Bird watching is a wonderful way to connect to the outdoors and nature. Pennsylvania is one of the best places to do this with an abundance of wild life habitats open to the public. Did you know that Mill Grove in Audubon, Pennsylvania is the first American home of John James Audubon? Audubon arrived at the age of 18 at Mill Grove in 1803. This museum offers a combination of art and science and features all of Audubon’s major works, including his famous Birds of America. This book contains 453 life-sized paintings of North American birds, notable for color and realism. In addition to birds, Audubon later illustrated 3 volumes of mammals.
The grounds sit on 175 acres and feature five miles of walking trails where there have been over 175 species of birds and over 400 species of plants identified. The center is currently building a new 18,000 square foot visitor center to better display their historic collection of Audubon art. When the new visitor center opens in 2019 you’ll have a better understanding of birds in their natural setting, and listen to bird sounds and songs. You also have up close views of bird feathers and how they help birds fly, and be able to actually step inside a sample of a bird’s nest and see bird eggs up close.
While at Mill Grove Audubon became interested in ornithological art. This is where he made many of his drawings and performed the first bird banding experiments. Your visit will be rewarded by a better understanding of conservation of wild life.
With its proximity to Valley Forge, a visit here and the Revolutionary historic site makes for a great day trip from Hamanassett. To learn more about their hours and their special events click here.
There is also the John Heinz Wildlife Refuge in Tinicum which is just outside Philadelphia and a short 20 minute drive from Hamanassett. Established in 1972, it is America’s first urban refuge. The National Audubon Society has designated the wildlife refuge as an important bird sanctuary. Over 300 birds have been identified at this sanctuary and over 80 species of birds use it as a stop over in their migratory pattern. In addition to birds, you’ll spot mammals, reptiles and amphibians. The state mammal is the white tailed deer which is quite common. In fact, chances are you’ll see deer at Hamanassett. In addition to deer, you’ll see foxes, raccoons, rabbits, and even blue herons. For more information on the John Heinz Wildlife refuge click here.
Why not plan a visit to our area and stay at Hamanassett? We are in between the two wild life areas so we make a convenient stopover. Decide when you want to visit and then check our availability.