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Wake Up With and For the Birds on Last Day of the Year

The National Audubon Society’s 112th Christmas Bird Count, the longest running citizen-science survey in the world, will come to Hampton Township. For the sixth year, Dr. Brady Porter, associate professor of biology at Duquesne University, will lead a group that will survey birds along Pine Creek.

The group will work a 6-mile loop in the vicinity. Based on previous years’ tallies, Porter expects to count between 300-500 birds representing around 27 species. The group will listen for owls before dawn and may be lucky enough to hear the Eastern screech-owl and great horned owls.(Using a mobile phone application, Porter and others involved in the Dec. 17 Murphy’s Bottom Christmas Bird Count succeeded in calling in a large number of owls.)

Because winter has been warm, with free-flowing water, Porter anticipates seeing great blue herons, gulls, belted kingfishers and water fowl, but the warm weather could be a detriment in bringing the more northern transients such as the purple finch and pine siskin.

When: Volunteers are gathering between 6 and 7 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 31

Information: Dr. Brady Porter, porterb@duq.edu

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. The University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review for its rich academic programs in nine schools of study for nearly 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and by the Washington Monthly for service and contributing to students' social mobility. Duquesne is a member of the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for its contributions to Pittsburgh and communities around the globe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges acknowledge Duquesne's commitment to sustainability.