Rolling out the welcome mat for current & future birders with new opportunities
Audubon Pennsylvania
Chapter Chatter Newsletter November 2020
GBBC Participants
How Can Community Science Cultivate Stronger Engagement?
As a network, we’re always looking for ways to engage new audiences and expand our collective reach to include more people in the conservation conversation. 

The Great Backyard Bird Count is tailor-made for welcoming current and future birders of all levels to Audubon, to conservation, and to the value of community science in protecting birds and the places we share. 

Each and every chapter is already engaged in the GBBC in one way or another. This year, our collective challenge is to add something new. AND, share that idea with the network so others can benefit from your inspirations. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing…
  1. Reach out to a brand new partner. Perhaps a group or organization that isn’t necessarily conservation-focused. Listen and be open to some outside-the-nest ideas. Learn more about developing new partnerships in the December EDI How To webinar.
  2. Leverage the Zoom boom and offer an online component to your GBBC festivities. (Stay tuned on this one...more to come from Audubon PA in the way of collaboration.)
  3. Host a virtual GBBC celebration party for everyone who counted throughout the weekend. People are craving safe social opportunities and this could be a great one! 
  4. Offer a GBBC livestream on your Facebook page prior to (instructional/motivational) and/or during (real-time counting) the event. Have folks post pictures of themselves participating or shots of their notebooks and sightings.
  5. Send out a follow-up email and/or posts to everyone who participated alongside your chapter. Let them know how their participation made a difference and offer some next steps for getting involved with the chapter again! 
Be sure to register for our quarterly chapter call for more ideas and strategies for building the best GBBC yet!

  Click here for more GBBC resources.
GBBC Participants. Photo: Kelly McGinley/Audubon Pennsylvania
American Goldfinch, House Finch
A Fun & Engaging Take On Documenting Local Migration Patterns
This year, chapters across the Commonwealth put on their thinking caps to come up with innovative new ways to connect their members and relieve some of the isolation stress that arrived alongside the pandemic. The South Mountain Audubon Society (SMAS) adapted one of their traditional birding activities to be a little more lockdown-friendly and had great success.

For the last few years SMAS has engaged its members in birding competitions, focusing on the earliest and latest seasonal sightings of spring and fall migrants. The competitions are friendly and social, offering bragging rights for the birders who log the most sightings within the borders of Adams County, the geographic territory covered by the SMAS. In addition, they also host a year-long, migration competition in which birders get a point for each avian migrant they observe. You can view the SMAS competition data here.

This summer, in an effort to provide their members with more opportunities to safely socialize together, they tried a new two-month, backyard bird competition. Resident and migrant species were allocated 100 points each. As participants began sharing their sightings, they were able to rack up points. The trick was, points were divided equally among every person who observed a given species. So, scores went up and down throughout the competition based on the range of species observed. Scores went up when a participant observed a new bird in their backyard and went down when that same species was spotted by other participants as well. As you might imagine, it made for some lively exchanges and lots of active participation.

“It was great fun,” said Mike Bertram, treasurer and competition mastermind, “and we plan to run the competition again this winter in January and February. If you have questions and would like more information, contact Mike Bertram.

American Goldfinch and House Finch. Photo: Jacki Byers/GBBC
Cedar Waxwings
Mark Your Calendars
Our quarterly chapter leadership call is slated for Tuesday, December 8th at 6:30 PM. 
Cedar Waxwing. Photo: Donald Metzner/GBBC
Annual Reporting Information
Chapter annual reporting season is here! Audubon chapter annual reports are an opportunity to celebrate chapter accomplishments. Annual reporting qualifies your chapter for your baseline funding payment and re-certifies your chapter with Audubon. Reporting season runs through January 31, 2021. 
Audubon Pennsylvania
1201 Pawlings Road, Audubon, PA 19403
610-666-5593  |

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