Birding in Butler County

Explore a bird watchers paradise through birding hotspots, shops, and more!

Butler County is a bird watchers delight. Whether you’re a birding enthusiast or just getting started in your bird watching endeavors, there are many ways to enjoy birding in Butler County, PA through learning more about bird species found here and visiting birding hotspots. View our latest video, Between Earth and Sky to discover more.




Your Field Guide To Butler County, PA

Butler County is accessible by I-79, I-80 and the PA Turnpike. You might spot Osprey, Bald Eagles, or a Cerulean Warbler. Learn more by downloading the birding handout!

Begin your day in Slippery Rock where you can get all of the necessary supplies at The Birdwatcher’s Store. Not only is the store itself intriguing, but you can begin birdwatching right there. It’s located on a 4-acre sanctuary with birdfeeders outside. It has a huge back window and they provide binoculars for visitors to borrow. They also host birdwatching excursions.

Moraine State Park in Portersville is a great place to spot our feathered friends. The park consists of 16,725 acres and features over 42 miles of scenic shoreline. Bald Eagles, loons, warblers, heron and Osprey are among the many species that can be found throughout the Park. 

Osprey at Moraine
Osprey at Moraine

Osprey are often seen flying over Lake Arthur. Once extirpated from western Pennsylvania, these “fish hawks” have been reintroduced to Moraine through a hacking program begun in 1993. The first Osprey pair to nest along Lake Arthur as a result of the reintroduction effort raised three young in 1996. Bald Eagles have also been spotted nesting in the park. 

Popular places for birding at Moraine include the waterfowl observation deck along old Route 422 (accessible from Route 528) and on the upper deck of Preston’s Pearl, an enclosed pontoon boat where passengers learn about Moraine State Park’s history and wildlife. Preston’s Pearl is operated by the Moraine Preservation Fund (MPF) and cruises are offered from Memorial Day Weekend through October. 

Viewers can also take advantage of a webcam featuring a continuous Live Stream of an active Osprey nest along the North Shore of Lake Arthur. This osprey webcam is supported by MPF and the Tourism Bureau, and it allows users 24-hour viewing access available April through September.

Jennings Environmental Education Center
Jennings Environmental Education Center

An abundance of bird species can be found among the prairie and woodlands at Jennings Environmental Education Center in Slippery Rock. Goldfinches, Song and Field Sparrows, swallows, bluebirds, flycatchers and Woodcocks are among the many birds that can be spotted throughout the center’s 300 acres. Visit Jennings’ prairie area on spring evenings at dusk, to witness the Woodcock’s amazing courtship ritual! The oak-hickory-cherry forest surrounding the prairie features a high density of breeding Carolina Wrens and Blue-Winged Warblers are found on the brushy edges of the prairie.

Jennings Environmental Education Center has been certified an Audubon Society Wildlife Sanctuary since 1999 and is noted especially for its breeding population of Cerulean Warbler. 

Together, Jennings Environmental Education Center and Moraine State Park cover 17,025 acres that have been designated as an Important Bird Area #12 by the National Audubon Society and monitored by volunteers of the Bartramian Audubon Society.

Other spots for great birding include Todd Nature Reserve and Succop Nature Park, both operated by the Western Pennsylvania Audubon Society. They feature wooded trails and offer free guided birdwatching walks throughout the week.

A unique day trip includes a visit to Stormy Oaks Nature Conservatory in Valencia where Wildbird Recovery, a licensed wildlife rehabilitation center provides services to birds and educational programming. Check out their events, storytimes, and education programs to learn more about their work with birds.


Plan Your Birding Adventure 

Spread your wings and plan your birding adventure through Butler County with the Visit Butler County, PA! App or Visit Widget on desktop. Add parks to spot feathered friends or unique shops with nature gifts. Then, share your itinerary with friends. Download now!

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Feed Your Hobby

For all your birding needs, check out the Birdwatchers Store located in Slippery Rock! The favorite destination of wild bird enthusiasts of all ages. They carry optics, feeders, seed, houses, poles, gifts, and more! View birds at their outside feeders and ask about their birding tours.

Moraine Preservation Fund’s Owlet Gift Shop has a unique collection of nature gifts and collectables. Find items such as local honey, maple syrup, hand crafted bird houses, a vast assortment of t-shirts, hats, and sweatshirts.

The Audubon Nature Store at Succop Nature Park is located on the property inside of the T.W. Philips Barn. The store specializes in nature merchandise, an extensive line of bird feeders, and their proprietary blend of birdseeds.

Jennings Environmental Education Center has a gift shop with nature-themed offerings. Find field guides, local artist’s photos, honey, and more! 

Since there are so many great birding spots, please travel at your own leisure and refer to our Accommodations and Dining sections for places to eat and rest whenever you’re ready.