Plus five facts about birding in the city: when, where, and what to look for.

Every fall, billions of birds migrate across North America, crossing the United States. Tony Croasdale, Environmental Education Program Specialist with Philadelphia Parks & Recrestion provided this helpful information about fall bird migration.  

Here are five most frequently asked questions about birdwatching during fall migration: 

1. When does fall migration begin in Pennsylvania?   

Shorebirds start moving in mid-July. Eagles, owls, and waterfowl can migrate into early December. Some geese and ducks will still move south to our area and out from our area when bodies of water freeze. If the freeze comes late, water birds could be moving south even in early February.  

2. What type of birds migrate in our area?  

Pennsylvania also gets a tremendous migration of Broad-winged Hawks that breed in area forests. Then they migrate to the Amazon basin in the winter. 

In addition, Pennsylvania attracts insect-eating birds including:  

  • swallows 
  • swifts  
  • warblers 
  • vireos 
  • flycatchers  
  • sandpipers 
  • plovers  

3. Do all birds migrate?  

For most species, at least some part of the population has seasonal movements. Most birds migrate because their food isn’t available in the winter. It’s not to avoid freezing temperatures. Their feathers provide efficient insulation.  

4. What can people do to help birds in their migration?  

Plant native plant species in their yards. These species host insects that they need to feed on. Put decals or other devices on windows to prevent birds from flying into windows. Keep house cats indoors, as cats are the number one source of bird mortality.  

5. What are some places to go in Philly to view migrations?

All Philadelphia parks host migrating birds.


Borrow a birding kit from the Free Library of Philadelphia.

  • Birding backpacks with binoculars and field guides are now on loan at the following Philadelphia libraries: Andorra, Cobbs Creek, Cecil B. Morre, Falls of Schuylkill, Frankford, Greater Olney, Logan, Richmond, South Philadelphia, Torresdale, and Widener.
  • Before attending a walk or other event, please check for schedule changes or cancellations.

Check out these 2022 fall birdwatching events  

Events listed in chronological order.

Cobbs Creek Bird Walk-Migration Season 

September 16, 2022
8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Center – 700 Cobbs Creek Pkwy., Philadelphia, PA, 19143  

Explore the meadow, wetland, and forest near Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Center to look for migrating species. Binoculars are available to borrow. Read more details. 

BirdPhilly Bird Walk at Tacony Creek Park 

September 17, 2022
8 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Tacony Creek Park – Ramona Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19124 

Join BirdPhilly for a bird walk in NW Philly. It is peak fall migration. Participants are bound to see some warblers, thrushes, and vireos. Meet at Ramona Avenue entrance and walk about 2-3 miles. For questions, email 

Haddington Woods Bird Walk 

September 22, 2022
8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Haddington Woods – 63rd and Market Sts., Philadelphia, PA 19143 

Look for migrating birds at one of the hidden gems of Philadelphia’s park system.  Meet at the NW corner of 63rd and Market St. Binoculars are available to borrow. Read more details here,  

Morris Park Bird Walk 

September 24, 2022
9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Papa Playground – 6839 Lansdowne Ave., Philadelphia, PA, 19151 

Let’s explore this fantastic section of Cobbs Creek Park during the peak of fall bird migration.  Meet at Papa Playground parking lot, 6839 Lansdowne Ave. Binoculars will be available to borrow. View additional details here.  

Birdwatching Walk with Jason Hall 

October 2, 2022
8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Various Locations 

Join science educator and passionate bird watcher Jason Hall for a birdwatching walk around Fairmount Park and FDR Park. Walks are held at various locations. These natural areas and bodies of water serve as “rest stops” on the highway for the migration of many spectacular species, so you’ll be delighted by the diversity of winged creatures hidden in plain sight. Event is sponsored by Fairmount Park Conservancy. Read more and purchase tickets here.  

Bird Walks with Will 

October 3, 2022
8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Pennypack Environmental Center8600a Verree Rd., Philadelphia, PA 19115 

All ages can join Will for an early morning bird walk to ID local birds. Binoculars are available to borrow. Drop-ins welcome. View more details and register here.   

Audubon’s Philly Birding Weekend 

October 7, 8, and 9, 2022
Various locations 

Audubon Mid-Atlantic is hosting the inaugural Philly Birding Weekend over the weekend of October 7-9, 2022. People from across the region are invited to explore some of the city’s iconic green spaces and look for birds on their fall migration. Each tour will be guided by bird experts. Planned excursions will include walks in local watersheds and parks, a paddle on the Strawberry Mansion Reservoir, Saturday night celebratory Tally Rally and so much more! Register and purchase tickets here. 

“GO BIRDS!” Guided Bird Walk 

October 9, 2022
Recurs on November 20, 2022 and December 18, 2022
9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Pennypack on the Delaware8201 State Rd., Philadelphia, PA, 19136 

Before watching the Birds on TV, see REAL birds (maybe even Eagles) in Northeast Philadelphia’s Pennypack on the Delaware Park. Free expert-guided walk for all ages. Meet at the covered picnic pavilion at the ballfields in Pennypack on the Delaware. View additional details. 

Breakfast with the Birds 

November 4, 2022
8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Pennypack Environmental Center – 8600a Verree Rd., Philadelphia, PA 19115 

Join us at the picnic area for light refreshments and bird watching at our bird feeders. This program is geared towards those with low mobility. View more information and register here.     

Bird Walk with Will 

November 5, 2022
8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Pennypack Environmental Center – 8600a Verree Rd., Philadelphia, PA, 19115 

Join Will for an early morning bird walk here at the center. What birds will we see as winter gets closer? Binoculars are available to borrow. Drop-ins welcome. View more information and register here. 

Parks & Rec's monthly event calendar includes park-based events at sites across the city.