Join birding expert and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation ecologist Tony Croasdale, for a crash course in Philadelphia’s birds. We begin looking for raptors that nest on buildings. Peregrine Falcons nest on City Hall, the largest city hall and masonry building in the world. By mid-June the young will likely be flying around the nest site while their parents still bring them prey. Next, we will visit Cobbs Creek Park, to look and listen for Pileated Woodpeckers, Acadian and Great-crested Flycatchers, Wood Thrush, American Redstarts, Ovenbirds, Veery, and Scarlet Tanagers in the woods. We will check the park’s meadows and forest edge for Baltimore and Orchard Orioles, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Indigo Buntings, and Eastern Kingbirds. Cooper’s and Red-shouldered Hawks are always a possibility in this park.
Our last stop is John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum. Tinicum is the Lenni Lenape word for marsh, and what local birds call the refuge. Tinicum is the nation’s first urban refuge and was founded to preserve most of the last remaining freshwater tidal marsh in Pennsylvania. From the boardwalks and observation tower we hope to find Least Bitterns, Green Herons, Great Egrets, Wood Ducks, Osprey, Bald Eagles, Yellow Warblers, Warbling Vireos, Willow Flycatchers, and Forster’s Terns. We can also expect to see a diversity of turtles including Common Snapping and Eastern Redbelly, a state threatened species. Beaver, muskrat, mink, and river otter are also possible to see here.
Note: Because birds can be hard to predict, the itinerary and schedule may change. Bring water and sun protection. Binoculars will be provided.
Environmental Education Program Specialist, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation