Birds

 
outdoors, bird with seed in beak, yellow, black, grey
Eastern Meadowlark

Photo by Bill Moses

Valley Forge National Historical Park encompasses 3,500 acres of land including forest, riparian, wetland, meadow, and aquatic habitats. The diversity of habitats provides many opportunities for bird watching. The park serves as a refuge for many bird species, particularly grassland birds.

Over 227 species of birds have been observed within the park, and the Valley Forge Bird Checklist is intended to reflect their present status.

The list (reproduced below) has been developed based on published and online records, including the online eBird resource maintained by the Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology, the Pennsylvania Bird Atlas maintained by Pennsylvania State University, and field observations by park staff, members of the Valley Forge Audubon Society, West Chester Bird Club, and volunteers over the past 40 years.

The list describes the seasons in which these species are most likely to be detected and how plentiful they are in each.

For additional information or to report a bird species not found on the checklist please contact our staff at: VAFO_Resource_Management@nps.gov

 

Valley Forge Bird List - Jump to a Section Navigation

 

Bird List Key

Seasonal Status

Spring – residents and migrants

Summer – mainly breeding residents

Fall – residents and migrants

Winter – mainly residents

Relative Abundance

Abundant - may be seen or heard daily in suitable habitat and season, and counted in relatively large numbers.

Common - may be seen or heard daily in suitable habitat and season, but not in large numbers.

Uncommon - likely to be seen or heard monthly in suitable habitat and season; may be locally common.

Rare - present in suitable habitat, but usually seen or heard only a few times during the indicated season.

Occasional - occurs in the park at least once every few years during the indicated season, but not necessarily every year.

Extremely Rare (listed at end of each bird group) - species for which Relative Abundance rating in Valley Forge National Historical Park does not exceed Occasional in any one season. These may most often be encountered during spring or fall migrations.

Special Notes

* Population reproduces in the park.

# Irruptive species: species that, when present (generally every 2-4 years in winter), may occur in relatively large numbers.

 

Water Fowl

Common Name

Binomial Name

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Mute Swan

Cygnus olor

Occasional

Occasional

Rare

Snow Goose

Chen caerulescens

Rare

Canada Goose *

Branta canadensis

Common

Common

Common

Abundant

Wood Duck *

Aix sponsa

Common

Uncommon

Uncommon

Rare

American Black Duck

Anas rubripes

Rare

Common

Mallard *

Anas platyrhynchos

Common

Common

Common

Common

Green-winged Teal

Anas crecca

Rare

Rare

Redhead

Aythya americana

Rare

Ring-necked Duck

Aythya collaris

Uncommon

Lesser Scaup

Aythya affins

Rare

Bufflehead

Bucephala albeola

Common

Occasional

Abundant

Common Goldeneye

Bucephala clangula

Uncommon

Hooded Merganser

Lophodytes cucullatus

Rare

Occasional

Uncommon

Common Merganser *

Mergus merganser

Uncommon

Uncommon

Uncommon

Common

Extremely Rare

Common Name

Binomial Name

Greater White-fronted Goose

Anser albifrons

Tundra Swan

Cygnus columbianus

White-winged Scoter

Melanitta fusca

Gadwall

Anas strepera

American Wigeon

Anas americana

Blue-winged Teal

Anas discors

Northern Pintail

Anas acuta

Canvasback

Aythya valisineria

Greater Scaup

Aythya marila

Red-breasted Merganser

Mergus serrator

Ruddy Duck

Oxyura jamaicensis


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Upland Fowl

Extremely Rare

Common Name

Binomial Name

Wild Turkey

Meleagris gallopavo

Ruffed Grouse

Bonasa umbellus

Ring-necked Pheasant

Phasianus colchicus

Northern Bobwhite

Colinus virginianus


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Loons, Grebes, and Cormorants

Common Name

Binomial Name

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Pied-billed Grebe

Podilymbus podiceps

Occasional

Occasional

Occasional

Uncommon

Double-crested Cormorant

Phalacrocorax auritus

Uncommon

Uncommon

Uncommon

Uncommon

Extremely Rare

Common Name

Binomial Name

Common Loon

Gavia immer

Red-necked Grebe

Podiceps grisegena

Horned Grebe

Podiceps auritus


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Herons

Common Name

Binomial Name

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Great Blue Heron

Ardea herodias

Uncommon

Common

Common

Rare

Green Heron

Butorides virescens

Uncommon

Uncommon

Extremely Rare

Common Name

Binomial Name

American Bittern

Botaurus lentiginosus

Snowy Egret

Egretta thula

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Nycticorax nycticorax

Great Egret

Ardea alba

Little Blue Heron

Egretta caerulea

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

Nyctanassa violacea


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Vultures

Common Name

Binomial Name

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Black Vulture *

Coragyps atratus

Common

Common

Common

Common

Turkey Vulture *

Cathartes aura

Common

Common

Common

Common


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Owls

Common Name

Binomial Name

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Eastern Screech-Owl *

Megascops asio

Uncommon

Uncommon

Uncommon

Uncommon

Great Horned Owl *

Bubo virginianus

Rare

Rare

Rare

Rare

Extremely Rare

Common Name

Binomial Name

Long-eared Owl

Asio otus

Short-eared Owl

Asio flammeus

Barred Owl

Strix varia


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Hawks, Eagles, and Falcons

Common Name

Binomial Name

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Osprey

Pandion haliaetus

Rare

Occasional

Rare

Bald Eagle

Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Rare

Rare

Rare

Uncommon

Northern Harrier

Circus cyaneus

Rare

Occasional

Rare

Uncommon

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Accipiter striatus

Rare

Occasional

Rare

Rare

Coopers Hawk *

Accipiter cooperii

Uncommon

Uncommon

Uncommon

Uncommon

Red-shouldered Hawk

Buteo lineatus

Occasional

Occasional

Occasional

Uncommon

Broad-winged Hawk

Buteo platypterus

Uncommon

Occasional

Uncommon

Red-tailed Hawk *

Buteo jamaicensis

Common

Common

Common

Common

American Kestrel *

Falco sparverius

Uncommon

Uncommon

Uncommon

Rare

Peregrine Falcon

Falco peregrinus

Occasional

Occasional

Rare

Extremely Rare

Common Name

Binomial Name

Rough-legged Hawk

Buteo lagopus

Merlin

Falco columbarius


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Coots

Extremely Rare

Common Name

Binomial Name

American Coot

Fulica americana


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Plovers and Sandpipers

Common Name

Binomial Name

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Killdeer

Charadrius vociferus

Rare

Occasional

Rare

Spotted Sandpiper

Actitus macularius

Common

Rare

Wilson's Snipe

Gallinago delicata

Rare

Extremely Rare

Common Name

Binomial Name

Solitary Sandpiper

Tringa solitaria

Woodcock

Scolopax minor

Least Sandpiper

Calidris minutilla


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Gulls

Common Name

Binomial Name

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Ring-billed Gull

Larus delawarensis

Uncommon

Common

Herring Gull

Larus argentatus

Occasional

Rare

Great Black-backed Gull

Larus marinus

Rare

Extremely Rare

Common Name

Binomial Name

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Larus fuscus


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Pigeons and Doves

Common Name

Binomial Name

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Rock Pigeon *

Columba livia

Common

Common

Common

Common

Mourning Dove *

Zenaida macroura

Common

Common

Common

Common


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Cuckoos

Common Name

Binomial Name

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Yellow-billed Cuckoo *

Coccyzus americanus

Uncommon

Uncommon

Occasional

Extremely Rare

Common Name

Binomial Name

Black-billed Cuckoo

Coccyzus erythropthalmus


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Goatsuckers, Swifts, and Hummingbirds

Common Name

Binomial Name

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Common Nighthawk

Chordeiles minor

Rare

Rare

Chimney Swift *

Chaetura pelagica

Common

Abundant

Rare

Ruby-throated Hummingbird *

Archilochus colubris

Uncommon

Uncommon

Occasional


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Kingfishers

Common Name

Binomial Name

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Belted Kingfisher *

Megaceryle alcyon

Common

Common

Common

Common


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Woodpeckers

Common Name

Binomial Name

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Red-bellied Woodpecker *

Melanerpes carolinus

Common

Common

Common

Common

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Sphyrapicus varius

Occasional

Occasional

Uncommon

Downy Woodpecker *

Picoides pubescens

Common

Common

Common

Common

Hairy Woodpecker *

Picoides villosus

Common

Common

Common

Common

Northern Flicker *

Colaptes auratus

Common

Common

Common

Common

Pileated Woodpecker *

Dryocopus pileatus

Uncommon

Uncommon

Uncommon

Uncommon

Extremely Rare

Common Name

Binomial Name

Red-headed Woodpecker

Melanerpes erythrocephalus


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Flycatchers and Kingbirds

Common Name

Binomial Name

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Eastern Wood-Pewee *

Contopus virens

Common

Common

Rare

Acadian Flycatcher *

Empidonax virescens

Uncommon

Uncommon

Occasional

Willow Flycatcher *

Empidonax traillii

Uncommon

Uncommon

Occasional

Eastern Phoebe *

Sayornis phoebe

Common

Common

Common

Rare

Great Crested Flycatcher *

Myiarchus crinitus

Common

Common

Eastern Kingbird *

Tyrannus tyrannus

Common

Common

Extremely Rare

Common Name

Binomial Name

Least Flycatcher

Empidonax minimus


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Vireos

Common Name

Binomial Name

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

White-eyed Vireo *

Vireo griseus

Rare

Occasional

Occasional

Yellow-throated Vireo *

Vireo flavifrons

Rare

Rare

Blue-headed Vireo

Vireo solitarius

Rare

Rare

Warbling Vireo *

Vireo gilvus

Common

Common

Red-eyed Vireo *

Vireo olivaceus

Common

Common

Uncommon


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Corvids

Common Name

Binomial Name

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Blue Jay *

Cyanocitta cristata

Common

Abundant

Abundant

Common

American Crow *

Corvus brachyrhynchos

Common

Common

Common

Common

Fish Crow *

Corvus ossifragus

Uncommon

Uncommon

Occasinoal

Occasional

Extremely Rare

Common Name

Binomial Name

Common Raven

Corvus corax


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Larks

Extremely Rare

Common Name

Binomial Name

Horned Lark

Eremophila alpestris


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Swallows

Common Name

Binomial Name

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Tree Swallow *

Tachycineta bicolor

Common

Common

Uncommon

Northern Rough-winged Swallow *

Stelgidopteryx serripennis

Uncommon

Uncommon

Occasional

Barn Swallow *

Hirundo rustica

Abundant

Abundant

Uncommon

Extremely Rare

Common Name

Binomial Name

Purple Martin

Progne subis

Cliff Swallow

Petrochelidon pyrrhonota

Bank Swallow

Riparia riparia


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Tits and Nuthatches

Common Name

Binomial Name

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Carolina Chickadee *

Poecile carolinensis

Common

Common

Common

Common

Tufted Titmouse *

Baeolophus bicolor

Common

Common

Common

Common

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Sitta canadensis

Occasional

Occasional

Occasional

Rare

White-breasted Nuthatch *

Sitta carolinensis

Common

Common

Common

Common

Extremely Rare

Common Name

Binomial Name

Black-capped Chickadee

Poecile atricapillus


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Creepers and Wrens

Common Name

Binomial Name

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Brown Creeper

Certhia americana

Occasional

Uncommon

Uncommon

Carolina Wren *

Thryothorus ludovicianus

Common

Common

Common

Common

House Wren *

Troglodytes aedon

Common

Common

Rare

Winter Wren

Troglodytes hiemalis

Occasional

Uncommon

Uncommon


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Kinglets and Gnatcatchers

Common Name

Binomial Name

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Regulus satrapa

Occasional

Uncommon

Rare

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Regulus calendula

Uncommon

Abundant

Rare

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher *

Polioptila caerulea

Common

Uncommon


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Thrushes and Mimids

Common Name

Binomial Name

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Eastern Bluebird *

Sialia sialis

Uncommon

Uncommon

Uncommon

Uncommon

Hermit Thrush

Catharus guttatus

Uncommon

Uncommon

Occasional

Wood Thrush *

Hylocichla mustelina

Common

Common

Occasional

American Robin *

Turdus migratorius

Common

Abundant

Common

Common

Gray Catbird *

Dumetella carolinensis

Common

Abundant

Common

Northern Mockingbird *

Mimus polyglottos

Common

Common

Common

Uncommon

Brown Thrasher *

Toxostoma rufum

Uncommon

Uncommon

Uncommon

Extremely Rare

Common Name

Binomial Name

Veery

Catharus fuscescens

Swainson’s Thrush

Catharus ustulatus


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Starlings

Common Name

Binomial Name

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

European Starling *

Sturnus vulgaris

Abundant

Abundant

Abundant

Abundant


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Pipits and Waxwings

Common Name

Binomial Name

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Cedar Waxwing *

Bombycilla cedrorum

Uncommon

Uncommon

Uncommon

Occasional

Extremely Rare

Common Name

Binomial Name

American Pipit

Anthus rubescens


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Wood Warblers

Common Name

Binomial Name

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Blue-winged Warbler *

Vermivora cyanoptera

Rare

Rare

Tennessee Warbler

Oreothlypis peregrina

Rare

Rare

Nashville Warbler

Oreothlypis ruficapilla

Rare

Rare

Rare

Northern Parula

Setophaga americana

Uncommon

Occasional

Occasional

Yellow Warbler *

Setophaga petechia

Uncommon

Uncommon

Uncommon

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Setophaga pensylvanica

Rare

Occasional

Rare

Magnolia Warbler

Setophaga magnolia

Occasional

Rare

Rare

Black-throated Blue Warbler

Setophaga caerulescens

Uncommon

Rare

Rare

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Setophaga coronata

Common

Common

Uncommon

Black-throated Green Warbler

Setophaga virens

Uncommon

Uncommon

Rare

Pine Warbler

Setophaga pinus

Rare

Occasional

Rare

Prairie Warbler *

Setophaga discolor

Rare

Rare

Palm Warbler

Setophaga palmarum

Uncommon

Uncommon

Black-and-white Warbler

Mniotilta varia

Uncommon

Uncommon

Uncommon

American Redstart

Setophaga ruticilla

Rare

Rare

Rare

Worm-eating Warbler *

Helmitheros vermivorum

Rare

Rare

Ovenbird *

Seiurus aurocapilla

Uncommon

Rare

Occasional

Louisiana Waterthrush *

Parkesia motacilla

Rare

Rare

Common Yellowthroat *

Geothlypis trichas

Common

Common

Rare

Extremely Rare

Common Name

Binomial Name

Golden-winged Warbler

Vermivora chrysoptera

Cape May Warbler

Setophaga tigrina

Yellow-throated Warbler

Setophaga dominica

Blackpoll Warbler

Setophaga striata

Northern Waterthrush

Parkesia noveboracensis

Mourning Warbler

Geothlypis philadelphia

Wilson’s Warbler

Cardellina pusilla

Yellow-breasted Chat

Icteria virens

Orange-crowned Warbler

Oreothlypis celata

Blackburnian Warbler

Setophaga fusca

Bay-breasted Warbler

Setophaga castanea

Cerulean Warbler

Setophaga cerulea

Kentucky Warbler

Geothlypis formosa

Hooded Warbler

Setophaga citrina

Canada Warbler

Cardellina canadensis


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Tanagers, Sparrows, and Grosbeaks

Common Name

Binomial Name

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Scarlet Tanager *

Piranga olivacea

Common

Common

Eastern Towhee *

Pipilo erythrophthalmus

Common

Common

Common

Rare

American Tree Sparrow

Spizella arborea

Rare

Rare

Rare

Chipping Sparrow *

Spizella passerina

Common

Common

Uncommon

Occasional

Field Sparrow *

Spizella pusilla

Common

Common

Uncommon

Uncommon

Savannah Sparrow

Passerculus sandwichensis

Rare

Occasional

Occasional

Fox Sparrow

Passerella iliaca

Occasional

Rare

Occasional

Song Sparrow *

Melospiza melodia

Abundant

Abundant

Abundant

Abundant

Swamp Sparrow

Melospiza georgiana

Rare

Occasional

Rare

White-throated Sparrow

Zonotrichia albicollis

Common

Common

Common

Dark-eyed Junco

Junco hyemalis

Common

Common

Abundant

Northern Cardinal *

Cardinalis cardinalis

Common

Common

Common

Common

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Pheucticus ludovicianus

Rare

Occasional

Rare

Indigo Bunting *

Passerina cyanea

Common

Common

Occasional

Extremely Rare

Common Name

Binomial Name

White-crowned Sparrow

Zonotrichia leucophrys

Blue Grosbeak

Passerina caerulea

Lincoln’s Sparrow

Melospiza lincolnii


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Blackbirds and Finches

Common Name

Binomial Name

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Red-winged Blackbird *

Agelaius phoeniceus

Common

Abundant

Common

Occasional

Eastern Meadowlark *

Sturnella magna

Common

Common

Uncommon

Occasional

Common Grackle *

Quiscalus quiscula

Common

Common

Common

Rare

Brown-headed Cowbird *

Molothrus ater

Common

Common

Common

Rare

Orchard Oriole *

Icterus spurius

Common

Common

Baltimore Oriole *

Icterus galbula

Common

Common

House Finch *

Haemorhous mexicanus

Common

Common

Common

Common

American Goldfinch *

Spinus tristus

Common

Common

Common

Uncommon

House Sparrow *

Passer domesticus

Rare

Rare

Rare

Rare

Extremely Rare

Common Name

Binomial Name

Bobolink

Dolichonyx oryzivorus

# Evening Grosbeak

Coccothraustes vespertinus

# White-winged Crossbill

Loxia leucoptera

# Pine Siskin

Spinus pinus

Rusty Blackbird

Euphagus carolinus

# Purple Finch

Haemorhous purpureus

# Common Redpoll

Acanthis flammea


< Back to Bird List Key

Last updated: April 13, 2021

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King of Prussia , PA 19406

Phone:

610 783-1000

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