Philadelphia Parks & Recreation is seeking volunteers for its annual Christmas Bird Count. This year’s event will be held at Pennypack Environmental Center (PEC). It takes place on December 17, 2022.  

This is the 123rd Christmas Bird Count. It is an annual of the National Audubon Society. Audubon partners with organizations across the country to complete the count. 

Pennypack Environmental Center is located at 8600a Verree Road in Pennypack Park in Northeast Philadelphia. It has participated in the count for over 60 years. 

Parks & Rec’s Stephanie Robinson is managing this year’s count. Stephanie is an environmental education specialist at the center. She provided the following information:

What is the Christmas Bird Count?  

The Christmas Bird Count was started by Frank Chapman. He was one of most influential ornithologist of the 20th Century. 

Frank and other conservationists started the Bird Count on December 25, 1900. Organizers started the winter bird census to raise awareness about declining bird populations. Instead of hunting birds on Christmas Day, volunteers went outside to count the different species of birds. Now, people around the world gather to count birds and collect data for scientists.  

Although the Count originally took place on Christmas Day, it now happens on a range of dates. Generally, it takes place between December 14 and January 5. Event organizers or compilers select one day during that time to count birds. 

Does it cost anything to take part?  

No. Participation is free, but volunteers must register in advance.  

How does it work? 

Each count takes place in an established 15-mile diameter circle. Organizers assign birders to a specific area to count all the birds they see that day.  

When and where does the Count take place in Pennypack Park? 

The Pennypack Valley count circle is a 15-mile radius. It includes Pennypack Park and Pennypack Ecological Trust in Huntington Valley. View historical results for the Pennypack Valley.  The count begins at 7 a.m. and goes late into the evening.

Is any special equipment required? 

It’s helpful to have a pair of binoculars! Participants can borrow binoculars from the environmental center.  

How is the information used? 

Scientists use the data collected to determine how birds are doing. It allows scientists to monitor and study the health of different bird populations.  

If I don’t feel like counting birds, are there other bird-related activities?

Yes! The center is hosting additional programming for birders of all ages later in the day. Attendees can learn fun facts about winter birds and help count birds at the center at 11 a.m. Register now for the event.  

How do I find out information about other Christmas Bird Counts in the region?   

Visit Audubon’s website for more information. 

Email,if you have questions about the Pennypack Bird Count.