Category Archives: Willistown Conservation Trust

PA Young Birders: Winter Bird Count

On Saturday, December 17, I led a group of junior birders from Rushton on the first of two PA Young Birders Winter Bird Counts this season.  We enjoyed a busy morning with a variety of activities to engage the kids in the excitment of winter birding.

The morning began with a brief powerpoint presentation explaining the history of Christmas Bird Counts, which serve as the inspiration for the kids’ Winter Bird Counts, identification of the birds likely to be seen, and how to count species and individuals.  Checklists in hand, we bundled up and headed outside to explore the grassland and creek habitat of Kirkwood South.

We stopped to count 63 Canada Geese congregated in a nearby field, and several American Crows flying over.  The kids promptly wrote down the numbers, and impressively kept their lists updated throughout the morning.  Two Great-Horned Owl pellets were closely examined, along with a large dead Green Darner dragonfly found intact.  The kids were thrilled to watch a gorgeous Red Fox hunting in a field and see Red-tailed Hawks and Turkey Vultures soaring in the sky.

The bird feeders hosted Downy Woodpecker, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Chickadee and a nice Hairy Woodpecker attracted to the peanuts.

Back inside, we reviewed our checklist, tallying 22 species and over 225 individual birds – many more than the kids guessed!

Together we submitted the data on eBird, then enjoyed delicious pizza provided by Willistown Conservation Trust.

Our event had one final highlight as the kids were putting their finishing touches to a peanut butter and seed cone to hang outside for the birds. This was an Eastern Screech Owl that Lisa brought over from Great Valley Nature Center. The kids were delighted to get a chance to see the bird up close.

Thanks to Debbie, Blake, Lisa and Lou for helping make the first PA Young Birders Winter Bird Count for Kids a great success.  I’m already looking forward to next year!

all photos © adrian binns

PA Young Birders at Rushton Woods Preserve: Beaks and Birds

The PA Young Birders at Rushton Woods Preserve enjoyed another wonderful outing at this Chester County gem on Wednesday, July 13.  A dozen enthusiastic kids joined us to learn all about bird beaks and feeding habits, a fascinating topic. Blake had set-up different stations which the kids visited to “fill their crops,” i.e., get food!Continue Reading

In the Midnight Hour……it’s a Hoot!

Though the nets were opened at dusk, it was not until the winds had died down and the hands on the clock crept towards midnight that a Saw-whet Owl was caught. I returned to Rushton Farm in Delaware County to join Doris, Lisa, Lou, Sheryl and Lauren for the hourly net check. It was aContinue Reading

Banding at Rushton Farm

I stopped by this morning to see the Willistown Conservation Trust’s banding site at Rushton Farm in Newtown Square. The DVOC had pledged money towards the start up of this project, that is being run by club member Doris McGovern and assisted by Lisa Kiziuk and Alice Sevareid. There was a steady stream of birdsContinue Reading