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December 16, 2023

The Tiadaghton Audubon Society, based in Wellsboro, is hosting two Christmas Bird Counts during the winter of 2023-2024. The Cowanesque Circle bird count will be on Saturday, Dec. 16 and the annual Wellsboro-Mansfield Circle bird count on Monday, Jan. 1. Everyone can participate in one or both counts.
By Saturday, Dec. 9, those interested in taking part in the Dec. 16 and/or Jan. 1 bird counts are asked to contact the Tiadaghton Audubon Society to be assigned an area by emailing or by calling Sean and Robin Minnick at 570-948-9052. At least 10 volunteers are needed per circle. Each participant will count every bird they see as he/she/they follow their assigned route.
Both the Cowanesque and Mansfield-Wellsboro Circle bird count volunteers will get their area assignments via email. “Anyone interested is welcome to contact me for more information,” said Sean Minnick, a Tiadaghton Audubon Society member.
Each individual count is performed in a “count circle” with a diameter of 15 miles (24.14 kilometres). At least 10 volunteers, including a compiler to manage things, count in each circle. Each participant will follow an assigned route, which changes little from year to year, and count every bird they see.
The Cowanesque Circle is centered on Cowanesque Lake and has a radius of 7.5 miles, which covers the following areas: North – Pinnacle State Park in N.Y.; South – Ives Run Campground; West – Osceola; and East – East Lawrence Road and Woodford Road.
The Wellsboro-Mansfield Circle is centered on the intersection of Whitneyville and Charleston roads with a radius of 7.5 miles, covering the following areas: North – Ives Run Campground; South – Arnot and South Elk Road; West – Route 6 and Heise Run Road; and East – Commonwealth University in Mansfield (Mansfield University).
“We pair a novice with an experienced birder, if possible. People who have never participated before but are interested and comfortable with going out on their own are welcome to help,” Minnick said. “It might be fun for a family or people living in the same household to participate together.”
Those who do not want to drive an assigned route but live in a circle area can count birds at their home bird feeders.
It is not necessary to be a member of either the Tiadaghton or the National Audubon Society to participate in the Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count, which occurs across America between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5 every year.
Frank Chapman started the Christmas Bird Census in 1900. Today, this community science project is an important resource and tool for conservation.
Tioga County, through the Tiadaghton Audubon Society, has been represented in the count every year since 1968, four years before the chapter was chartered in 1972. Founded in 1906 with 23 members, it is officially the oldest chapter in Pennsylvania. The Tiadaghton name was selected in 1953.
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