The Wissahickon Valley is still an excellent place to see a great variety of wildlife up close in every season of the year.
With the Creek flowing through a thickly-forested gorge and many subsidiary streams providing wetland habitat, the valley has a great variety of wildlife. There are fish in the stream; amphibians, especially in damp and wet spots; a few indigenous reptiles; a considerable variety of mammals and at least 125 species of birds that are possible to spot or hear at some time during the course of the year.
This rich and diverse wildlife population is one of the essential features of the entire Fairmount Park System, and in no sector of the park is this truer than in the Wissahickon.
Although fishermen have greatest interest in the trout released each spring at the city border by the Pa. Fish and Boat Commission, there are at least 20 other species of aquatic wildlife--both large and small--that can be observed in the creekbed. Hard to find but still present in moderate numbers are salamanders, frogs and toads; a few turtles, and an occasional water snake or garter snake. In the valley, the over-abundant deer and gray squirrels are most often seen; but there are populations of raccoons, opossums, red squirrels, groundhogs, cottontails, red fox, voles, moles and shrews and perhaps a coyote or two.
Of all the wildlife, the bird population is most famous, especially during spring migration in nationally renowned hot spots such as Carpenters Woods, which is an extension of Wissahickon Park.
The FOW provides many programs of information about wildlife, including a series of birds walks in late April and May at the height of the northward migration (see Calendar for dates). With habitat restoration and preservation, the Wissahickon remains a great place for enthusiasts young and old to learn, enjoy and marvel at the wild creatures among us.