Blue Bird on a tree branch

Birder’s Delight

Franklin County is a birder’s delight. Bring your binoculars, explore and find various kinds of birds!

Franklin County is 495,000 acres of which more than 242,000 acres are farmland and approximately 100,000 acres are forest lands. The rural environment suits a variety of birds.

Green Grass Covered Mountain Under Blue Sky

In a 2016 study of birders, the U.S. National Wildlife Service found that more than 45 million Americans watch birds around and away from their homes. Pennsylvania ranks 14th in birding in the U.S. Looking at Franklin County’s rural and farmland characteristics, it is easy to see the habit appeals to birds.

Chapters of the Audubon Society are present in Franklin County to help birders enjoy seeing and identifying an array of birds. The Kittatinny Ridge Conservation Corridor, supported by Pennsylvania Audubon Society, adjoins 160 miles of the Appalachian Trail. The region, part of Franklin County is a favorite site for raptor watchers in spring and fall. Rock outcroppings along the ridge provide a good vantage point to view the raptors seasonal migrations.

The South Mountain area of eastern Franklin County adjoins Cumberland and Adams Counties. This area offers a divers array of birds. Enthusiasts can see tanagers and woodcocks to osprey and bald eagles. The greater Franklin County portion of South Mountain offers a climate where northern and southern vegetation of the north and the south can grow, providing a climate and vegetation to attract a nice variety of birds annually. Birding Guide of South Mountain is a good resource for birders in the region.

Out of the Ore Birds and Bloom is the trail adjoining Penn State Mont Alto and the driving range of Penn National Golf Course. Along with a trail is a guidebook, which identifies nearly 50 species of birds as well as a variety of flora and fauna. This area is a part of the Mont Alto Iron works.After more than 75 years of charcoal and iron ore production, the landscape was a dying habitat. Thankfully, the conservation and reforestation movement brought the land back to viability.

The lower canopy of the forest includes mountain laurel, wild blackberry and black huckleberry. The humid summer temperatures create a thriving underbrush where insects are plentiful and so are bird species. Explore The Birds of South Mountain!

On the Move in Franklin County: 2019-2020 Recreation Guide