Spring Birding Basics Classes
Discover easy methods to find and identify birds in the Wissahickon Creek Watershed through a series of three classes with some of the Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association's most experienced birders. This beginner level course concentrates on the basics of bird identification and techniques for binocular use. Instructors will offer you individual attention and expert tips, as you learn to focus your binoculars on the many birds of the Wissahickon.
WVWA offers programming for all those interested in birding, bird biology and conservation, and learning to bird by sight and sound. Bird walks and trips will be led by Staff Naturalist, Margaret Rohde, and take place on WVWA’s beautiful preserves or other local birding spots.
WVWA’s Bird Conservation Initiative included the establishment and operation of a MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) banding station on Crossways Preserve in the summer of 2015. The MAPS project was created by the Institute for Bird Populations – a nonprofit based in Point Reyes, California, dedicated to research on the abundance, distribution, and ecology of birds, in response to bird population declines. The project seeks to understand the factors that influence their survival and productivity (the main drivers of population change) over time.
Read about the 2016 Bird Banding season in Margaret Rohde's blog - Birds of WVWA
Nest Box Project
Over the last several decades, many species of cavity nesting birds have faced population declines due to habitat loss and competition with non-native bird species (European starlings and house sparrows) – eastern bluebirds in particular. So, since 2015, WVWA has been installing nest boxes at many of our preserves in an effort to increase wildlife habitat and provide nesting sites – a primary goal of our land management. We now have a total of 10 boxes, and are hoping to increase that number each year!
Bluebird Color Banding
Color bands make it possible for us to identify individual birds at a distance - known as “resighting." A combination of banding and resighting data allows us to gain a greater understanding of a bird’s life – things like how they interact with others of their species, where they spend their time, and their movements within a landscape. Since we’re color banding bluebird nestlings, we will easily be able to determine if young born on our preserves stick around over the winter.
eBird is an online database created by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, where anyone can submit simple lists of the birds they’ve encountered while birding, anywhere in the world.
Bird Seed Sale
WVWA offers one Bird Seed Sales during the year in November or December. Order high quality birdseed appropriate to the birds found in the Wissahickon Watershed. All sales support WVWA stewardship efforts.
Teams of bird enthusiasts canvass the entire Wissahickon Watershed in this friendly and fun competition to identify as many bird species within a two-day time period. Birders of all ages and skill levels are encouraged to join the fun, bird as much or as little as they choose to and enjoy the camaraderie of their fellow birders. Teams use a checklist to record their sightings; following the event the lists get complied both by species and by locations (see below). The combined teams generally identify 120 -130 species!
The Cornell Lab of Orinthology BirdCast
Interested in knowing which birds will be migrating through our area, and when? Check out Cornell's BirdCast, where regional predictions are posted each week during spring and fall migration.