Baltimore County

Special Note: Traffic patterns in and around the City of Baltimore have been severely disrupted by the catastrophic collapse of the Key Bridge on March 26, 2024. The Key Bridge was an essential component of the Baltimore Beltway/I-695 and was heavily used by commercial traffic and private cars. It will be several years before the bridge can be re-built. Meanwhile, for up-to-date directions to birding sites throughout the Baltimore area, including adjoining counties, consult an interactive navigational aid such as Google Maps, Waze, or MapQuest. The Maryland Transportation Authority website has a helpful map showing alternate routes.


Baltimore County is the largest of the seven jurisdictions in the Central Region. Note that the City of Baltimore is a separate jurisdiction, not part of Baltimore County for governance purposes, although almost totally surrounded by the county. The geography of Baltimore County varies from the dense suburbs and industrial areas surrounding the City of Baltimore to the rolling countryside in the northern part of the county. The northwestern part of the county is on the Piedmont plateau, and the southern and southeastern regions are on the Atlantic coastal plain.

Baltimore County has 371+ species reported on eBird; these reports include those from the City of Baltimore, for which eBird does not provide separate listings. For the county eBird checklist, eBird hotspots, and more, click here.

The Baltimore Bird Club was the founding chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society, and the Baltimore City and County remain a hub of active birding in Maryland. Baltimore consistently ranks in the top 3 counties in Maryland in terms of number of eBird checklists submitted.

View a comparison of Maryland counties based on total number of species reported on eBird.

Major waterbodies include the Chesapeake Bay, the Patapsco River, and the Gunpowder River. The City of Baltimore maintains three large drinking water reservoirs that are located in the county: these are Liberty, Loch Raven and Prettyboy, each of which is encircled by extensive forested watershed lands that are managed to protect water quality.

Baltimore County almost entirely surrounds the City of Baltimore. The county is bordered by Pennsylvania to the north; Carroll County, MD to the west; Howard County, MD, and Anne Arundel County, MD to the south; and Harford County, MD, to the east. In addition, Kent County on the eastern shore shares a border with Baltimore County that lies in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay. Towson, in the northern suburbs of Baltimore City, is the county seat.

I-95 runs at an angle through the county, oriented northeast-southwest. The Baltimore Beltway/I-695 is a transportation hub, and most of it lies in the county rather than the city. US Route 40 is a main east-west route, along with I-70. I-83 is the major north-south route, and I-795 runs diagonally from northwest to southeast in the northwestern corner of the county.

To view the State Highway Administration’s printable road map of Baltimore County (PDF format), please click here.

The local chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society is the Baltimore Bird Club. The Baltimore Bird Club is the founding chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society, and remains an important hub of birding activity in the state.

Explore birding sites in Baltimore County by choosing from the list below.  See also the separate page for birding sites in the City of Baltimore