Look to the Skies
Audubon Pennsylvania
September-October 2020
Look to the Skies
With the arrival of autumn comes the cool, crisp air and the amazing spectacle of fall migration here in the Atlantic Flyway.  As billions of raptors, shorebirds, and songbirds pass through, on their path from breeding to wintering grounds, they rely on airspace and critical habitat on the ground to rest and refuel. Along their route, they often navigate a variety of obstacles, including glass, artificial light at night, and depleted food sources.

Below, we highlight some ways Audubon and community members throughout the region are working together to monitor these migrating birds, understand more about the hazards they face, and implement activities on the ground, which can help give birds a better chance to complete their arduous journey.

Watch our Flying High: Look to the Skies migration video, and read on to learn more about these projects and how you can get involved.  Stay tuned for more updates to come as we continue to move forward in shaping Audubon Mid-Atlantic.

Thank you for all you do for birds.

Amy Sobel
Vice President, Atlantic Flyway
National Audubon Society
Northern Harrier. Photo: Brad Lewis/Audubon Photography Awards
Monitoring Bird-window Collisions in Downtown Philadelphia
Each year 365 million to one billion birds are estimated to fly into windows and other types of glass surfaces in the United States. Similar numbers of collisions with glass are also occurring in other countries throughout the world. Unfortunately most of the birds that collide with glass die from their injuries. As a result, bird-window collisions have become one of the leading causes of bird mortality and species declines in the world today. This problem affects birds throughout the state of Pennsylvania, including the enormous numbers of migratory birds that pass through the state, which is located on a heavily used portion of the Atlantic Flyway. 

This fall one of our most dedicated volunteers, Stephen Maciejewski is conducting a monitoring study about bird-window collisions in downtown Philadelphia. 
Common Yellowthroat. Photo: Stephen Maciejewski
Planting Along the Kennett Trail
For birds making their way south towards wintering grounds this fall, the availability of safe and suitable places to rest and refuel along the way are critical to their long journey. For these migrants, native fruit plants they find along the way can serve as more nutritious resources, over invasive plants.
Recently, Audubon Pennsylvania and Valley Forge Audubon Society teamed up with The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County (TLC), Kennett Township, Kennett Borough, and Kennett Trails Alliance on a native plant project, that benefits not just these birds, but people as well.

The Kennett-Audubon-TLC Bird Planting is designed as a landscaped destination along the Kennett Trail which provides a pleasant resting spot while demonstrating the value of native plants. This streamside planting highlights plants which help to keep our water clean and provide critical food sources that birds need. The plants used are readily available for purchase at local nurseries for use by residents in their own gardens and landscapes.
Audubon Hawk Watchers are Back at Waggoner's Gap
The 2020 Hawk Watch season at Waggoner’s Gap is well underway, with dedicated volunteers once again counting raptors daily. Waggoner’s Gap is situated on the Kittatinny Ridge, a critical landscape that provides important stopover habitat for more than 150 species of songbirds and sixteen species of hawks, eagles, falcons and vultures. While this has been an unusual year, with many hawk watches closed or limiting visitation, Waggoner’s Gap has remained open with Covid-19 restrictions, requiring social distancing and wearing of masks to keep visitors and the counting team safe. In the first month of this year’s watch, monitors counted more raptors than they had any August in the previous five years. 
Waggoner's Gap. Photo: Ron Freed
View August News
Audubon Pennsylvania
1201 Pawlings Road, Audubon, PA 19403
610-666-5593  | pa.audubon.org

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