about TAS

Welcome to the Tiadaghton Audubon Society of Tioga and Potter Counties. Our chapter was founded in 1906 with 23 members, making it the oldest chapter in the state. The Tiadaghton name was selected in 1953, and in 1972 the chapter was officially chartered. To contact us, please use the Facebook link below left. (Photo: Scarlet tanager photographed near Hills Creek State Park here in Tioga County)

Monday, December 11, 2017

118th Annual Christmas Bird Count to be Held Here in Tioga County, January 1, 2018

Birders and nature enthusiasts in Tioga County, Pennsylvania will join birders across the western hemisphere and participate in Audubon's longest-running wintertime tradition, the annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC),  to be held in our area on January 1, 2018. Over 2,000 individual counts are scheduled to take place throughout the Americas and beyond from December 14, 2017 through January 5, 2018. Tioga County through the Tiadaghton Audubon Society has been represented in the count every year since 1968.

The data collected by observers over the past century allow researchers, conservation biologists, and other interested individuals to study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America. When combined with other surveys such as the Breeding Bird Survey, it provides a picture of how the continent's bird populations have changed in time and space over the past hundred years. This year's count will help help scientists understand the impact of the Gulf oil spill on vulnerable species.

The Christmas Bird Count began in 1900 when the founder of Bird-Lore (the progenitor of Audubon magazine), Frank Chapman, suggested an alternative to the “side hunt,” in which teams competed to see who could shoot the most game, including birds. Chapman proposed that people “hunt” birds only to identify, count, and record them. These “binocular brigades” often brave winter’s chill, ice and snow in order to record changes in resident populations and ranges. “When Frank Chapman started the Christmas Bird Census, it was a visionary act,” said Audubon President John Flicker. “No one could have predicted how important the CBC would become as a resource and tool for conservation.” CBC data also help document success stories. The Christmas Bird Count has helped document the comeback of the previously endangered bald eagle and significant increases in waterfowl populations, both the result of conservation efforts. “Each CBC volunteer observer is an important contributor, helping to shape the overall direction of bird conservation,” says Geoff LeBaron, Audubon's Christmas Bird Count Director.

In Tioga County the count is limited to a 177-square-mile circle centered in Whitneyville and encompassing Wellsboro in the west, Mansfield in the east, Ives Run/Hammond Lake in the north, and to just above Arnot in the south.  For more information about this historic event, you can visit the National Audubon Society's website here.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

December 2017 Meeting

Join the Tiadaghton Audubon Society on Wednesday, December 20th for “Bird Feeding and Housing in Tioga County” presented by TAS Co-President and avid birder John Corcoran.  John will discuss his struggles and successes in dealing with bears and other nuisance visitors to his bird feeders and on how to make your own bird suet/cookie dough. There will be door prizes including a bird feeder and bird house. Bird houses will also be available for purchase. The business meeting will begin at 6 pm followed by the program at 7 pm at the Gmeiner Art and Cultural Center. The business meeting and program are both free and open to the public. Visit us on Facebook to learn more about our local Audubon Chapter!

Monday, October 30, 2017

November 2017 Annual Joint Meeting

Join the Tiadaghton Audubon Society, the Pine Creek Headwaters Protection Group, the Tiadaghton Chapter of Trout Unlimited and the Pine Creek Watershed Council for a joint meeting on November 15th at the Gmeiner Art and Cultural Center. A refreshment hour will begin at 6 pm followed by organization updates and a program at 7 pm. The program, “Climate Change and Impacts on Wild Trout” will be presented by Shawn Rummel. Shawn is currently the field and research manager for Trout Unlimited’s Pennsylvania Coldwater Habitat Restoration Program in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania and also works in conjunction with TU’s Science Program. He has earned both his master’s degree and Ph.D. in Ecology from Penn State University, where he developed a passion for brook trout and the streams where they live. With Trout Unlimited, his research has focused on the conservation issues of native brook trout, ranging from restoration from abandoned mine drainage pollution and aquatic organism passage issues to broad-scale conservation planning. The joint meeting is free and open to the public.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

October 19 Meeting

Please note that this month's meeting will be on Thursday, and the start time for the program will be 7:00 PM. Licensed wildlife rehabilitator and founder of  Centre Wildlife Care, Robyn Graboski, will be presenting a program on Wildlife Rehabilitation. She has been professionally rehabilitating wildlife since 1988 and oversees the care of over 1500 wild animals per year. She will be bringing some of her wild friends to the program, including an adult Red Tailed Hawk! The program will follow our regular business meeting, which will begin at 6:00. The business meeting and program will take place as usual at the Gmeiner Art and Cultural Center in Wellsboro across from the Green.  We are hoping everyone will bring a donation item for Robyn to take back with her. To find a list of needed items please click the link and visit her website http://www.centrewildlifecare.org/robyn.html or you can get to it using this link http://www.centrewildlifecare.org/pdfs/WISHLIST.pdf.

Monthly Meeting Time Change

Commencing with our October monthly meeting, all meetings will now start a half hour earlier -- the business meeting will begin at 6:00 PM and the program will begin at 7:00 PM.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

September 20 Meeting

For its monthly meeting on September, 20  the Tiadaghton Audubon Society will feature a presentation by Master Falconer Michael Kurig entitled “Raptors and Man”.  The program will take place   at the Gmeiner Art and Cultural Center in Wellsboro at 7:30 PM,  following the usual business meeting at 6:30.  Everyone is invited to attend both.

Michael Kurig has trained and hunted with a variety of raptors including red-tailed hawks, Harris Hawks, goshawks and golden eagles. He was instrumental in releasing peregrine falcons in Williamsport with the Lycoming Audubon Society, which reestablished a breeding population of the fastest animal on Earth back in the Susquehanna River Basin. Having “hawked”  most of North America and many countries in Europe, he will share some of his adventures, explain the features of these magnificent creatures, and answer any questions concerning any aspect of raptors. He will also bring a live raptor with him, that he has trained to be his hunting partner.  Please join us for this interesting and informative program.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Porcupine Attacks Landrus Bird Blind

A porcupine, attracted by the salts or chemicals in the bird blind's siding, decided the siding might be very good to eat and started gnawing away. Fortunately, the damage was noticed early, and it was possible to prevent further damage. John Corcoran, Ken Cooper, and Sean Minnick installed some protective mesh and added a barrier to keep the porcupine from climbing higher. See the side panel for more information on the Landrus blind near Arnot.

Monday, August 14, 2017

White-winged Tern Leaves Lake Nessmuck

As of 10:00 AM, Monday August 14, the white-winged tern visiting Lake Nessmuk has not been observed. Most likely it spent a couple of days recuperating from a long flight and then continued its migration south. Local birders are checking out several lakes and other wetlands, but so far without success. It was very exciting and gratifying to have this visitor for as long as it stayed. More than 300 people were able to see it and watch it in action. We would like to thank the many people who came to see the bird and visit our community, and we hope they enjoyed their brief stay here.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

White-winged Tern Day 4

Our visiting white-winged tern apparently decided to stay another day, and he/she seems to be doing well. Numerous flights were made over the water over the course of the day in obvious attempts to catch insects and small fish, and after each flight the bird very carefully preened his/her feathers before making the next sortie. The tern continues to be rather tolerant of the birders watching, and consistently returns to the pilings near the parking area, although occasionally some nearby snags are used as a roosting spot.

The visitors' logbook now shows about 250 entries, and we estimate that at least another 75 did not sign, probably because they did not know it was there. It is interesting, though, how many visitors headed directly to the pavilion with the logbook before walking out to the viewing area.  Log entries and license plates show visitors from Arizona, Kansas, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Connecticut, Michigan, Washington DC, Indiana, and Illinois in addition to Pennsylvania and nearby New York and New Jersey. Everyone has had excellent opportunities to see the tern at rest and in flight, and I don't think anyone has gone away disappointed. In addition to the white-winged tern, a number of other interesting birds are being seen at the lake, including some out-of-season or hard-to-see birds such as American bitterns, redheads, and ring-necked ducks.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

White-winged Tern Visit Continues

Saturday, August 12. Our celebrity white-winged tern continues to delight birders from all over the country by the score (I counted 125 signatures in the log book, but I know a lot of people did not sign it). We have had visitors from, of course, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Texas, and even Ontario. Of course, how often do you get to see the rarest bird in America? The tern looked pretty good his first couple of days here despite the cloudy weather, but with the sky opening up and the sun shining, he looked absolutely spectacular. There was some concern about his health yesterday, because he seemed listless and didn't hunt for food very much, but I think he made up for it today, making numerous forays around the lake. He was observed catching fish at least three different times. He also moved to the other side of the lake when a storm front came through and seemed reluctant to come back, but he did return after we asked the observers to move back from the pilings and give him more space. Nevertheless, he may prefer the dam side, since the fishing appears to be better over there. Since it is a small lake, he can still be seen, but his occupation of the pilings provided more rewarding views. More tomorrow.

Friday, August 11, 2017

White-winged Tern at Lake Nessmuk

The white-winged tern discovered at Lake Nessmuk just south of Wellsboro PA on Rte 287 Thursday morning  (August 10) by Rich Hanlon and ID'ed by Kathy Riley continued to provide excellent viewing opportunities for numerous birders all day Friday. Rich was able to take some great photos at the time, which resulted in the ID being confirmed rapidly by the ABA. The Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology followed suit after sending a team down late Thursday afternoon to see the bird first hand. This sighting of a white-winged tern is the first for Pennsylvania ever and the first in North America this year. There is plenty of parking, and so far visitor counts have not been uncomfortably high as often occurs where sightings take place closer to large cities.

The tern was very quiet most of Friday, changing perches on pilings from time to time, but mostly sitting still. The bird has been very tolerant of visitors, who have for the most part been very polite and considerate of the bird and each other. Hopefully this will continue for as long as the bird is visiting us. Many eBird reports are being filed every day, so it is very easy to get information on the current situation.

White-winged Tern at Lake Nessmuk, Wellsboro, Pennsylvania

Birders getting a good view of the currently rarest bird in America.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Dedication Celebration for the new Cavanaugh Access to the Pine Creek Rail Trail

August 8, 2017 at 11:00am
231 Marsh Creek Rd., Wellsboro, PA  16901

It's time to celebrate!! We are very close to the Cavanaugh Access officially becoming part of the Tioga State Forest. DCNR Secretary Cindy Dunn is going to be in Wellsboro, so we're going to have the dedication (even if the transfer to the Bureau of Forestry hasn't happened yet).

We hope you can attend and join in the celebration of the project you made possible.

Parking will be in a field across the Pine Creek Rail Trail from the Access. It won’t be a manicured area, so please choose your shoes carefully. You’ll then walk back across the Pine Creek Rail Trail to the Access.

From the intersection of Route 6 and 287 north of Wellsboro, head north on 287. Marsh Creek Road will be the first road on the left. You’ll see Pag Omar farm market near the intersection. From this turn you'll travel about 4.0 miles+/- and the site will be on your left.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, you could also ride your bike from the northern terminus, the Ansonia Access, or Darling Run. Be at the site by 11:00am, please.

RSVPs are not required, but appreciated - 570-323-6222 or rcarey@npcweb.org

Please dress to be outside and wear comfortable shoes. The Bureau of Forestry will have a path mowed around the field so you can walk a portion of the property (if you want to) after the formal program.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

John's Bird Suet Cookie Dough Recipe

This is John Corcoran's recipe for making cookie-dough bird suet. It is highly popular with many species of birds!

Need: 3-4 qt. mixing bowl, 1-qt. saucepan, 2-cup scoops (2), potato masher, tablespoon, m-wave bowl, soft spatula, plastic forms from suet cakes ( 4 ).
Ingredients: corn meal ( coarse 5 lb. bag ), Armour Lard ( 4 lb. pail ) , AP flour ( any ! ) , generic peanut butter.
Mix: Pour a 4 /1 ratio of cornmeal/flour in a mixing bowl: for 4 cakes,use 8 cups cornmeal and 2 cups of flour. Mix with masher. This is your, DRY ! Create a 2 cup “well “ in the bowl by removing & setting aside a 2 cup portion of the dry.

Heat: 2 cups [ use 2nd 2-cup scoop ] of lard over low heat until it is melted. [use your oven hood to blow out lard odor]. Fill “well” in bowl with melted lard and mix with tablespoon. It will mix easily due to excess liquid; this is good, it is your WET. Set aside a portion of the DRY into a bowl but DO NOT MIX ! In M-wave bowl melt 2 heaping tablespoons of peanut butter (20à30 seconds). While waiting on M-wave take a tablespoon and make a small well in the UNMIXED DRY. Put in the bowl. Pour peanut butter into this well and mix DRY and melted peanut butter with a spoon. (Keep mixture away from bowl sides &and don’t go into the WET layer below. When upper layer is mixed into smallish clumps, take spoon and combine into a dough like peanut-butter cookie dough appears. (A bit dryish, but spoon will ‘dent’ it.)
Pack: Hold mold over bowl and fill and pack with spoon. This can be messy at first. Place mold on counter and pack firmly using circular motion, riding on form edges to level dough in form. Then freeze. Repeat with other molds. After 1 hour, the dough will pop easily out of the molds. Keep refrigerated in sandwich bags until fed to greedy woodpeckers, etc. in wire cages.

Options: Add berries, hulled sunflower seed, raisins, in moderation! It might be best to delay this experimentation for later when you are happy with the consistency of your dough.

Caution: There is a lot of salt in peanut butter so resist overdosing our feathered friends with it. Adjust: Keep a bit of cornmeal around to pop into saucepan to get out the residual melted lard with the spatula. Ditto in bowl for residual peanut butter.

SAVE ! Walmart on line; “Great Value” 5 lb. cornmeal: $ 2.36 !!! 4 lb. room temp. ARMOUR lard: $ 5.94 !!! I buy 5 cornmeal / 3 lard at a time to qualify for FREE 2 -day shipping . Nothing I have tried compares in the diversity of birds drawn to this bird treat! Enjoy your birds!!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Hometown Science Festival

The first annual Hometown Science Festival will be held on the Green in Wellsboro August 12th from 10am to 4pm. This free event will feature hands-on science activities, demonstrations and programs for families. Pre-registration is not required. The Tiadaghton Audubon Society will offer scheduled bird walks throughout the day as well as owl pellet dissection and bird box construction. If you are interested in assisting TAS members with activities please let me know and we can get you on the contact list. The Hometown Science Festival and Series will also be holding a Visual Art Exhibit and Contest. The contest theme is "Science in our Daily Lives" and will be open to all age groups. Please see the attached flyer for more information. Feel free to distribute the Festival and Art Contest information to your friends and families.

If you are interested in helping with the Festival in a different capacity, we may need volunteers to assist other organizations with their activities. We are also still seeking participants for additional demonstrations, activities and programs. Fields such as technology, energy, health, chemistry and physics are encouraged.

The Hometown Science Series and Festival is a cooperative effort between the USGS Northern Appalachian Branch of the Leetown Science Center and the Tioga County Conservation District. This event would not be possible without the participation of local organizations such as the Tiadaghton Audubon Society! Feel free to contact me with any questions, thanks!

Friday, June 16, 2017

TAS Summer Picnic

The Tiadaghton Audubon Society would like to invite you, your family, and friends to our first annual chapter-wide picnic.

When:  August 19 at 12;00 PM

Where: Stephenhouse Pavilion on 710 Ives Run Lane in the Ives Run Recreation Area (Hammond Lake).

Please RSVP to tasmember@yahoo.com by July 29. When you RSVP please let me know how many are coming, and if you plan to bring a dish what you will be bringing.

This event will be a great opportunity to network with fellow birders and find out what chapter events are coming up.

Please bring a dish to pass.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

April 19 Meeting

"Spring Wildflowers; What to look for when birding"

Join the Tiadaghton Audubon Society on Wednesday, April 19th at the Gmeiner Art and Cultural Center for this month's program "Spring Wildflowers; What to look for when birding" presented by Chris Firestone. Chris is a botanist with DCNR Bureau of Forestry.  She advocates  native plant conservation and management, threatened and endangered plant species conservation, and invasive plant species management. Additionally, she is the ginseng coordinator for the state. The business meeting will begin at 6:30 followed by the program at 7:30. Visit us on Facebook to learn more about your local Audubon chapter.  

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

More Birding Opportunities

Like birds? Enjoy company on the trails? Rich Hanlon, a member of the Tiadaghton Audubon Society, will be leading a weekly bird walk at Woodland Park in Wellsboro on Thursdays 7:30-8:30 am now through the end of May! Meet at the Upper Pavilion.

John Corcoran, TAS co-president will lead a walk along the Pine Creek Rail Trail in the Straight Run area, including the Marsh-Creek oxbow on his property, on Sunday April 23. Participants should meet in the parking lot of the Northern Appalachian Research Lab (the fish lab in Asaph) around 8 AM. The walk will follow parts of the rail trail and pass through damp creek-side habitats favored by songbirds and wildflowers. Proper foot gear and insect repellent is recommended. Subdued clothing will help ensure closer views of shy water birds and any warblers present. We may make a side trip up Straight Run on state land if there is enough interest to look for Louisiana Waterthrushes.  Even though this is a bit early for the flower peak, participants may be able to apply information learned from Chris Firestone’s talk during the 19-April meeting and return later on their own later as more wildflowers bloom. John has a much sought after large member of the lily family gracing his property and will be pointing out the developing 2-3-foot sprouts!!

Hopefully the weather will be good on April 23, but a repeat or ‘rain date’ is possible the following Sunday, April 30 .

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Hills Creek State Park Bird Walks

Our annual spring bird walks at Hills Creek State Park will resume Saturday April 1 at 8:00 AM and continue every Saturday morning through April and May. Participants should meet at at the park office. There should be a good variety of  waterfowl on the lake through the next couple of weeks, and as the trees and shrubs leaf out, large numbers of land migrants will begin to be seen, including ovenbirds, common yellowthroats, pine, palm, black-throated green, black-and-white, and yellow warblers, rose-breasted grosbeaks, and even hummingbirds. Bald eagles are present, and ospreys are returning to the area, and we can expect to see them regularly. As spring progresses, more migratory land birds will arrive, their numbers increasing through May. There are no fees, and birders of all levels or anyone just interested in birds are welcome to attend. No prior notification is required. Just show up. Please bring binoculars and wear sturdy shoes and subdued clothing.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Tioga/Potter County Big Day Competition

 Do you enjoy outdoor adventures, watching wildlife, and especially identifying birds? Saturday May 13th, the Tiadaghton Audubon Society will be hosting a Big Day Birding event in which teams of 4-10 people will be trying to locate as many different species of birds as possible within Tioga and Potter Counties in a 24 hour period. A lunch is to follow at 12:30 pm on Sunday May 14th at The Burning Barrel restaurant in Ansonia (cost not covered by TAS). In the middle of the spring migration, when hundreds of species will be moving through our area, this is an event that the outdoor enthusiast will not want to miss! From beginner to expert, this is event is for you! If you would like to participate, please contact project coordinator Rich Hanlon (email) or at 412-992-6648 to start or sign up for a team.

TAS Big Day Event Instructions

Date: Saturday May 13th midnight to midnight. Lunch to follow on Sunday May 14, 12:30 pm at The Burning Barrel, 5440 Route 6, Wellsboro (Ansonia), PA (cost of lunch not covered by TAS).
Boundaries: Area for the Tiadaghton Audubon Society Big Day will include but not exceed the borders of Tioga and Potter counties.

 -at least 4 and not more than 10 people on each team.
 -each team has a team leader who is proficient at bird ID and knows the area.
 -the team leader is responsible for putting together her or his team.
 -everyone who wants to be included in this event will be able to be part of a team.
 -all are welcome regardless of proficiency of or experience in bird identification.

Listing species:
 -At least 80% of a team’s recorded species must have been located by all team members.
 -ABA recording rules apply:  http://listing.aba.org/aba-recording-rules/
 -Identification is on the honor system.

Sponsorships: Each team is responsible for finding their own sponsors. Sponsors will be people who would like to donate “x” amount of money per species located by the team which they are sponsoring. Funds raised will be donated to the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy.

Prize for the winning team: TBD.

All participants are invited to lunch at their own cost at 12:30pm on Sunday May 14 at The Burning Barrel. A representative from each team should bring a paper copy of their team’s results which displays the total number of species and the name of every species that was recorded.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

March Meeting -- Birding by Ear -- Rescheduled to March 22nd

Please join the Tiadaghton Audubon society on Wednesday March 22nd at 7:30 PM
at the Gmeiner Art and Cultural Center in Wellsboro for a program on Birding by Ear, to be presented by chapter member Rich Hanlon. Rich has led educational programs since 2010 and has amassed an impressive knowledge of bird identification, including songs and calls, from his life long passion for the natural world. Rich will guide the audience through bird vocalizations and offer tips for the field. There will also be a business meeting (open to the public), which will begin at 6:30, followed by the program at 7:30. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

February 15 Meeting

Our next meeting will take place on Wednesday, February 15, at the Gmeiner Arts and Cultural Center, 134 Main Street, in Wellsboro. It will begin with a business meeting at 6:30 pm, followed by the program at 7:30. This month's program, National Park Marathon ,will be given by chapter member, Ann Vayansky, and will feature highlights from a trip she took through Colorado and Utah. Beginning at Rocky Mountain National Park, and winding through several parks in Utah and Arizona, the presentation will focus on the varied landscapes of our western parks. The public is welcome to attend one or both segments of the meeting. Please visit us on Facebook to learn more about our local Audubon Society!