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Category Archives: Birding

PA Migration Bird Count, May 13

Birdwatching

The 2017 Pennsylvania Migration Count will be held on Saturday, May 13, 2016.

The Pennsylvania Migration Count (PAMC) was established to gather annual data on migratory bird populations, and to help answer some fundamental questions regarding their distribution throughout Pennsylvania. PAMC is an annual one-day snapshot of bird populations within our state attempting to answer which species are present, where are they and how many there are? Detecting the changes in population will help give us an early warning of possible declines and it is hoped that steps can be taken toward assisting their future survival. In many ways, the PAMC is similar to the Christmas Bird Count (CBC), with the exception that it is county-based.

Results from the count are compiled across the state and published in Pennsylvania Birds, our state ornithological journal.

Can you join us in covering Wayne County?

It’s a great way to spend International Migratory Bird Day! Birders of all skill levels can help out with the count. Beginning at midnight with the songs of the Whip-poor-wills (if we’re lucky!) and the hooting of the Great Horned Owls, the PAMC is a great way to spend time outside. Whether you tally birds in your backyard, at your feeders, the local little league ballfield, along the river, on a lake, at your camp or spend time hiking through a state park, your observations count. While observations can be made over a 24-hour period, it’s up to you to decide how much time you will contribute.

Submitting Your Observations

In 2017 for the first time all PAMC sightings will be submitted to eBird and summarized using the eBird data only. eBird has specific requirements that are different from our past ways of reporting PAMC results. The eBird goal is to associate the birds you are reporting with habitats on the ground. The main difference is that we are looking to report your specific area checklists rather than your total county list. This means more accounting and keeping track of all birds seen in smaller areas and making separate checklists for each area of effort.

As in the past we want to keep track of where we went birding and how much time was spent. For each birding area a separate checklist should be made. A new checklist should be made when different habitats are encountered, when the area exceeds 5 miles one way, and whenever a new area is entered. For each checklist made the location is recorded and the start time. All birds are counted as before meeting eBird’s criteria of a complete checklist. Each checklist also needs a stop time or length of effort in minutes.

CHECKLIST EXAMPLES

Pinchot State Park in York County consists of the 3 mile long lake with access on both sides. Each side of the lake called Day Use areas should be on a separate checklist as the two sides would exceed the 5 mile limit. If birding both sides of the lake, birds seen on the lake could be in either list.

The John Heinz NWR has two distinct areas defined as hotspots by eBird. One is called the Wetlands and the other is the Impoundment. When birding both areas, a separate checklist should be made as together the areas would exceed 5 miles.

The Allegheny National Forest is a large contiguous forest area on the Allegheny plateau. Much of the remote areas are under birded and under reported to eBird. For those birding on jeep trails or walking trails the reported location can be a GPS coordinate or a road land mark that is preferably near the mid point of each 5 mile linear segment measured one way only.

Before leaving the house you spend 10 minutes counting birds at the feeders. The checklist should have your street name, number of birds of each species, the start time and the duration. If you chose not to use the house address, provide the nearest road intersection or give a street midpoint. Stationary counts such as this should be at least 5 minutes long.

After walking out to Gull Point at Presque Isle a single stop at at one of the Beach 9 or 10 entrances is made. A new checklist is started for that new effort even though the habitat is similar to that at the far end of Gull Point. If multiple stops with the car are made along the beach all of those bird sightings would be part of the new checklist.

While driving between birding stops three crows are seen harassing a red-tailed hawk. An eastern kingbird was also in the same area. At your next stop you record the time, location and numbers of each species for a single, complete checklist. If you wished to also record the multiple sightings of cardinals, starlings and blue jays that also flew across the road at various places in transit, the checklist location should be attempted to be placed at the mid-point of each 5 mile section of the route and a close estimate made of the species seen to make a complete checklist.

The PA Migration Count is part of Global Big Day.

Click here for answers to common questions about using eBird.

AUDUBON ANNOUNCES 117th ANNUAL CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT – A DAY OF NATURE AND ADVENTURE

Winter Cardinal

Northeast PA Audubon Society is asking for volunteers to join the 117th Annual International Christmas Bird Count on Saturday December 17, 2016. Volunteer birders will travel the area beginning at dawn and ending when the last volunteer is finished! This is a wonderful way to take note of the many birds that are here at this time of year. You might get a chance to see late migrating birds if the weather permits. The count was established in 1900, as an alternative to the year end “side hunt”, when hunters would take to the fields to shoot as many birds as possible before sitting down to Christmas Dinner!

Today’s Audubon Christmas Bird Count mobilizes over 70,000 volunteer bird counters in more than 2,300 locations across the Western Hemisphere. The CBC utilizes the power of volunteers to track the health of bird populations at a scale that professional scientists could never accomplish alone. Because birds are an early indicator of environmental threats to habitats, tracking and recording changes in their location are valuable to the understanding of weather patterns and consequently, the changing climate and its affect on our world.

White Mills is the center of the count circle which was established over 25 years ago. During that time volunteers have counted as many as 45 species including waterfowl and wintering hawks. We have seen an increase in Bald Eagles in the area and the occasional Common Loon. Counters travel by car and on foot within designated areas of the 15 mile wide circle.

If you are interested, call Barbara at (570) 253-2364. You don’t have to be an expert birder because we will partner you with those more experienced volunteers. You can also count from your window feeder. If you love nature, birds and adventure this day is made for you!

PA Migration Count, May 14th

Birdwatching

The 2016 Pennsylvania Migration Count will be held on Saturday, May 14, 2016.

The Pennsylvania Migration Count (PAMC) was established to gather annual data on migratory bird populations, and to help answer some fundamental questions regarding their distribution throughout Pennsylvania. PAMC is an annual one-day snapshot of bird populations within our state attempting to answer which species are present, where are they and how many there are? Detecting the changes in population will help give us an early warning of possible declines and it is hoped that steps can be taken toward assisting their future survival. In many ways, the PAMC is similar to the Christmas Bird Count (CBC), with the exception that it is county-based.

Results from the count are compiled across the state and published in Pennsylvania Birds, our state ornithological journal.

Can you join us in covering Wayne County?

It’s a great way to spend International Migratory Bird Day! Birders of all skill levels can help out with the count. Beginning at midnight with the songs of the Whip-poor-wills (if we’re lucky!) and the hooting of the Great Horned Owls, the PAMC is a great way to spend time outside. Whether you tally birds in your backyard, at your feeders, the local little league ballfield, along the river, on a lake, at your camp or spend time hiking through a state park, your observations count. While observations can be made over a 24-hour period, it’s up to you to decide how much time you will contribute.

More information about the PAMC can be found on our Citizen Science page. If you are interested in participating, please contact Chris Fischer at cfischer@nepaaudubon.org.

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