Birding in Butler County

Whether you’re a birding enthusiast or just getting started in bird watching endeavors, there are plenty of avian friends to be spotted all across the county.

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 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.

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.

Download Birding Handout

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.