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Audubon Asks for Help With Mon Valley Count

Residents being recruited for walk through Renzie tomorrow

By Vickie Babyak
The Tube City Almanac
February 16, 2024
Posted in: State & Region

ASWP community conservation coordinator Ben Kehoe at the Mon Valley Bird-Friendly Community Project Kickoff in June. (Vickie Babyak photo for Tube City Almanac)

Mon Valley residents of all ages and different birding experiences are invited to lend a hand Saturday during the annual Great Backyard Bird Count.

Ben Kehoe, community conservation coordinator for the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania, will be leading a Great Backyard Bird Count Walk from 10 a.m. to 12 noon Saturday through Renziehausen Park. Participants will meet in the parking lot of the Renzie Park Senior Center, 100 Sycamore Drive.

This is the first year that Audubon is leading a Great Backyard Bird Count event at Renzie Park, said Rachel Handel, communications director of ASWP.

Registration in advance is requested.

The house sparrow is one of the most widespread and abundant songbirds that has a simple success formula: it associates with humans and can survive in urban and farming areas all over the world. (Vickie Babyak photo for Tube City Almanac)

The Great Backyard Bird Count was launched in 1998 by Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society. It was the first online community-science project to collect data on wild birds.

“GBBC is such an important annual event because it’s a concentrated effort with worldwide participation,” said Handel.

GBBC happens every February during a set 4-day span and is a huge community science project. This year the GBBC runs from Feb. 16 to 19, she said.

“One of the most exciting parts of the past information is the dramatic increase in participation,” Handel said. “In 2015, approximately 143,000 people took part. In 2022, that number increased to nearly 385,000.”

To learn more about the Great Backyard Bird Count and see past years’ results, visit birdcount.org.

“I also found the About section of the official site pretty informative,” Kehoe said.
Kehoe’s office is located in the McKeesport City Hall, 500 Fifth Ave., Downtown. For more information about the bird count and other ASWP programs available to the Mon Valley, please contact Ben Kehoe at (412) 904-7486, www.aswp.org, or email bkehoe@aswp.org.

Originally published February 16, 2024.

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