Bayer School Prof Leads Audubon Bird Counts Near Freeport and in Hampton Township

Dr. Brady Porter, associate professor of biology, led two local bird counts for the 114th annual Audubon Christmas Bird Counts in 2013.

Porter and a cadre of volunteers braved the weather--and the darkness--to meet at 5 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, to call for owls at Murphy's Bottom, in South Buffalo Township, near Freeport, Armstrong County. Making Murphy's Bottom a regular bird counting spot since 2006, Porter and his crew generally see between 22 and 32 species.

The second bird count took place in Hampton Township, along Pine Creek, on Saturday, Dec. 28. The group covered a five-mile loop along the railroad tracks and Pine Creek in the Duncan Road region. Porter and other volunteers have been working on this bird count since 2007 and typically spot between 23 and 29 species.

Bird watchers consider the cold weather of December to be an advantage. "We're always hopeful that cold weather will bring down some of the more northern species like red crossbill, white-winged crossbill, common redpoll, evening grossbeak and pine siskin," Porter said.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review published an article about the count, which is available to read on their website.

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