Birds

Osprey in flight - Ron Holmes.

Check out recent bird sightings here! 

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum is located within the Atlantic Flyway, a north-south migration route along the East Coast of the United States. Every year, migrating birds travel up and down this route following food sources, heading to breeding grounds, or travelling to overwintering sites. The refuge’s diverse habitat and plentiful vegetation offer a important resting place for migrating birds. 


Birds are at the core of the refuge’s establishment and designation as an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society. There are both seasonal and daily peaks to bird observation. During the Spring and Fall, the refuge hosts a diverse number of migratory birds who utilize the refuge as resting and feeding grounds during their migration. Throughout the other seasons, year-round residents can be seen at the refuge along trails, in the emergent wetland, and in the marsh. For the best bird viewing, visit in the early morning or in the evening when birds are most active. 


In total, visitors have a unique opportunity to see approximately 90 species of nesting birds and over 300 species overall! From Bald Eagles to the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, each day at the refuge delivers a new experience. 


Volunteers and refuge staff lead bird identification walks frequently through the year. If you are new to bird watching, attending these walks is a great way to start. Don’t have binoculars? Visitors may borrow binoculars from the Visitor Center front desk at no cost during business hours.