Familiar Feathered Friends series continues at OC and Clarion libraries

Jeffrey Hall, a member of Seneca Rocks Audubon Society and president of Bartramian Audubon Society, provided this photo of an eastern bluebird. Hall will talk about bluebirds and more during the 7:30 p.m. session of the Familiar Feathered Friends program which will be held Tuesday at the Oil City library and Thursday at the Clarion Free Library.

Binoculars, bluebirds and more will be discussed when Seneca Rocks Audubon Society continues its Familiar Feathered Friends series on Tuesday and Thursday.

The programs will take place at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Oil City library and at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Clarion Free Library. No registration is needed for these programs which are free and open to the public.

Seneca Rocks member Ron Montgomery will start the 6:30 p.m. session of the program with a discussion on binoculars.

“Outdoor enthusiasts are often frustrated by binoculars, especially when using them to better see birds,” Montgomery said. “Many beautiful birds go unseen because they simply do not wait to be seen.”

“We will show some simple techniques that make the experience with birds and binoculars more efficient and rewarding,” he added.

He said he will address the “innumerable confusing terms and a bewildering cost spread” that can accompany the purchase of binoculars.

“A few years ago I developed a presentation to help close friends buy the right binoculars. That one-on-one program has worked well so I decided to offer it to the community,” Montgomery said.

Jeffrey Hall of Franklin, a member of Seneca Rocks Audubon Society and president of Bartramian Audubon Society, will talk about summer lawn birds during the 7:30 p.m. portion of the program.

“My idea is to introduce some of the birds you might see around your yard, farm, field or woodlot and to share some interesting information about them,” Hall said.

Some of the interesting facts that Hall will cover during his presentation include that robins and bluebirds are close relatives, hummingbirds can fly backwards and catbirds can sing for 10 minutes without repeating themselves.

Some of the questions Hall hopes to address in his presentation include “Which birds use nest boxes that people put up?”; “What are those birds that I see flying around that never seem to land?”; and “There are a bunch of black birds in my yard – I can see that they aren’t all the same kind, how can I tell them apart?”.

He said he hopes to equip beginning birders – people who might not want to get into birding, but do like to know what they are seeing around them – with the ability to both recognize and understand more about some of the area’s familiar local summertime birds.

“I hope my part of the program will provide some baseline skills, as the previous segments have for winter feeder birds, hawks, woodpeckers and more,” Hall said.

Earlier this week at the programs, Seneca Rocks member Gary Edwards provided a smattering of the different types of bird songs and how to identify the types of birds that sing them.

Montgomery presented a talk on local woodpeckers during the 7:30 session of this week’s Familiar Feathered Friends programs. It examined how to identify a few often-seen woodpeckers by both sight and sound and how to differentiate between male and female woodpeckers.

Positive feedback

As March’s programs in the Familiar Feathered Friends series conclude this week, members said the response has been favorable.

“It’s been overwhelming,” Seneca Rocks member Gary Edwards said.

“We have been pleased by the level of interest in the program so far in both Oil City and Clarion,” Montgomery added.

Edwards said the turnout has been well beyond the society’s expectations with at least 51 people attending the first program at the Oil City library and approximately 44 at the first program at the Clarion Free Library.

“It is really nice to see that,” Edwards said of the attendance.

He said the following programs’ turnout had been decent as well.

Edwards added that having a program at the Oil City library benefited people who are interested in birds who may not have wanted to travel to the Clarion library for Seneca Rocks’ monthly program.

He said it was “nice to have programs at Oil City for a change.”

A questionnaire distributed at the end of the programs revealed that attendees enjoyed the series, according to Edwards.

Both library directors have had people say they have enjoyed the programs, he said.

Edwards hoped the programs will encourage some backyard birders to take the extra step to become bird enthusiasts and participate in more of the society’s programs and events.

“Once you get the backyard birders out and they seem some birds that are not in their backyard, they get interested in it. And hopefully that will carry over,” he said.

There were sign up sheets at the Clarion library that asked for attendees email addresses, according to Edwards.

He added that the sheets would give the society a list of people who attended and that those emails could be used to send out messages about future birding programs.

Future programs

While, Tuesday and Thursday’s programs are the last ones scheduled so far in the Familiar Feathered Friends series, members have indicated there may be future programs and bird walks in the works.

“We’ll probably try to set up some bird walks,” Edwards said.

He said the group would try to keep the location of the walk some place where it was convenient to meet locally. He suggested Kahle Lake as one possible location.

Meanwhile, the society has several of its regular programs on tap in the coming weeks.

The society’s Conneaut Marsh outing is planned for Saturday, April 2.

Hall will deliver his Alaska presentation, “The Pribilofs – Alaska’s Puffin” Paradise at Seneca Rocks Audubon Society’s meeting Wednesday, April 13, at the Clarion Free Library. The program had been scheduled for February but was canceled due to inclement weather.

The society will also host its Warbler Walk at Oil Creek State Park on May 28.

More information about upcoming Seneca Rocks’ programs can be found at http://www.senecarocksaudubon.organd on the group’s Facebook page.

Meanwhile, the Bartramian Audubon Society, which is the local chapter of the National Audubon Society serving Butler, Lawrence, Mercer and Venango counties, released a listing of its upcoming field trips. The first trip to Presque Isle State Park will take place at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, April 9.

Hall said the Bartramian’s program April 11 features Sarah Sargent of Audubon PA and she will present a talk titled “Forestry for the Birds.” It will cover things that can be done with residential trees, parks, woodlots and commercial forests that enhance them as habitat for birds and other wildlife.

More information about Bartramian’s programs can be found on the group’s Facebook page.