The Schuylkill River Heritage Area is home to a vast number of bird species, both native and migratory. There are numerous sites and facilities where you can view and learn about birds. The Heritage Area is especially noted for its location along the Kittatiny Flyway, one of the nation’s most significant migratory bird routes. There are numerous wildlife preserves, gamelands, and arboreta that provide important bird habitat and make great birdwatching locations.
Birders of all experience levels and interests will find that there are places throughout the Heritage Area that provide excellent birdwatching opportunities. On the border of Berks and Schuylkill Counties in the Kittatiny Ridge region is Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, a key area for viewing birds of prey on their migratory routes. The Blue Mountain Wildlife Refuge outside Hamburg is home to a variety of plants, animals, and birds and provides walking trails. The Black Rock Wildlife Sanctuary and the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove are great viewing locations in the Valley Forge/Phoenixville areas. In Philadelphia, Fairmount Park, Bartram’s Garden, and the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum are great locations to view a variety of bird species.
There are 6 State Parks in the Schuylkill River Heritage Area, all with trails and extensive woodland and other bird habitat. County and municipal parks also provide great opportunities for birders to enjoy some of the region’s outdoor assets.
There are several PA Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in the Heritage Area that provide excellent birding opportunities. These areas include Hawk Mountain, Lake Ontelaunee, Blue Marsh Recreation Area, Unami Creek, Green Lane Park, French Creek State Park, Fairmount Park and John Heinz NWR.
SRHA worked with the Delaware Lehigh National Heritage Corridor and the Lehigh Gap Nature Center on the Eastern Pennsylvania Birding and Wildlife Guide to provide birders with more information about where to best view birds and other wildlife in the region.
Birders should also be well prepared for their trip and mindful of their surroundings when in the field.
Birders will need a good set of binoculars, a field guide, perhaps a camera, and a checklist or notebook to record your findings. The National Audubon Society provides information about how to get started, choose your binoculars, and find the right guide.
The Lower Merion Conservancy was formed in September 1995, when the Lower Merion-Narberth Watershed Association merged into the Lower Merion Preservation Trust, and organizations joined forces as the new...Learn More
The Schuylkill Highlands is one of seven ‘Conservation Landscape Initiative’ regions in Pennsylvania,and as the name suggests, includes the Schuylkill River Watershed for the most part and the southeastern...Learn More
Green Valleys Association is a watershed conservancy in Northern Chester County devoted to the protection of water quality and quantity. the GVA stewardship area encompasses 155 square miles of...Learn More
The John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum is located near the confluence of the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers about 1 mile from the Philadelphia International Airport. Over the...Learn More
Destination Schuylkill River celebrates life along the River and seeks to connect our communities to the river through planning, programming and projects. What is there to do? How can...Learn More
Dedicated to the principle of inspiring people to care for the Earth, Riverbend’s mission is to stimulate awareness, appreciation and understanding of our total environment, and to preserve a...Learn More
This 250 acre oasis of woods and meadows, in the suburbs of eastern Abington Township, attracts visitors to its natural beauty year-round. A bequest from the late George Horace...Learn More
Gwynedd Wildlife Preserve is a 234-acre oasis of meadows, woodlands and wetlands nestled among the quickly developing suburbs of Blue Bell and North Wales. After more than a century...Learn More
Rich in modern recreational facilities and historical significance, Fort Washington blossoms with flowering dogwood in the spring. Birders enjoy the seasonal migration of raptors along Militia Hill from the...Learn More
Evansburg State Park is in southcentral Montgomery County between Norristown and Collegeville. Evansburg offers a significant area of green space and relative solitude in an urbanized area. Its main...Learn More
The Schuylkill River in Upper Providence Township forms a natural backdrop to this 15-acre display of wild animals and raptors indigenous to Pennsylvania. Picnicking and fishing are popular along...Learn More
The Peter Wentz Farmstead was established by Peter and Rosanna Wentz, who began farming here in 1744. By 1758, they had completed the large, Georgian style stone house that...Learn More
The Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy is a nonprofit organization founded in 1964 by local citizens to combat pollution in the Perkiomen Creek and its tributaries. We provide an integrated approach...Learn More
Pennypacker Mills offers a unique opportunity to experience the pleasures of country life in the 1900’s when the Governor of Pennsylvania lived across the Perkiomen Creek from the Borough...Learn More
Green Lane Park offers fishing, boating, picnicking, horseback riding trails, hiking trails, mountain biking trails, family/organized group camping, equestrian camping, tennis, playgrounds, cross-country skiing, ice skating, and ice fishing....Learn More
Central Perkiomen Valley Park is an 800 acre park that extends over 10 municipalities, offering a wide variety of family activities. Visitors can enjoy a children’s playground as well...Learn More
Welkinweir, the former estate of Everett and Grace Rodebaugh is a 197-acre garden and arboretum that serves as the headquarters and educational center of the Green Valleys Association. For...Learn More
Warwick County Park includes numerous trails and meadows that offer bountiful opportunities for hiking, biking, horseback riding and bird watching. The day use area offers picnic pavilions and numerous...Learn More
Nestled along the Pickering Creek in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, the Mill at Anselma is an extraordinary artifact of 250 years of Chester County’s industrial heritage. Constructed in c. 1747...Learn More
The history of Yellow Springs Village spans nearly 300 years. The Native Lenape first attributed the name, “Yellow Springs” because of the natural mineral springs that flow through the...Learn More
French Creek State Park is one of 6 State Parks in the Schuylkill River Heritage Area, and one of the best places for outdoor recreation, rest, and relaxation in...Learn More
Binky Lee Preserve is an 112-acre expanse of former agricultural land that is being converted back to more natural woodlands and meadows. A walk along the trails here provides...Learn More
The Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center offers environmental education programs. The center covers more than 665 acres of beautiful deciduous woodlands and coniferous plantations. Operated by the Pennsylvania Department...Learn More
The historic buildings at Gring’s Mill Recreation Area house the Berks County Parks and Recreation Department’s administration and maintenance offices. An information center, group meeting facilities, snack bar, and...Learn More
Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains of PA, the Dr. James S. Shadle Nature Center and the Bear Creek Environmental Area help people to connect with their natural heritage and...Learn More
When viewed from the lake or the day use area, Locust Mountain seems to drop right into the southern side of Tuscarora Lake. The scenic picnic area plays host...Learn More
Known for its popular camping area, Locust Lake State Park nestles on the side of Locust Mountain. The 52-acre Locust Lake is located between two campgrounds and is surrounded...Learn More
Daniel Boone is an American legend, and he developed his love of nature, and inquisitive nature on his family’s farm in the Oley Valley. After Daniel’s father, Squire Boone,...Learn More
One of the most heavily industrialized creeks in America, the Wissahickon Creek and its impressive valley were home to dozens of mills and factories throughout the 18th and 19th...Learn More
Fairmount Park was officially founded in 1855 when the Lemon Hill estate was dedicated as a public park and renamed Fairmount Park. Support came from 2,400 citizens who signed...Learn More
The 19-mile Perkiomen Trail runs through the Perkiomen Creek Valley from its junction with the Schuylkill River Trail at Oaks, Upper Providence Township to the largest County Park, Green...Learn More
The Heritage Center is located along the Tulpehocken Creek west of Reading and is home to the Gruber Wagon Works, a National Historic Landmark, the C. Howard Hiester Canal...Learn More
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, located along the Appalachian Flyway in east-central Pennsylvania, offers an outstanding, year-round nature experience with educational displays, 8 miles of hiking trails and mountaintop vistas where...Learn More
The Black Rock Sanctuary is located along a bend in the Schuylkill and was used by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a basin for settling coal silt out of...Learn More
The Norristown Farm Park is a 690 acre Park owned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is operated and maintained by Montgomery County. The area that encompasses Norristown Farm...Learn More
Port Clinton is a small town with a big story. The town of 300 sits in the gap where the Schuylkill River cuts through the in the Appalachian Mountains,...Learn More
Blue Marsh Lake is a man-made lake along the Tulpehocken Creek that features numerous boating, hiking, biking, and birdwatching opportunities. It is maintained by the Philadelphia District, U.S. Army...Learn More
The Allegheny Aqueduct was built by the Schuylkill Navigation Company in 1824 under the direction of Engineer Ephriam Beech. This “bridge for boats” was needed because the Allegheny Creek...Learn More
Lock 60 of the Schuylkill Canal is one of only two sections of the Schuylkill Navigation System that are still watered, and the only operating lock remaining on the...Learn More
Lower Perkiomen Valley Park is a sylvan setting of 107 acres at the confluence of the Perkiomen Creek and Schuylkill River. The Perkiomen Trail and Schuylkill River Trails intersect...Learn More
Today, 175 acres of Mill Grove’s original estate remains largely as Audubon found it – a haven for birds and wildlife. The property boasts more than seven miles of...Learn More
Valley Forge was the site of the 1777-78 winter encampment of the Continental Army. The park commemorates the sacrifices and perseverance of the Revolutionary War generation and honors the...Learn More
The Schuylkill Center is the largest tract of privately owned land in the City of Philadelphia. Located on the border of Philadelphia and Montgomery County, SCEE is a wonderful...Learn More
On this site more than 250 years ago, John Bartram, a Quaker farmer, was stopped in his tracks by a daisy while plowing his fields. The plant’s simplicity and...Learn More