Bird Town is a working partnership between Audubon and municipalities in Pennsylvania to promote conservation and community-based actions to create a healthy, more sustainable environment for birds and people.
Audubon provides the tools for the municipality to engage their residents, schools and businesses in making more ecologically-friendly decisions, conserving energy and in the process, saving money. A Bird Town makes efforts to restore valuable ecosystem services to create a culture of conservation where everyone is a potential steward of nature in their backyard and beyond.
At the Board of Commissioners meeting on January 7, 2013, the Commissioners voted to adopt initiatives to be recognized as an Audubon Bird Town. Now, the Radnor Conservancy and the Environmental Action Committee are working with Audubon PA to promote the Bird Town program in Radnor Township.
The premise of the program is to recognize that our native birds are indicators of our community’s environmental quality. Loss of habitat and degradation of habitat quality has resulted in Audubon focusing on backyards and other human-influenced landscapes as sanctuaries for birds.
Bird Town’s mission is to work in partnership to inspire and promote community-based actions that create a culture of conservation and healthy living through awareness programs, education, environmental projects, birding activities, citizen science (making a difference for science and bird conservation) and innovate grassroots involvement. It’s aim is to introduce Radnor residents to the incredible natural wonders that can be found in one’s own backyard or schoolyard.
Our goals include:
• To increase awareness of birds as indicators of environmental health.
• To increase awareness of water, air, nutrient, pesticide and habitat improvements
• To encourage residents, schools, businesses and government to join us in this effort and initiate their own projects such as residential backyard design and stewardship, educational programs in the schools, park management and invasive plant management.
• To connect more people to nature through birding activities such as bird watching in public locations, backyard bird counts, bird reporting and bird feeding.
• To demonstrate the connection between increased bird populations and diversity through habitat improvement projects.
The first activity we are promoting is the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC)
The GBBC is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of winter bird populations. Participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the event and report their sightings online at www.birdcount.org. Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, from beginning bird watchers, to experts, and you can now participate from anywhere in the world!
The 16th annual GBBC will be held Friday, February 15, through Monday, February 18, 2013. Please visit the official website at www.birdcount.org for more information and be sure to check out the latest educational and promotional resources.
It’s free, fun, and easy. Each checklist submitted during the GBBC helps researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society learn more about how birds are doing, and how to protect them and the environment we share. Last year, participants turned in more than 104,000 online checklists, creating the continent’s largest instantaneous snapshot of bird populations ever recorded.