Come Soar with Bird Town Pennsylvania

Birds are a vital part of our ecosystem and bring beauty and joy to our environment. They eat over 400-500 tons of insects a year, disperse seeds, provide pollination services and keep rat and mice pollutions down. Crows and vultures also scavenge carcasses reducing diseases such as rabies, distemper, and plague, that otherwise may go unchecked. They also serve as an early warning sign that something may be wrong in our environment as they are especially sensitive to toxins and pollutants.

Did you know that more than half of all of U.S. bird species are in decline? According to the study published in Science in September 2019, their populations have declined by nearly 3 billion birds since 1970. More than 90% of the losses come from just 12 bird families including warblers, finches, sparrows and blackbirds, such as Dark-eyed Juncos, White-throated Sparrows and Red-winged Blackbirds.

“There are multiple interacting causes that are likely behind these bird populations declines”, according to the American Bird Conservancy. These threats including predation, with over 2.4 billion lost annually to cats, up to a billion lost to window collisions and more lost due to habitat loss and degradation, pesticides, invasive species, plastics, and climate change. There are many impactful actions that can be taken to help birds including keeping cats indoors, avoiding pesticides, reducing lawns and adding native plants, eliminating invasives, reducing use of single-use plastics and more!

Bird Town PennsylvaniaBird Town Pennsylvania, a state-wide, grassroots, conservation program, works directly with municipal leaders to support, inspire and promote bird friendly communities and raise awareness of the important role people can play in supporting bird populations. Collaborating with other conservation partners, including local Audubon Chapters, Bird City Network and We Conserve PA, the Bird Town Pennsylvania has developed programs that encourage cooperation within and among communities to ensure the long-term well-being of birds by restoring and enhancing their habitats, reducing threats to their survival and other positive impactful environmental initiatives. Running successfully for over 12 years now, 48 different programs have been established in nine counties in Pennsylvania and it continues to grow robustly. Is your municipality a Bird Town? Check here.

Bird Town Pennsylvania’s leaders engage and encourage residents directly by offering educational materials at table events, creating pop-up gardens, supporting and running citizen science programs such as sharing with a local scouting group about the Great Backyard Bird Count and the joy of birding, hosting native plant sales, educating about invasive plants, offering birding walks, and more. These activities model best practices and encourage and support residents to embrace bird friendly actions. Please visit our website to learn more:

One of our newest Bird Towns, Whitehall Township in Lehigh County, located near the Kittatinny Ridge, is using one of the Bird Town $500 mini-grants, made possible by a generous donation from Penn Community Bank, to restore native habitat near a bird watching area in their 110-acre Whitehall Parkway, near the Ironton Rail Trail. Partnering with their local High School and scouting groups, the removal of invasives and remediation of the site has already begun and will continue in the spring, including the installation of native plants. They also have been working to pass a Shade Tree Ordinance in their municipality, planted over 300 milkweed plants on three different township properties to support Monarchs and held a summer camp program for children aged 8-12.  Collaborating with Lehigh Valley Audubon Society and Wildlands Conservancy, they taught the children how to use the Merlin app and identify common local birds and held a fun scavenger hunt.

If you would like to learn more and also about how your local municipality can apply to join the Bird Town Pennsylvania Program, please send an email to We look forward to hearing from you.