What is the Big Day of Birding?
The Fern Hollow Big Day of Birding is a chance for teams of outdoor enthusiasts to spend a day exploring the parks and green spaces in the Quaker Valley communities while identifying as many bird species as possible. The goal is for all team members to identify each species and hopefully improve their own birding skills while revealing the diversity of birds in our community to the public. The Big Day is also a great opportunity to support the environmental education programs at Fern Hollow Nature Center by sponsoring teams based on the number of species they identify.
How do I participate?
Individuals can participate in three different ways. First, you can form or join a team to go birding on April 30th. One member of each team will need to pick up a Team Packet at Fern Hollow Nature Center to get the official score sheet, rules, entry form and map designating the boundaries for the Big Day. Team Packets will be available starting Friday, April 29th after 10:00am. Teams can count species identified any time between 6:00am and 7:00pm on April 30th within the specified area and then will return to Fern Hollow for a bonfire and awards celebration at 7:00pm. All results must be dropped off at Fern Hollow by 7:00pm on April 30th.
This year, Fern Hollow staff will also lead two public bird walks that anyone is welcome to join. The first walk will begin at 9:00am at Sewickley Heights Borough Park in the upper parking lot. The second walk will start at 11:00am at Morrow Pontefract Park in Leetsdale. We will meet at the park edge along Beaver Street (by the Little Sewickley Creek bridge) and additional parking is available at Giant Eagle. These walks are free and open to the public, but participants are encouraged to sponsor their list of birds identified during the walk. No birding experience is necessary for the public walks.
Additionally, individuals can participate by sponsoring a team either as a pledge per species of bird identified or as a specified amount for the day. Register your team or your pledge by contacting Susie Moffett at Susie.firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-741-7536. If you bird or pledge, either way, you can help Fern Hollow to educate our community about the amazing variety of birds that live around us every day!