Audubon Mid-Atlantic
September 2021 News | Upcoming Events
Cerulean Warbler
Healthy Forests and Safe Passage
This week, state directors and forest program leaders from Audubon’s Atlantic Flyway met to discuss a shared vision for our work. The conversations were lively and informed by data and science, as well as past and current successes. They also helped us hone in on an important question: what do we want forests to look like because of our work? Where do we want to go?

The meeting crystallized for me why Audubon’s flyway system is such an important organizing tool for our work. To put it simply, what we do to support birds within the forests of Pennsylvania and Maryland is linked to what Vermont does, what New York does, what Virginia does, and so on (and let’s acknowledge that we need to also look at policies and work beyond our country’s borders). Birds need all of us to be united in our goals and working together across our manmade boundaries to create habitats that will sustain them on their semi-annual hemispheric journeys.

Yes, I knew all of this before this week’s meeting. But as is often the case, a single moment or a simple statement can bring further clarity.

As I look to the sky this fall, I will think about the wonderous journeys that the birds flying over my head have been on. I will see in my mind’s eye the forests that they have flown over, rested and fed in. And I will imagine what those forests might look like in ten or twenty years thanks to Audubon’s important work.

Suzanne Biemiller
Executive Director, Audubon Mid-Atlantic
Vice President, National Audubon Society
Cerulean Warbler. Photo: USDA/DJ McNeil
Ovenbird
Bird-Friendly Forestry Equals Sustainable Forestry
Pennsylvania forests provide important breeding, migratory stopover, and wintering habitat for more than 100 species of forest birds. A 2019 study found that birds of eastern forests declined by 17% in the last 50 years, making forest management vitally important, especially in a state such as Pennsylvania, which is more than 60% forested. To meet the needs of forest-breeding birds, Audubon Mid-Atlantic’s Healthy forest Program strives to create landscapes with diverse forest age classes and individual stands that have the structural diversity on which many species depend. As an added benefit, forests with age, structural, and species diversity are more resilient to climate change and sequester more carbon than unhealthy forests.

The Healthy Forest Program’s strategies engage key audiences through partnerships and training programs to create quality bird habitat and healthy forest landscapes that meet multiple goals, such as producing timber and providing recreational opportunities. To reach forestry professionals working on both private and public lands, Audubon designed the new Healthy Forest Guide and companion documents to promote bird-friendly forestry practices and offer guidance about the habitat needs of 18 priority forest birds.

Audubon Mid-Atlantic’s latest initiative incentivizes private landowners to adopt science-based practices designed to support embattled forest bird species and naturally remove carbon from the environment.

Stay tuned. In this three-part series on our healthy forests work, we’ll be providing more information on how forests sequester carbon and how private landowners can become involved to extract value from their forests without conducting a timber harvest. Until then, learn more about the Healthy Forest Program.
Ovenbird. Photo: Megumi Williamson / Audubon Photography Awards
View along Kittatinny Ridge
A Bird Migration Corridor like No Other, the Kittatinny Ridge Depends on a Healthy Forest
The Kittatinny Ridge, meaning “endless mountain” and named by the Leni-Lenape, is the largest forested landscape in southcentral and eastern Pennsylvania, stretching 185 miles across 360,000 acres.  It offers migration and stopover habitat for millions of songbirds and raptors each spring and fall.  Every autumn, tens of thousands of birds of prey, including the state-endangered Northern Goshawk, stream down the ridge, taking advantage of rising thermal winds to aid their long flights.

The upland forest of the ridge also offers a year-round home to Pennsylvania’s state bird, the Ruffed Grouse. And, it’s a globally significant migratory route designated as a Global Important Bird Area for Cerulean Warblers. From hummingbirds and warblers to raptors and game birds, the Kittatinny Ridge is a crucial landscape for more than 140 resident and migrant bird species.

Communities throughout the region also rely on the ridge for critical natural resources, including clean, reliable water for millions of people from the Delaware Water Gap to the Maryland line. As we see more frequent and stronger storms due to climate change, the ridge provides a key forest ecosystem that filters pollutants from rainwater and helps control flooding from increasingly heavy rainfall. It’s more important than ever to protect this landscape – that scientists view as one of the East’s most crucial climate refuges – for birds and people.
View along Kittatinny Ridge. Photo: Audubon.
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Safer Skies for Fall Migration
Across the Mid-Atlantic region, Audubon staff, chapter leaders, partners, and volunteers are collaborating to create safer skies for our feathered friends as they journey to their wintering grounds now, in the midst of fall migration. Reports of mass bird collision events like the Philadelphia event a year ago, along with outreach and local action, is helping to build broader awareness of the problems that lights and glass pose to birds. As a result, many building owners and managers, government leaders, community members and conservation organizations are joining forces to prevent bird collisions, especially during these months when many of our cities are seeing impressive numbers of nighttime migrants passing through. Check out Bird Safe and Lights Out efforts in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, DC to learn more about these activities and how you can get involved, and read about some simple ways bird collisions can be prevented on your own. To explore the national network, visit our Lights Out programs across the country.
Black-throated Blue Warbler. Photo: Lorraine Minns / Audubon Photography Awards
Upcoming Opportunities
Brown-eyed Susan & Great Blue Lobelia. Photo: Kelly McGinley/Audubon
Samara Project is Blooming
Audubon’s Samara Project is coming into full bloom this fall and we need your help! The Samara Project has brought together a phenomenal group of over 50 neighbors, more than a dozen partners, and the City's Parks Department to design and install four bird-friendly community green spaces in the Kiwanis Lake, Codorus Creek, and Devers Neighborhood areas.

Opportunities are available October 2nd and 16th.

All tools are provided and no experience is necessary – just a willingness to pitch in, get a little dirty, and have a ton of fun!
 Learn More and Get Involved
Brown-eyed Susan & Great Blue Lobelia. Photo: Kelly McGinley/Audubon
Northern Cardinal
Wildlife Gardening Workshops
Don't miss these FREE Wildlife Gardening events hosted virtually by Patterson Park Audubon Center! Registration is limited, so sign up soon!

In Introduction to Wildlife Gardening, offered September 30th and October 8th, learn how to transform your space into a bird or butterfly paradise and get some practical tips for gardening with native plants. For the more advanced gardeners, learn the best methods for designing a native garden while supporting beneficial wildlife, in Bird-Friendly Garden Design, October 13th. Or get inspired with a Virtual Bird-Friendly Garden Tour, October 21stMore Patterson Park Audubon events
Northern Cardinal. Photo: Gile Krich / Audubon Photography Awards
Planting in East Fairmount Park.
Tree Planting at Whitby Meadow
Join Audubon and Darby Creek Valley Association, Saturday October 9th at noon, for a planting event in Cobbs Creek Park's Whitby Meadows! We will be planting trees & shrubs along Cobbs Creek to help restore the riparian buffer zone. We will supply gloves and tools. Wear close-toed shoes. Bring water! Learn more and Register
Planting in East Fairmount Park. Photo: Kathleen Martin/Audubon
American Kestrel
Upcoming Programs and Events
Exciting fall activities continue throughout the Mid-Atlantic region!  Check out our upcoming events activities across our Centers and programs.
American Kestrel. Photo: Konstantinos Mamalis/Audubon Photography Awards
Bald Eagle
In the News
Outlet: Prop Talk
Headline: Coastal Bays Nesting Platform Initiative
Excerpt: “As suitable habitat for these birds dwindles from effects of a changing climate like shoreline erosion and sea level rise, it’s more important than ever to do what we can to keep them as part of the coastal ecosystem. We need a two-pronged strategy of ongoing sand management to maintain their natural islands to combat erosion and provide artificial habitat as an interim measure until the species populations are stable again.” – Dr. David Curson, Audubon Mid-Atlantic Director of Bird Conservation

Outlet: Metro Philly
Headline: Delaware River projects get $11.5 million boost
Excerpt: The National Audubon Society received more than $460,000 for the Philadelphia Pollinator Project, which will aim to improve urban habitats for birds and bugs, with a focus on open spaces in underserved neighborhoods. Eventually, the hope is to create a community pollinator network that includes jobs for young people.

Outlet: VoyageBaltimore 
Headline: Meet Susie Creamer
Excerpt: “In my professional world, the people I work with make me happy. From my Audubon colleagues to our organizational partners to our community partners and program participants...I am inspired by those who want to make Baltimore a better place for birds and people to thrive, by cleaning and greening our neighborhoods.” – Susie Creamer, Director of Patterson Park Audubon Center

Check out these articles below on Audubon.org featuring two of our Audubon Mid-Atlantic staff members, Robin Irizarry and Dave Curson.

Bald Eagle. Photo: Ruth Fern/Audubon Photography Awards
Audubon Mid-Atlantic Offices
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Audubon, PA 19403
(610) 666-5593 ex. 101​ | pa.audubon.org
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(610) 990-3431 | audubon.org

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