Going Birding?

A monthly guide of where to go birding in the Delaware Valley Birding Region

We are blessed to have so many outstanding locations within a 90 mile radius or two hour drive of Philadelphia – this area being loosely known as the Delaware Valley. Immediately, National Wildlife Refuges sites such as Edwin Forsythe aka Brigantine, Bombay Hook and John Heinz aka Tinicum come to mind, not to mention the whole Cape May area; numerous forests, preserves, state and county parks; reservoirs, rivers, bays and coastal marshes and sandy beaches; hawk and sea watches; nature centers and nature parks along with a plethora of other smaller patches that are highly desirable birding spots.

This BIRDING BY MONTH section provides suggestions on particular birding location during certain months, should you want to go out birding or to look for a certain target species. While a number of these sites could be birded with success at almost any time of year, we have made an effort not to repeat ourselves too often and in certain cases just mentioned what a particular location has to offer at that time of year.

As a generalization:

  • Waterfowl

    best seen from October through March as they spend the winters in a more southern location

  • Geese

    November through March

  • Sparrows

    From October through April when they tend to congregate in larger numbers in weedy fields

  • Warblers and Passerines

    From mid April through June during spring migration with the peak being in the first 3 weeks of May, and again in September and October as they head south

  • Thrushes

    In May as they pass through on passage to breed in more northerly locations

  • Raptors

    From mid September through November as they make their way south

  • Owls

    When in some years a number of species spend the winter months in our area

  • Shorebirds

    In May as they pass through on their way to their breeding grounds in the far north and again when they head south from July through September

  • Terns

    Along the coast in late summer, July through September