The state Game Commission has unveiled a redesigned and expanded birding and bird conservation section on its website to help it better communicate the importance of wild birds to the millions who visit the website annually.
"We have always recognized that there is tremendous interest in birding and bird conservation among Pennsylvanians, but it hasn't been easy to meet that demand with content on our website, because of our limited number of wildlife diversity biologists are incredibly busy," said Carl G. Roe, agency executive director. "These upgrades have been in development for the better part of two years and, with them now in place, our wild bird content overnight has become an indispensable resource for anyone from students to birders to backyard bird feeders."
The new section offers advice on where to go statewide to see birds, when the best times of day are to go and what you can expect to see. Learn about migratory behavior.
Figure out what seeds to put in your feeders to attract the wild birds you really want to see. Get help in making your property more bird friendly.
Get background on how you can take part in important projects conducted annually to help biologists keep tabs on bird numbers.
"There's always a need for more participants in the Great Backyard Bird Count, Pennsylvania Annual Migratory Count and even the Christmas Bird Count," said Doug Gross, supervisor of the agency's Endangered and Nongame Birds Section. "Visit these pages and learn firsthand how you can get involved, work with other birders and make a difference in bird conservation."
Pennsylvania truly is a keystone state when it comes to wild birds because the Appalachian Mountains have been part of a continental migratory highway for birds since the days of the passenger pigeon.
There are 285 species of wild birds that are regular denizens of the state; another 129 species are less frequent visitors. It's that diversity of bird life that makes Pennsylvania so special to birders.
"We've taken substantial steps on these pages to acquaint more Pennsylvanians with the state's wild birds and the agency's role in bird conservation, both within the commonwealth's borders and internationally," said Dan Brauning, supervisor of the agency's Wildlife Diversity Division. "This content will help more people see the value of wild birds, and get them closer to birds. It also offers ways to get involved in bird conservation and to make your property safer and more attractive to birds. Please visit. You'll see a side of Pennsylvania that surely will charm you and likely hook you on wild birds for life."
To access the new Birding and Bird Conservation Section of the agency website at www.pgc.state.pa.us, place your cursor over "Wildlife" in the top navigation and select "Birding/Bird Conservation in the dropdown menu. The new section can be accessed from the Wildlife Page.