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Calling in Screech Owls? There’s an App for That!

This year, Dr. Brady Porter of Duquesne University and other volunteers in the National Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count will be incorporating technology with nature.

Starting at 6 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15, Porter and his early-bird companions will be calling in Eastern Screen Owls with a phone app to complete a "wing count" of these birds of prey and songbirds. Last year, Porter, associate professor of biology, and the group working at Murphy's Bottom near Freeport, Armstrong County, found the app extremely successful.

This year, they'll try to repeat that success.

Porter also will lead a group in Hampton Township along Pine Creek, starting at 6 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 29.

Volunteers interested in participating at either location may contact Porter at 412.337.7397.

These efforts are part of the world's longest running citizen science survey to spot trends in bird populations, which also provide a framework for larger trends in the environment.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.