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December 12, 2017
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Winter bird whereabouts

The Northern cardinal was the most frequently reported species in the 2015 Great Backyard Bird Count. Pennsylvania participants submitted more checklists than participants in any other state, except California. Visit to see the full summary. The birds depicted in this column made the 2015 list for the top 10 most frequently reported species.
TRR photos by Sandy Long

December 30, 2015

Watching birds in winter can really lift one’s spirits, as they somehow survive conditions that most humans couldn’t withstand. Their colorful plumage and spirited antics inspire our devotion to do what we can to help them thrive. In ongoing efforts to improve our knowledge of these feathered miracles, several counts take place. Audubon’s 116th Christmas Bird Count is underway now and continues until January 5, 2016 ( tion/science/christmas-bird-count).

The 19th annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), during which participants around the world, from beginners to experts, count bird species during four days, is scheduled for February 12 through 15 this year. The GBBC provides a snapshot of global bird populations, with real-time maps and charts showing what participants are reporting.

In 2015, over 140,000 people from more than 100 countries submitted bird observations that help the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society increase their knowledge of how birds are faring, as well as how best to protect them and their habitats. In 2014, data highlighted the effects of the polar vortex on bird movement around the country, for example.

Visit for more information about the GBBC, along with educational and promotional resources. Register for the count at

In preparation for this year’s event, join expert local birders from the Northeast PA Audubon Society at the Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center in Hawley, PA on February 6, from 1 to 3 p.m., for the free public program, “Great Backyard Birds.” Learn about the best feeders and seeds to attract birds to your backyard. Construct a recycled feeder and take home an observation sheet. A simple tutorial will be provided so that participants can record their bird sightings and enter their reports online for the GBBC. Registration for the local program is required at 570/689-9494 or