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The Time of Year for the Birds: Audubon Counts Set Near Freeport and in Hampton Township

The 114th annual Audubon Christmas Bird Counts are scheduled with Duquesne University Professor Dr. Brady Porter leading two of the local counts.

Porter and a cadre of volunteers will be braving 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. The main bird count will start around 7:30 a.m. and finish around 2 p.m.

Making Murphy's Bottom a regular bird counting spot since 2006, Porter and his crew generally see between 22 and 32 species.

The second will be in Hampton Township, along Pine Creek, on Saturday, Dec. 28.

The group will cover 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 have spotted between 23 and 29 species during a count.

Bird watchers consider the cold weather that has the rest of us grumbling 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.

For more information, please contact Porter at 412.337.7397.

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.