Penn State Stone Valley Forest birds

Paul Brigman and I spent two hours birding a corner of Penn State’s Stone Valley Forest this morning.

We started the day in Masseyburg, along “Watershed Road” (listed on Google Maps as “Unnamed Forest Road”). In the large young pine plantation along the east side of the road, highlights included:

  • Yellow-breasted Chat (1-2)
  • Indigo Bunting
  • Golden-winged Warbler (1)
  • Blue-winged Warbler (4+)
  • Prairie Warbler (4+)

Further up the road, we had a brief glance at a larger Accipiter that appeared to be a one-year old with Juvenal plumage. We also had singing:

  • Hooded Warbler
  • Northern Parula
  • Pine Warbler
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  • Cedar Waxwing

After spotting a Solitary Sandpiper at Hutchinson Pond (along Masseyburg Road), we took a left onto “Shaver’s Creek Road” (“Shaver’s Creek Logging Road” on Google) that cuts over to Hammond Road.

This quiet road is one of my favorite spots in the Experimental Forest. It threads through both deciduous and hemlock stands, and closely parallels Shaver’s Creek for a long stretch to provide a nice mix of forest habitat. Our highlights here included:

  • Acadian Flycatcher
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  • Louisiana Waterthrush
  • American Redstart
  • Black-throated Green Warbler
  • Blue-headed Vireo
  • Red-eyed Vireo

In the early-successional habitat near Hammond Road we had:

  • Hooded Warbler
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • Scarlet Tanager

Finally, as we wound our way down Scare Pond Road past Stone Valley Recreation Area and back to Shaver’s Creek, we heard an Eastern Wood Pewee and another Acadian Flycatcher.

You can hear the latter’s call at:

All told, it was a beautiful morning in Penn State’s Stone Valley Forest!

Happy birding,

Joshua Potter
Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center

P.S. You can download the Stone Valley Forest Map at:

And you can read all about birding in SVF on page 37 of the new Birds of Central Pennsylvania by Nick Bolgiano and Greg Grove.