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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 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.