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The Christmas Bird Count - get involved!

You Can Make a Difference: Participate in this year's Christmas Bird Count
 
Did you know that the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is the longest standing Citizen Science project? Scientists rely on the remarkable trend data of Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count (CBC) data to measure changes in the environment and in bird populations throughout the continent.  This information paints a clear picture of bird distribution and abundance which aids in the understanding of what of what can be done to conserve bird species. 
 
While scientists rely on the data, the success of the CBC relies on people like you!
 
Participation is free and experience is not necessary – new birdwatchers can be teamed up with experienced birdwatchers.  Counting birds at bird feeders is also an important part of this count, so you don’t even have to leave your home!
 
Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania hosts the Pittsburgh CBC.  This year, the count is scheduled for Saturday, December 27th for the area surrounding Pittsburgh.  ASWP also hosts the South Butler CBC, which will be held on Sunday, January 4th. 
 
Please contact the Pittsburgh CBC leader nearest you for additional details:

Fox Chapel

Brian Shema

412-963-6100

bshema@aswp.org

Franklin Park & Ohio Twp

Stacy Widenhofer

412-991-3657

stacey.fhnc@gmail.com

Hampton Twp.

Al Werling

412-487-8581

Not available

Indiana Twp.

Steve Gosser

412-855-5220

sgosser@comcast.net

Kilbuck & Ohio Twp (S)

Paul Brown

412-963-1979

pmbrown1944@gmail.com

North Park

Sheree Daugherty

412-322-5371

shereedaugherty@gmail.com

Oakmont & Harmar Twp.

David Yeany

814-221-4361

dyeany2@gmail.com

O’Hara Twp.

Steve Thomas

412-782-4696

thomassj@comcast.net

Penn Hills & Verona

Mike Smith

412-526-8360

skeetor72@yahoo.com

Frick & Highland Parks

Mark Vanderven

425-273-1786

nevrednav@gmail.com

Pittsburgh (rest of city)

Mike Fialkovich

412-731-3581

mpfial@verizon.net

McCandless and Ross Twp.

Bob Machesney

412-366-7869

remach@aol.com

Shaler

Joyce Hoffman

412-487-0921

ibird@juno.com

 

Many other CBC’s occur in western Pennsylvania - we are looking for participation for each of them!  The compiler and date for each count circle are listed below.  
 
Pittsburgh South Hills             December 20               Nancy Page                  412-221-4795
Buffalo Creek (Butler)             December 20               George Reese              724-353-9649
Buffalo Creek (Washington)   December 14               Larry Helgerman           412-508-0321    
Butler                                      December 20               Suzanne Butcher         330-759-1945
South Butler                            January 4                    Chris Kubiak                 412-963-6100
Beaver                                     December 20              Rick Mason                  724-847-0909
Bushy Run State Park             December 28              Dick Byers                    724-593-3543
Clarksville                                December 27              Terry Dayton                724-627-9665
Washington                             December 20               Tom Contreras            724-223-6118
Ryerson                                   December 20               Marjorie Howard         724-852-3155

 

 

Last year's Count: the 114th Pittsburgh Christmas Bird Count Report - December 28th, 2013

151 participants joined forced to tally birds in the Pittsburgh Christmas Bird Count on December 28th 2013.  The weather was a bit milder than normal, with a low temperature of 35 degrees and a high temperature of nearly 50 degrees.  Despite mild temperatures, areas lakes and ponds were mostly frozen, though streams and rivers remained open.

Participants traveled 181 miles by foot and over 250 miles by car during the count.  With a cumulative total of nearly 300 party hours, the count circle was well surveyed for birds.  Unlike last year, which was an all-time high species diversity count with eruptive winter finches and a number of lingering breeding birds, this year would prove to be more typical of the region.  66 species of birds were found, with a grand total of 46,577 birds tallied.

Unquestionably, the most common bird found during the count was American Crow.  The roost in Pittsburgh yielded tens of thousands of crows, and when combined with numbers outside the city, a whopping 32,913 individuals were counted. 

Other notable statistics include  high counts of Bufflehead (11 individuals), Bald Eagle (4 individuals), Fish Crow (20 individuals), Brown Creeper (32 individuals), Winter Wren (12 individuals) and Carolina Wren (314 individuals).  Each of these numbers are higher than they have been for the past 25 years!  The first ever Black Vulture was found in Franklin Park - this species is increasing in southwestern Pennsylvania, though this was the first record during the Pittsburgh CBC.

Participants struggled to find White-throated Sparrows, a winter visitor from the north.  Only 154 were found, well below our average count.  Likewise, our waterfowl numbers were down from the average; however this can be easily correlated to frozen lakes and ponds throughout the count circle.  Only one American Kestrel was found.  Although available habitat for this species is limited within the area, a low count is always disappointing for such a charismatic species. 

In the end, most of the 66 species found during the count were on par with the average, a welcomed sign for anyone concerned about overall bird populations.  We’d like to express our sincere appreciation to all of those involved in the Pittsburgh Christmas Bird Count, and especially to the area leaders that help compile the data.        

 

Canada Goose 1159

American Black Duck 4

Mallard 720

Bufflehead 11

Hooded Merganser 9

Common Merganser 3

Red-breasted Merganser 2

Wild Turkey 110

Pied-billed Grebe 4

Double-crested Cormorant 26

Great Blue Heron 32

Black Vulture 1

Turkey Vulture 15

Bald Eagle 4

Sharp-shinned Hawk 10

Cooper's Hawk 28

Red-shouldered Hawk 5

Red-tailed Hawk 99

American Kestrel 1

Merlin 2

Peregrine Falcon 2

American Coot 14

Ring-billed Gull 372

Herring Gull 129

gull sp. 12

Rock Pigeon 876

Mourning Dove 659

Eastern Screech-Owl 22

Great Horned Owl 10

Barred Owl  4

Belted Kingfisher 11

Red-bellied Woodpecker 198

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 4

Downy Woodpecker 233

Hairy Woodpecker 67

Northern Flicker 23

Pileated Woodpecker 21

Blue Jay 302

American Crow 32913

Fish Crow 20

Common Raven 3

Carolina Chickadee 176

Black-capped Chickadee 117

chickadee sp. 361

Tufted Titmouse 443

Red-breasted Nuthatch 3

White-breasted Nuthatch 219

Brown Creeper 32

Carolina Wren 314

Winter Wren 12

Golden-crowned Kinglet 90

Eastern Bluebird 120

American Robin 686

Northern Mockingbird 75

European Starling 2391

Cedar Waxwing 30

Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler 14

Eastern Towhee 4

American Tree Sparrow 31

Song Sparrow 459

Swamp Sparrow 3

White-throated Sparrow 154

White-crowned Sparrow 1

Dark-eyed (Slate-colored) Junco 576

Northern Cardinal 629

House Finch 335

American Goldfinch 476

House Sparrow 685