Share This Page

Todd Nature Reserve, Audubon Society provide outlets for bird enthusiasts

| Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, 3:39 p.m.

Sunday is National Take a Hike Day, and the folks at Todd Nature Reserve are celebrating with an hour-long, naturalist-led exploration of the property.

Located in Sarver, Todd Nature Reserve sits on 176 acres and is the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania's first reserve as well as a part of the Buffalo Creek Watershed Conservation Plan and Pennsylvania Audubon's Buffalo Valley Very Important Bird Area program.

“Todd's an interesting spot because it has some really beautiful landscape features that you don't see not only at our other reserves but in this area of Western Pennsylvania,” ASWP environmental educator Gabi Hughes said. “There are several streams throughout the property and hemlock forests that line the streams. It's a great chance to get out in late fall before winter starts.”

The hike begins at 1 p.m. and there is a $6 fee for members and a $10 fee for nonmembers.

The ASWP also will soon begin its Christmas bird count training programs. The 114th annual bird count, administered by the National Audubon Society, takes place throughout the Pittsburgh area on Dec. 28. The count started as a conservationist's alternative to the Christmas side hunt tradition that was popular before the turn of the century in which people would engage in a bird-hunting competition.

Training sessions are being offered at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Saxonburg Library, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 2 at Beaver Area Memorial Library and 10 a.m. Dec. 7 at Succop Conservancy in Butler.

“With the training, we're trying to spread the word about it so that people can become involved,” Hughes said. “It's an important event and important to get more people involved because they do actually use the data collected in scientific research, and it's not just related to birds. It also tells us more about the world around us.”

The citizen-driven census spreads volunteer counters out across the nation to tally the species and number of birds they see during a 24-hour period. One doesn't have to be an expert birder to take part, Hughes said, and when possible local count leaders will work to pair first-timers with those who have more experience. Each count nationwide begins at midnight and ends at midnight the following day. Volunteers only need to count for as long as they are able.

“I will tell you, though, that some people count for the entire day,” Hughes said. “There are definitely some folks who'll go out and look for owls and make an entire day of it. A lot of folks look forward to it, and it's a big part of their holiday season.”

For more information or to register for any of the ASWP's programs, visit www.aswp.org/locations/succop/index.html or call 412-963-6100.

Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at kprice@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KarenPrice_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.