Christmas Bird Count: Help The Audubon Society Identify Feathered Friends
Volunteers have collected bird species data throughout Allegheny County for more than 100 years.
Four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
The Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania needs your help identifying birds across the region for the annual Christmas Bird Count, to be held locally on Dec. 31. You most likely won’t be spotting the birds from “The 12 Days Of Christmas,” but you could help spot Northern cardinals, winter wrens, cedar waxwings or white-throated sparrows.
On average, 72 species of birds are found during the Pittsburgh count. Nearly 200 volunteers helped collect the data last year, recording more than 16,000 bird sightings. Last year’s notable find was an orange-crowned warbler in Oakland. Pittsburgh’s count will encompass a 15-mile circle that includes the Pittsburgh region, north to McCandless, west to Franklin Park and Ohio Township and east to Indiana Township, according to organizer Brian Shema.
“During this count, participants will help to tally birds seen in neighborhoods, local parks, greenspaces and at backyard feeders,” notes Shema. “Participants can contact us to learn how and where to participate. No experience is needed, but a general knowledge/ability of bird identification is certainly helpful.”
Birdwatchers across the country will grab their binoculars this month to contribute to the annual count, which is celebrating its 123rd year nationally. Pittsburghers have been collecting data since 1906.
“This data helps scientists understand fluctuations in bird populations, as well as changes in the ranges of birds in North America. We occasionally find birds that are outside of their normal winter range, which helps to describe the frequency and extent of winter movement due to adverse weather conditions or changes in food availability in the northern forests,” says Shema.
For more information about the Pittsburgh Count, contact Shema at: 412-963-6100 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.