House Sparrow

(Passer domesticus)

Size: About 6" long

Seasons: Year-round

Habitat: Anywhere there are buildings, there are house sparrows. 

Description: Ubiquitous little brown birds. Males have bold black bibs.

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House Finch

(Haemorhous mexicanus)
Size: About 8"
Seasons: Year-round
Habitat: Neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia
Description: Like a house sparrow dipped headfirst into magenta ink. Sings an enthusiastic, musical, jumbled song.


American Robin

(Turdus migritorius)

Size: About 10" long

Seasons: Year-round

Habitat: Nest in neighborhoods and grassy areas with some trees. Winter flocks use forests as well. 

Description: Dark gray bird with an orange breast and a white eye-ring. In winter, they tend to move in flocks. Spring-summer they spread out.


European Starling

(Sturnus vulgaris)

Size: About 9" long

Seasons: Year-round

Habitat: Close to buildings throughout Philadelphia

Description: The most common black bird in urban areas. They walk with big steps, and their short, somewhat triangular wings make them look like fighter jets in flight.

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Northern Cardinal

(Cardinalis cardinalis)
Size: About 9"
Seasons: Year-round
Habitat: Neighborhoods and parks throughout Philadelphia. 
Description: Females are tan with reddish wings and tail, males scarlet red, both with a peaked crest on their head.



(Columba livia)

Size: About a foot long

Seasons: Year-round

Habitat: Neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia

Description: Variable plumage, but most are gray with dark wing bars, iridescent rose, and green plumage on neck and head. Walk with strutting step. Strong flyers.

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Mourning Dove

(Zenaida macroura)
Size: About 10"
Seasons: Year-round
Habitat: Green spaces and neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia. 
Description: A tan/gray dove looks like a smaller, more-delicate pigeon. Sing a song that can be confused with an owl, and take off with a whistling noise from their wings


Chimney Swift

(Chaetura pelagica)

Size: About 5" long

Seasons: Spring-Fall

Habitat: Nests in buildings. Flies throughout Philadelphia. 

Description: Pointy wings in a stiff arc with a body like a cigar. Listen for chittering calls and then look up to see them. 

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Tree Swallow

(Tachycineta bicolor)

Size: About 5" long, 12" wingspan

Seasons: Spring-Summer

Habitat: Nest in holes in trees or artificial nest boxes and forage over water or open land such as fields and meadows.

Description: Malachite blue backs with white underparts.

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Rough Winged Swallow

(Stelgidopteryx serripennis)

Size: About 5" long, 11" wingspan

Seasons: Spring-Fall

Habitat: Nests in burrows or human-made holes near water. Forages in open areas, often near water.

Description: Brown swallow with lighter-brown underside

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Barn Swallow

(Hirundo rustica)

Size: About 7" long with 12" wingspan

Seasons: Spring-Summer

Habitat: Build mud nests on ceilings of open human structures and forage in open areas, often fields, meadows, or over water.

Description: Shiny cobalt blue back with tawny or apricot underparts. Sharp-pointed wings with classic swallow tail (with long points at the either side)

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American Crow

(Corvus brachyrhynchos)
Size: About 18" long
Seasons: Year-round
Habitat: Throughout Philadelphia
Descriptions: Glossy black birds that loudly call "caw."


Mallard Duck

(Anas platyrhynchos)
Size: About 2' long
Seasons: Year-round
Habitat: Bodies of water throughout Philadelphia
Description: Females are brown, males are gray with a bright green head and neck. Both have a royal blue wing band. Our most common duck.


Canada Goose

(Branta canadensis)

Size: A large goose, about 3' with a long neck

Season: Year-round

Habitat: Bodies of water and mowed grass throughout Philadelphia. 

Description: Tan/gray goose with long black neck and white stripe across the face. Fall-spring fly overhead in large V-shaped formations, honking/calling as they fly. 

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Red-Tailed Hawk

(Buteo jamaicensis)
Size: About 2' long with 4' wingspan
Seasons: Year-round
Habitat: Parks and neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia
Description: A beefy raptor with dark spots on underparts patterned into a band across the belly. Often seen soaring or perched in trees or on buildings.


Turkey Vulture

(Cathartes aura)
Size: Huge. Wingspan nearly 6 feet
Seasons: Year-round
Habitat: Soars above green spaces and neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia.
Description: Large black birds that soar with wings tilted up slightly. Naked heads.


Bald Eagle

(Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

Size: Wingspan of about 7.5 feet

Seasons: Year-round

Habitat: Near water throughout Philadelphia

Description: Large raptor with white head and tail. Juveniles uniformly dark brown.

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