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Naturally speaking: Count your backyard birds

Birding — aka birdwatching — has grown by leaps and bounds, especially here in Schuylkill County. In recent times, people have discovered that outside activities are fun, a good and healthy use of time, and provide opportunities to learn more about our shared environment.

Southern Schuylkill County has some birding hotspots that are accessible and offer a number of species to observe. Visit Explore Schuylkill’s website ( and click on MAPS to see the county’s bird checklist and a “Bird Trails” booklet.

Landingville Marsh and the John Bartram Trail come to mind when I think of birding. The wetland is valuable wildlife habitat and affords good birding from waterfowl to woodland species.

You can tell that the seasons are changing by hearing a number of birds calling out with meaning and purpose. My home is in the middle of St. Clair, and I’ve heard song sparrows, mourning doves, screech owls, house sparrows, crows, and the list goes on.

You can conclude that nature is all around you if only you take the time to enjoy it!

Readers should consider participating in the 2024 Great Backyard Bird Count. This free and fun community science program takes place Feb. 16-19.

To participate, look out your window and see what birds are in your backyard or at your feeder or feeders for 15 minutes or more, at least once over the four days of the count.

Once you identify the birds you see or hear, you can submit your findings through a number of available tools. Audubon Pennsylvania offers resources to help you participate at

A free webinar on Tuesday, Feb. 13, at 1 p.m. will explain how to participate and how the results impact global bird research.

Panelists will cover bird identification and counting tips, how to join a group, and explore fun ways to involve kids. Registration is required for the webinar. Visit:

Typically, there are about 15 to 20 common species of birds that will visit your feeders and yards during the count.  Common visitors include: cardinals, woodpeckers, sparrows, blue jays, doves, juncos, chickadees, goldfinches and more.

Take time to enjoy birding. Be sure to visit to learn about free public birding programs. You’ll rub elbows with birding experts who will help you to learn more about our own feathered friends.

Source: Berkshire mont

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