Birds Found in Philadelphia


The city of Philadelphia is located near the Atlantic Flyway, making it an important resting stop for many migratory bird species. There are also an abundance of species living in the variety of ecosystems in Philadelphia County, but select species survive and even thrive in the urban landscape of Philadelphia. The once endangered peregrine falcon may have been saved from extinction when they sought alternative nesting grounds atop the high office buildings of the Philadelphia skyline. The following birds are classified by the Pennsylvania Department of Wildlife as native urban birds of the city and are just a few of the birds you'll see in Philadelphia.

American Crow

  • The American crow is a large bird that is black with a violet gloss and blue-black wings. They feed on insects, amphibians, reptiles, grains and fruits. They prefer living in woodlands, or near farms with fields, but are also found in towns and large urban areas. They make a distinct "caw" or "caa-caa" sound and have the ability to mimic human voices. They are intelligent birds and are fascinated by shiny objects.

American Robin

  • You can identify an American robin by its deep red-brown breast. They also have a white lower belly and undertail and gray-brown upper parts. They fly swiftly with their wings beating rapidly. In the Philadelphia area, they will primarily be found in urban gardens. Robins are most readily identified by their unique song, which sounds similar to "cheerily cheer-up cheerio."

Common Grackle

  • This blackbird is medium in size and has a metallic purple sheen similar to the American crow. Its bright yellow eyes set it apart. They fly in a direct path while rapidly beating their wings and hold their tale in a "V" shape when in flight. Grackles do not hop along the ground like many birds, but actually walk, and sometimes even wade in water hunting small fish. It is thought they they control parasites by allowing ants to secrete formic acid on them.

House Finch

  • The House Finch is a small brown bird with a bright red head and belly. They can be found building their nests in bushes natural cavities or on a building where they lay six blue eggs with lavender and black spots. Their song is comparable to a canary without the trills. It is a series of warbling notes.

Mourning Dove

  • The mourning dove is a medium-sized bird with a pink-colored belly and gray to brown body. They fly in a swift, direct pattern and are usually seen in parks, open fields or even the front yard. They are named for their call which is low and mournful. It is compared to a "coo" sound. They prefer to feed on insects, fruits and grains.


  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/ Images
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