Last updated: Jun 6th, 2011

Black-and-white warbler, a small, black and white striped bird, on a branch of an oak tree, with yellowish green leaves and sky in the background
Black-and-White Warbler, Woodlands Cemetery, Philadelphia

Birding in Philadelphia:

My Experience with Birding Sites in Philadelphia:

This article is about my experience with sites for birding (birdwatching) within the city limits of Philadelphia, PA. Most of Philadelphia is very urban, dense, and almost completely developed and built-out. Nonetheless, there are a surprising number of great sites for birdwatching in the city limits.

Why bird in Philadelphia?

Most birders in the Philadelphia area have historically chosen to bird outside the city limits. For example, if you check the websites of local birding clubs, you will see that a majority of their trips are to quite far away, areas such as Delaware (state, not county). While these are valuable trips (having lived in Delaware for four years I will testify to its amazing birdwatching opportunities), I think that birding in the city is a much neglected practice that has potentially huge benefits.

The benefits of birding in the city of Philadelphia:

A note on safety:

Some of the areas in Philadelphia that are good for birding are not necessarily the safest places to be while alone. I am writing about these sites strictly from a birding and ecological perspective and am making no claims about the safety of birding in these areas. Exercise caution, and when in doubt, do your research before birding an unfamiliar area.

West Philadelphia Birding:

I spend more time in West Philadelphia than in any other part of the city, so this is the area where I know the most birding sites:

Other Philadelphia Birding Sites:

A wild turkey flying over wetlands, with reeds in foreground, water, and a blur of bare vegetation in the background
Wild Turkey Flying, John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge

Resources and Related Sites:

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