Dark-eyed Juncos migrate north in last spring, but hang around in my garden until then.

The Most Common Winter Birds in Philadelphia

junco in my garden
Dark-eyed Junco

Learn the birds on this list and amaze your family and friends with your Philadelphia natural history knowledge.

You don’t need to know hundreds of birds, just the ones that occur in your area during particular seasons. There are only 20-30, common and easily found, species of birds living in cold winter areas. This list has 26 species.

There are some birds that I need to know better. Sparrows still confuse me. They aren’t called “little brown jobs” for nothing. I would also like to know Red-tailed Hawk plumages.

Using this list, helps me to focus on what is important to know.

Below are the most widespread and easily found birds in the City of Philadelphia during the winter.  The information holds for areas close to the city, give or take a few species.

The information was gleaned from the 24th annual Philadelphia Mid-Winter Bird Census, held on Saturday January 9, 2010 and conducted by the Delaware Valley Ornithology Club.

Starting with the most common and widespread species:

  1. Downy Woodpecker
  2. Northern Cardinal
  3. Carolina Chickadee
  4. Song Sparrow
  5. White-throated Sparrow
  6. American Robin (often hanging out in wooded areas)
  7. Carolina Wren
  8. Mourning Dove
  9. Tufted Titmouse
  10. House Sparrow
  11. Blue Jay (wooded areas)
  12. White-breasted Nuthatch
  13. Northern Mockingbird
  14. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  15. Red-tailed Hawk
  16. American Goldfinch
  17. Dark-eyed Junco
  18. European Starling
  19. American Crow
  20. Canada Goose
  21. Rock Pigeon (the common gray jobs that frequent city streets)
  22. Ring-billed Gull
  23. Mallard
  24. House Finch
  25. Hairy Woodpecker
  26. Northern Flicker

Project Feederwatch offers free posters of common eastern or western winter feeder birds for download and printing.

Find out about birds at All About Birds http://www.allaboutbirds.org/, a comprehensive resource for information on North American birds by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology


  1. Thank you, Stephen for the positive feedback. Peeking at your profile, I think we do have many similar interests (writing, nature, Italy, though I am MFA dropout, etc.). That is why I like blogging so much, connecting to people with similar interests.

  2. Just wanted to stop by and say I really enjoy your posts, especially the site your-nature-journal.com. . . and on that site, I especially enjoy your quotes and thoughts on Thoreau. Thanks so much for your posts! I have some similar projects, and I share similar interests (writing, nature). Would be great to partner at some point. Anyway, I look forward to seeing what you write next! Take care,Stephen

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