Wildlife and Wildflowers
Included below are some guidebooks specific to our general region and also a few books that are not commonly encountered.
Wildflowers of the Appalachian Trail
Wildflowers of the Appalachian Trail is the go-to resource for anyone interested in the wildflowers found along the 2,175-mile-long Appalachian National Scenic Trail. Also included for many of the 94 flowers profiled in the book is the fascinating role the flower has played through history and its value in folkloric as well as modern medicine.
Somerset County Naturally: A Guide to Enjoying the Wildlife of Somerset County
PENNA q QL202.B37 2002x
Take this guidebook along with you the next time you visit the Laurel Highlands.
The Rainbow Beneath My Feet: A Mushroom Dyer's Field Guide
A unique and useful reference guide to some of the more common and best color-producing dye mushrooms of North America.
Trees of Pennsylvania and the Northeast
With populations of both northern and southern trees, Pennsylvania is home to a truly diverse array of species. This book describes more than 60 species of trees found in Pennsylvania and the northeastern United States in a straightforward, informative style.
Wildlife of Pennsylvania and the Northeast
QL606.52.U6 F47 2000
Natural history narratives for more than 300 species.
Stalking the Wild Asparagus
This is the classic book on foraging for wild plants.
Wildflowers of Pennsylvania
This guidebook, published by the Botanical Society of Western Pennsylvania, is fully illustrated with photos of each flower.
Appalachian Wildflowers: An Ecological Guide to Flowering plants from Quebec to Georgia
The 378 color plates, grouped by color for clear reference, appear alongside plant descriptions for ease of identification.
Central Appalachian Wildflowers
"A field guide to common wildflowers of the Central Appalachian Mountains, including Shenandoah National Park, the Catskill Mountains, and the Berkshire Mountains"
Edible Wild Plants of Pennsylvania and Neighboring States
QK98.5.U6 M43 1990
Information on plants, line drawings and recipes.
Guide to the Mammals of Pennsylvania
QL719.P4 M47 1987
Student, scholar, and nature lover alike now have a ready reference to distinguish between 63 species of wild mammals in Pennsylvania, many of which are rarely seen except when pursued by an interested biologist, mammalogist, or nature photographer.
Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies
QL548 .P94 1981
A handy field guide with more than 1,000 photographs of all the butterflies of North America north of Mexico. The color plates are visually arranged by shape and color, and thumb-tab silhouettes provide a convenient index to identification of butterflies in the field.
Mushrooms of West Virginia and the Central Appalachians
With its dense forests and plentiful rainfall, West Virginia and the rest of the Central Appalachian region is an almost perfect habitat for hundreds of varieties of wild mushrooms.
Field Guide to Wild Mushrooms of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic
PENNA QK605.5.P4 R87 2006
Suited to both the novice and the experienced mushroom hunter, Bill Russell's Field Guide to the Wild Mushrooms of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic helps the reader learn where to look for edible mushrooms and what to look for.
Mushrooming without Fear: the beginner's guide to collecting safe and delicious mushrooms
Novices eager to collect tasty wild mushrooms will find this unique guide invaluable since it focuses only on those types that are both safe to eat and delicious, and presents the eight rules of mushroom gathering.
Stokes Beginner's Guide to Butterflies
Information on identification and the behavior of a variety of butterflies is offered in this pocket-sized guide for the beginning butterfly enthusiast. 150 full-color photos.
Nature's Garden: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants
QK98.5.A1 T436 2010x
Sam Thayer has been foraging in Wisconsin for much of his life. Check out his Forager's Harvest website.
Squirrels: The Animal Answer Guide
QL737.R68 T48 2006
Thornington and Ferrell give us the lowdown on one of the most watched mammals on the planet.
Browse the Catalog
For additional books, browse the library catalog under the following subjects:
- Butterflies -- North America
- Butterflies -- North America -- Identification
- Endangered Species
- Insects -- Identification
- Mammals -- Pennsylvania
- Wild flowers
- Wild flowers -- Pennsylvania
- Wild plants, Edible
- Wildlife -- Attracting
- Wildlife -- Conservation
- Wildlife films
- Wildlife watching
The Allegheny Front periodically offers radio reports on Pennsylvania wildlife
- The Slimy Hunt for Salamanders in Pennsylvania Creeks (Hellbenders)
- Woodrats: A Disappearing Sign of Healthy Forests
- Wildlife Along Pittsburgh's Rivers
- Bringing Back a Rare Butterfly (regal fritillary)
- Big Efforts to Save North America's Smallest Turtle (bog turtle)
- Researchers Track Timber Rattlesnakes
- Naturalist Journal
Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania
The local chapter of the national organization
Moraine Preservation Fund
A non-profit, volunteer organization that supports Moraine State Park, developing wildlife restoration projects like Project BATitat, the Osprey and Barn Owl Reintroduction Programs, and the Native Plant & Butterfly Trail.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Outdoors
Almost every Sunday in the Sports section, there is a column on "Wildlife" with information about regional species.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Venomous copperheads inhabit Western Pennsylvania's woodlands, but experts say they pose no cause for panic
An article from Sunday, June 05, 2011, by Ben Moyer
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Eastern cougar may be declared extinct
March 3, 2011: After 100 years of not existing as a wild breeding population, federal researchers are proposing that the eastern cougar finally be declared extinct. Of course the Pittsburgh Panthers and the Nittany Lions are alive and well.
Ruffed Grouse Society
The ruffed grouse is Pennsylvania's state bird and the Ruffed Grouse Society is headquartered in Coraopolis, PA and consists mainly of grouse and woodcock hunters who support national scientific conservation and management efforts to ensure the future of the species.
Virtual Nature Trail at Penn State New Kensington
This site created by biology students includes information about trees, animals, plants and fungi of Western Pennsylvania.
Wildflowers and Trees of Western Pennsylvania
This website by Bob Zuberbuhler, a Pittsburgh pediatrician and wildflower enthusiast, includes descriptions and photos of many wildflowers in the area.
Wings of Wonder
Wings of Wonder is a partnership between the Three Rivers Habitat Partnership, ASSET, Inc. and Carnegie Science Center that unites the wildlife teams of PPG and Bayer with local schools to study migratory birds and butterflies.
Common Trees of Pennsylvania
This is a 70 page booklet in .pdf format from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Forestry.
Pennsylvania Herp Identification
Pennsylvania Herpetofaunal Identification is an educational tool for the public on the reptiles and amphibians found throughout Pennsylvania.
Fungi: Pennsylvania's Hidden Treasures
Watch this award-winning documentary from Pennsylvania's Wild Resource Conservation Program on YouTube. It looks at both the ecological and the economic importance of fungi, an under-appreciated but essential part of our ecosystem.
Penn State College of Agriculture Publications: Wildlife
These brochures in .pdf format from the extension service include titles such as "A Homeowner’s Guide to Northeastern Bats and Bat Problems", "Pennsylvania Wildlife 14: Water for Wildlife: Bird Baths and Backyard Ponds".
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission: Pennsylvania Fishes
This state agency has an illustrated directory to Pennsylvania fishes, with biological information about them.
Pennsylvania Game Commission
Go to their section on "Wildlife" for articles about deer, swans, turkey, falcons, elk as well as birding guides.
These are extensive articles about the habits of wildlife in Pennsylvania, including mammals and birds.
- Wildlife Notes
Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program
Learn about natural species in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania Wild Resource Conservation Program Keystone Wild!Notes
This quarterly e-zine is devoted to the non-game wildlife, plants and habitats of Pennsylvania
Ohio Division of Wildlife
For detailed information about wild animals in Ohio, many of which are also found in Western Pennsylvania, browse their "publications". Included are pamphlets on local species of birds, fishes, mammals, reptiles and amphibians.
These butterfly specialists offer photos of common Ohio butterflies, which you can also find in Pennsylvania.
Wild New Jersey
A blog that covers wildlife in the Garden State.
American Field Guide
Produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting, American Field Guide has recast outdoors programming content from nearly 30 stations across the country into online videos. You can browse by animals, ecosystems, human history, livelihoods, earth and space, plants, public policy and recreation or you can search and limit by state.
Annenberg Learner: Journey North
Journey North engages K-12 students in a study of wildlife migration and seasonal change across North America. Track the coming of spring through the migration patterns of monarch butterflies, robins, hummingbirds, and other birds and mammals; the budding of plants; changing sunlight; and other natural events.
Discover the Forest
This site from the US Forest Service and the Ad Council has activities for kids for learning about forest animals.
Endangered Species Program
Information from the US Fish & Wildlife Service on endangered species of the United States. Compare the number of endangered species for Pennsylvania (17) with those of California (292) and Hawaii (317)!
Humane Society of the U.S.: Urban Wildlife -- Our Wild Neighbors
This website includes a variety of articles on creating a haven for wildlife in your backyard.
Library of Congress: Edible Wild Plants
This Science Tracer Bullet offers print and online resources for edible wild plants
An informative site maintained by Katy Chayka, MN Master Naturalist Volunteer and native plant enthusiast. The What's Blooming list of plants by month is useful and each plant has photos of flower, leaves and stem and fruit. You can also browse photos by flower color.
National Wildlife Federation
NWF offers a variety of educational and action oriented outdoor adventure programs across the country and around the world.
A magazine from the National Wildlife Federation. Articles about animals, biodiversity, and ecology in the United States. Offers full text articles from previous issues, including photographs. It also offers an index to past articles (check your local library for past issues not on their website!).
- National Wildlife
North American Mammals
The Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History has an online database of the mammals of North America. You can search the database or find the mammals that are found in your area. It allows you to compile and print out a field guide in .pdf format of mammals that you select.
Washington Post: Urban Jungle (Natural History)
The changing natural world at our doorsteps, a newspaper column by Patterson Clark
Audubon Guides: Mobile Apps
Great for birdwatching, hiking and exploring the outdoors, guides feature high quality photographs, range maps, animal sounds and and the ability to create your own lifelists and record sightings. They are available for mammals, insects, butterflies, birds, wildflowers, trees, reptiles and amphibians, fungi, etc.