Priority Species

Purple Martin © Bill Moses

The Atlas provides an opportunity to learn more about some of the rare, secretive, or high conservation priority species in the state and better inform management for these species. We ask that additional data be collected for about 60 of these “priority species.”

This list of species is based on the Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program (PNHP) inventory of bird species in the Commonwealth for which there is conservation concern. Included on this list are “current and proposed vulnerable, rare, threatened, endangered, and extirpated species, as well as species of interest with unique or specific habitat needs or declining populations.”

If you observe a priority species, please:

  1. Prioritize attempts to confirm breeding for the species in the block.
  2. Provide additional information in the species comments in your eBird checklist.
    • For all priority species – Provide a specific location* of the bird and/or nest.
    • You may also provide a brief description of the habitat, how you identified the bird, and details of nests (e.g., height above ground, species of tree/shrub, number of eggs/young present).
    • If possible, submit a photo or audio file.
    • Additionally, for colonial nesters provide the number of nests.

*If you have concerns about providing a precise location, follow the guidelines for reporting Sensitive Species.

Priority Species

Blue-winged Teal Least Bittern Bank Swallow
American Black Duck Great Blue Heron† Purple Martin†
Green-winged Teal Great Egret† Sedge Wren
Pied-billed Grebe Snowy Egret† Marsh Wren
Common Nighthawk Cattle Egret† Bewick’s Wren
Eastern Whip-poor-will Black-crowned Night-heron† Swainson’s Thrush
King Rail Yellow-crowned Night-heron† Red Crossbill
Virginia Rail Osprey Pine Siskin
Sora Northern Harrier Clay-colored Sparrow
Common Gallinule Sharp-shinned Hawk White-throated Sparrow
American Coot American Goshawk Vesper Sparrow
Black Rail Bald Eagle Henslow’s Sparrow
Sandhill Crane Barn Owl Yellow-breasted Chat
Piping Plover Long-eared Owl Golden-winged Warbler
Upland Sandpiper Short-eared Owl Prothonotary Warbler
Red Knot Red-headed Woodpecker Nashville Warbler
Wilson’s Snipe Merlin Cerulean Warbler
Spotted Sandpiper Peregrine Falcon Blackpoll Warbler
Black Tern† Yellow-bellied Flycatcher Summer Tanager
Common Tern† Loggerhead Shrike Dickcissel
American Bittern Northern Shrike


Colonial nesting species.