other than that, his face is mainly red. 

This bird’s beak is short and thick and silver in color. Once you have seen a male, you should be able to identify a female. As they are brown and gray, and the males are red. 

You may also like: Common Birds In Oregon


These birds range from 5.1 to 5.5 inches, with 7.9 to 9.8 inches wingspans.


These little birds enjoy staying at the edge of the forest, but you can usually see them flying through farms, parks, and backyards.


House Finches love Black Oil Sunflower seeds, but you can buy the small types or break them into pieces so they can eat them. 

4. White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

How to Identify

While the body and tail of a White-throated Sparrow are brown, the bird has white edging at the shoulders and black edging elsewhere. The breasts and belly are white, but the sides are gray. 

The bird’s face is gray overall, except for a white chin and brow that curves off near the tip of the short silver bill and is marked with a yellow spot. The top of this bird’s head is black, with a white stripe down the center.


Its length is 6.3–7.1 inches, and its wingspan is 7.9–9.1 inches.


These birds prefer to flock in trees, bushes, or shrubbery near water or on the outskirts of forests.


You can use millet or Black Oil sunflower seeds to feed them. 

5. Blackpoll Warbler

Blackpoll Warbler

How to Identify

Blackpoll Warblers have a brown underside to their wings and a black and white streaked back and tail. The upper and lower halves of the body are white, but there is a similar pattern of vertical streaking along the sides. 

This bird has a black and white face, with white beginning just below the eye and continuing down to a black mustache line. The long, yellow bill of this bird is slightly curved. These birds’ coloring changes to a greenish-yellow in the summer, but their markings remain the same.


These birds have a length of around 5.5 inches and a wingspan of 8.3 to 9.1 inches.


If you set up your feeder correctly, you can see these birds at your feeder, although they are more at home in evergreen and leafy forests.


You can feed them suet or any kind of berries. 

6. Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove

How to Identify

Doves might appear somewhat differently from one place to the other, but in general, you want to search for one that is a uniform shade of gray and tan, with a few black spots on its wings and some white outline on the feathers of its long tail. 

The breasts and stomach are lighter and nearly tanned, while the entire head is tanned, barring a white outline over the eye.  This bird’s bill is short and straight, and black.


These birds have a 9.1-13.4 inches length and a wingspan of about 17.7 inches.


These birds live in the city instead of the woods. They can be seen in gardens, fields, and telephone poles.


The mourning dove eats millet, cracked corn, wheat, and Black Oil sunflower seeds.

7. Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse

How to Identify

They have peachy-colored feathers on their wings and a peacocky blue and gray coloration on their tail and upper body. The upper part of its face is silvery blue, the chin and cheek are white, and a black mark sits atop its short, slightly curved beak, all of which will help you to identify them.


It has an average wing span of 7.9 to 10.2 inches and a total body length of 5.5 to 6.3 inches.


The Tufted Titmouse is mostly home in leafy woodlands but will happily visit backyards and parks. 


A combination of suet, peanuts, and sunflower seeds is enough to attract and keep this bird around.

8. Downy Woodpecker 

Downy Woodpecker

How to Identify

They have white bodies and black wings with white ‘block’ designs that move across the wings everywhere but the shoulder area. Because of this, they look like a cross between a Zebra, making them easy to spot. This bird’s underbelly and breast are pure white, and its short, black tail contrasts strikingly with those colors. 

This bird has a short, black bill, and the white on its chest extends up its face to a black mustache line right below the beak. The bird’s plumage is white above the mustache and black below the mask band, where it changes back to white. Last but not least, this bird has a black hat and, in males, a red spot on the rear of the skull.


Its length is between 5.5 and 6.7 inches, while its wingspan is between 9.8 and 11.8 inches.


They sometimes come out of the woods to forage among the underbrush and tall weeds. 


They like Black Oil Sunflower seeds, peanuts, and suet.

9. American Robin

American Robin

How to Identify

The American Robin is a beautiful bird with distinctive markings that make it easy to recognize. Its top halves are covered in gray-brown feathers and a long tail with white edges, while its breast and underbelly are a beautiful orange. 

However, the feathers change to white at the rump and continue down the bottoms of the fluffy feathers. This bird has a short, somewhat curved, yellow bill and a dark gray-brown head with white eye rims.


The body length of this bird is around 7.9 inches, and its wingspan is anywhere from 12.2 to 15.8 inches.


Wooded regions are a typical habitat for these birds, but they can also frequently be spotted in open areas such as pastures, parks, golf courses, and backyards.


The American Robin’s food consists primarily of fruit and insects. You could try dried mealworms, raisins, fruit seeds, or broken peanuts to catch and maintain their attention.

10. European Starling

European Starling

How to Identify

These birds are quite easy to tell apart when they are near one another. The European Starling’s feathers are a vivid shade of green and purple all over its body, and it has a yellow bill that is long and straight. This is because they go through a process called molting, which results in plumage that is spotted brown and dazzling white throughout the winter months.


These birds are of medium size, coming in at 7.9 to 9.1 inches, and their wingspans range from 12.2 to 15.8 inches on average.


These birds are equally at home in the city or the country and can be seen searching for food right next to people. They are especially fond of telephone poles, so watch for them there the next time you find yourself in town.


The European Starling will eat almost everything, but grains are their favorite food. So if you want to attract them without presenting a too broad array of foods, wheat, and oats are good options to try. 

11. Dark-eyed Junco 

Dark-eyed Junco

How to Identify

The wings and tail of a Dark-eyed Junco are usually dark gray or brown. However, there is some regional variation. This gray is most concentrated on the upper breast leaving the bird’s legs, feet, and underside of its tail feathers white. The white underbelly and the rest of the bird’s dark gray or brown coloring make this easy to identify. 


From beak to tail, these birds are just around 5.5 to 6.3 inches long, and their wingspans range from 7.1 to 9.8 inches.


While rainforests are their preferred habitat, these birds often forage in open areas like parks, fields, and backyards.


Although they are primarily insectivorous, these birds will eat berries if given a chance. Therefore, place various berries and dried fruits in a feeder to attract them.


Can I Feed The Birds In Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, it is not encouraged to feed wild birds because doing so can disturb the birds’ natural feeding habits and attract creatures like raccoons and squirrels that can cause damage. However, during the winter, when food is limited, you can help the birds by hanging a bird feeder and filling it with seed and suet.

When Is The Ideal Time Of Year To Go Bird Watching In Pennsylvania?

During spring and fall, birdwatching is at its best when many bird species migrate through Pennsylvania. In addition, many different types of birds can be seen nesting during April, May, and June.


So there you have it! We have shared some of the intriguing and colorful common birds in Pennsylvania you can find. All of the birds that can be found in Pennsylvania can be found at different times of the year.

Oval@3x 2

Don’t miss these tips!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.