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)

Friday, December 28, 2018

January 12 Meeting to Feature Scott Weidensaul on Snowy Owls

Scott Weidensaul will be live and in person at the Wellsboro Area High School Auditorium January 12th 2:00 pm. Meet and greet along with book signing to follow his presentation
sponsored by the Tiadaghton Audubon Society -- free and open to the public.

Caught in the SNOWstorm

Five years ago saw the largest invasion of snowy owls into the eastern United States in perhaps a century, providing an unprecedented opportunity to learn more about these mysterious Arctic hunters. Author and researcher Scott Weidensaul will share the story of Project SNOWstorm -- how a huge, collaborative, publicly-funded effort focusing on snowy owls came together in a few frantic weeks and grew into one of the largest snowy-owl research projects in the world; it continues to make discoveries and unexpected insights into the life and ecology of this great white raptor.

Scott Weidensaul is the author of more than two dozen books on natural history, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist "Living on the Wind," about bird migration, "Return to Wild America," and "The First Frontier: The Forgotten History of Struggle, Savagery and Endurance in Early America." His newest book is "The Peterson Reference Guide to Owls of North America and the Caribbean." Weidensaul is a contributing editor for Audubon, a columnist for Bird Watcher's Digest and writes for a variety of other publications; he lives in the mountains of eastern Pennsylvania, where he studies the migration of owls and hummingbirds. 

Tuesday, November 27, 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, 2019. Over 2,000 individual counts are scheduled to take place throughout the Americas and beyond from December 14, 2018 through January 5, 2019. Tioga County through the Tiadaghton Audubon Society has been represented in the count every year since 1968.

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.

Fox Sparrow (c) Gary Tyson

In Tioga County, the count is conducted in 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.

If you would like to participate, please message us on Facebook or contact us at tasmember@yahoo.com. More eyes are always needed, and great birding skill is not a requirement. In fact, if you live within the count circle, you can just count the birds in your backyard or neighborhood. Please join us on January 1.

Upcoming Events 2019

Tiadaghton Audubon Society Business Meeting: Meets third Wednesday of each month at 6 pm at the Wellsboro Administration Building, Old Music Room. Presentations are listed below and both are open to the public. Please join us were always looking for new members!  Follow the Audubon Meeting signs to guide you to the room. FMI like us on Facebook or contact us at tasmember@yahoo.com

Tiadaghton Audubon Society: January 12, 2019  @ 2pm, Wellsboro Administration Building in the Wellsboro Area High School Auditorium. Presentation by Scott Weidensaul: “Caught in the Snowstorm” a presentation of the migration of Snowy Owl. Meet and greet along with book signing to follow presentation. 

Snow Owl (c) Gary Tyson

Tiadaghton Audubon Society:  February 1, 2019  @ 7pm,  Mansfield University Planetarium. Presentation by Tim Morrey from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources: “Dark Skies”.  If weather permit, telescopes will be setup outside afterwards. 

Tiadaghton Audubon Society: March 20, 2019  @ 7 pm, Wellsboro Administration Building in the Old Music Room following the Business Meeting Presentation by Dr. Sean Murphy from Conservation InSight on the endangered Cape Sable Seaside sparrow in the Florida Everglades.

Monday, October 29, 2018

November 14 -- Annual Joint Meeting on Use of PA State Forests Income

Our annual joint meeting with Trout Unlimited and the Pine Creek Headwaters Protection Group will take place on November 14 at the Gmeiner Art and Cultural Center in Wellsboro. The presentation will be preceded by a social hour at 6:00 pm (with refreshments); the presentation will begin at 7:00 PM.  Please join us for the social hour followed by a brief update on what our groups have been up to. Then our speaker, John Childe, will give his presentation. His topic: should Pennsylvania's State forests be wilderness areas for the benefit of the people or opportunities for the development of commodities such as oil, gas and timber for a few select industries?  Should the revenue derived from our State forests go to Harrisburg to benefit the politicians or should the revenue be put back into the State forests and into the Pennsylvania Wilds?

In adopting Article I Section 27 of our Constitution, Pennsylvanians voted overwhelmingly to protect "the clean air and pure water and to preserve the natural, scenic, historic and aesthetic values of our forests". That is what the Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundations is working to make clear in the courts. 

About John Childe: John Childe started his legal career in 1974 as Chief Counsel for Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, and afterwards he worked as counsel for the State Bureau of Parks and Forestry. In 1982 he started his own practice in public interest environmental law. He has worked extensively in both Pennsylvania and Florida, where he worked for twenty years on Everglades protection litigation. He returned to Pennsylvania in 2009 specifically to work on challenging the oil and gas leases in our state forests here in the north central region of Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

October 17 Meeting -- History and Trends in Bird Banding

Please join the Tiadaghton Audubon Society on Wednesday, October 17th for a program by Linda D. Ordiway, PhD. Linda is the Regional Wildlife Biologist Mid-Alantic & Southern Appalachian for the Ruffed Grouse Society and a long-time bird bander. Linda will talk about the evolution of banding birds, its importance in monitoring population trends in resident and migratory birds, and its effectiveness as a tool to educate and create awareness about issues surrounding them.

She will also discuss the use of GPS transmitters to target songbird species in the American Woodstock eastern migration study and the important role of hunters in bird and habitat conservation, as well as answer questions about the work she does.

The business meeting will begin at 6 pm followed by the program at 7 pm at the Wellsboro Area School District Building at 227 Nichols Street, Wellsboro, PA 16901 in the Old Music Room, adjacent to the Wellsboro Area high School; follow signs for parking. The business meeting and program are both free and open to the public.

Banded Yellow Warbler by Gary Tyson

Monday, August 13, 2018

September 19 Meeting -- Restoration of Atlantic Puffins on the Maine Coast

In this 2018 Year of the Bird, join Audubon scientist and founder of Project Puffin Steve Kress to learn how he restored colonies of Atlantic Puffins on the Maine coast and how these are now serving as sensitive indicators to climate-induced changes in the Gulf of Maine. He will also discuss how lessons learned from puffin restoration can help us create backyard sanctuaries for birds in a changing climate. PLEASE NOTICE: Due to the quilt show at the Gmeiner and our expectations of  a larger audience, the business meeting (open to the public) and presentation will take place at the Wellsboro High School on 225 Nichols Street, Wellsboro PA in the LGI (Large Group Instruction) Room. The business meeting will start at 5:30 PM and the presentation at 6:30 PM.

Stephen  Kress is Vice-President for Bird Conservation for the National Audubon Society and Director of the Audubon Seabird Restoration Program and Hog Island Audubon Camp.  His career has focused on developing techniques for managing colonial nesting seabirds. In this role, he manages 13 seabird nesting islands in Maine that are home to more than 42,000 water birds of 27 species including most of Maine’s rare and endangered seabirds.  Hundreds of professional seabird biologists can trace their first interest in seabirds to assisting Project Puffin, which is now celebrating its 45th year. Methods first developed in Maine for restoring lost colonies of seabirds are now standard practice worldwide. Dr. Kress received his Ph.D. from Cornell University and his Master’s and undergraduate degrees from the Ohio State University. He is author of Project Puffin: The Improbable Quest to Bring a Beloved Seabird Back to Egg Rock and many other books and scientific papers on seabird conservation.


Petit Manon Island off the coast of Maine

Restoration of the American Chestnut

The Tioga County Woodlands Owners Association [TCWOA] invites anyone interested in the restoration of the American Chestnut tree to attend our August 15 program at the Gmeiner at 6:30 pm.  Come learn about the greatest ecological disaster to hit the Eastern US since Europeans arrived in North America.  Find out how the American Chestnut tree, which dominated the Appalachian Mountain range from Maine to Georgia before 1900, was essentially eliminated from the forest within a generation.  What was lost?  Why was it lost?  What was the economic and social impact of that great loss?

-With all the bad news about other species under attack today, such as the hemlock and ash trees, how great would it be if we were able to reintroduce the American Chestnut to its native range?  That is precisely the goal of The American Chestnut Foundation, founded in 1983. Using a six generation back cross breeding program as well as modern genetic tools, the ACF supports scientific research in an active program to establish blight resistance in the American Chestnut tree.

-Join us at 6:30 PM on Wednesday August 15 at the Gmeiner, when Clark Beebe, president of the PA-NJ chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation presents a power-point on the life, death and rebirth of the American Chestnut tree.

Friday, May 4, 2018

May 18 Meeting -- Animal Detection Sight Unseen'

Please join us on Wednesday, May 16 at 7 pm,  for a program entitled Animal Detection Sight Unseen presented by Greg Moyer, assistant professor of  Mansfield University's Fisheries Program. Prior to that, he worked for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service as the director of their Conservation Genetics Lab in Georgia.  He has worked on projects for a variety of organisms over his career, primarily concerning federally threatened or endangered fishes. Greg's program will explain how organisms such as the American eel are detected using eDNA. The program will be preceded by our usual business meeting, which will begin at 6 pm. Both the business meeting and the program will take place at the Gmeiner Art and Cultural Center in Wellsboro. The business meeting and program are both free and open to the public.

American Eels by Gary Tyson

Saturday, April 14, 2018

April 14 Hills Creek State Park BIrd Walk Sees Warmer Weather, 51 Species

This Saturday’s walk was much  nicer day than  last week’s, but it was still a little on the chilly side. We had 16 participants, the youngest being 9 years old. It is always nice to see young people showing a real interest in birding. We had a great day as you can see from the birds listed below, and we saw our first warblers of the season. As the month progress, we will see more and more spring birds migrating in and the number of waterfowl will start to decline. The ospreys are still at the nest, and hopefully they will lay eggs. The bald eagles are also sitting on their nest. By now they should have laid their eggs. We had 16 participants this Saturday and saw 51 species. Walk leaders were Sean Minnick and Rich Hanlon. Highlights included Bonaparte gulls, pine and yellow-rumped warblers, an eastern meadowlark, a spotted sandpiper, nesting ospreys, a bald eagle, pied-bill grebes, buffleheads, ring-necked ducks, wood ducks, gadwalls, hooded and common mergansers, double-crested cormorants, a brown creeper, a hermit thrush, and many others.

Next week’s walk will be at the same time, same place – Hills Creek State Park office, 8:00 AM in the morning. Birders of all levels are welcome to come.

Pine Warbler by Gary Tyson

Monday, April 9, 2018

April 18 Meeting -- Eagles and Ospreys

Please join us on Wednesday, April 18th, 7:00 pm, at the Gmeiner Art and Cultural Center in Wellsboro for a program about our local bald eagle and osprey populations. The program will be presented by Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer Rob Minnich. Rob will also address bird watching safety during hunting seasons and how bird feeding can affect other wildlife species. The program will be preceded by the usual business meeting at 6:00 pm. Both the business meeting and the program are  free and open to the public. You can also visit our site on Facebook, where you can learn more about the Tiadaghton Audubon Society.

Osprey at Hills Creek State Park by Gary Tyson

First Hills Creek Spring Bird Walk Results

April 7, 8:00 AM,  Hills Creek State Park. It was a very cold morning for our first spring bird walk at Hills Creek State Park -- 19 degrees and a bitter north wind -- but we were pleasantly surprised by the many birds we were able to see -- 31 species in all. Waterfowl, in particular, gave a good showing. We saw two common loons, several red-breasted and hooded mergansers, a half dozen ring-necked ducks, many buffleheads and lesser scaups, horned and pied-billed grebes, and some double-crested cormorants. A bald eagle made a nice, low flyover, later followed by a red-shouldered hawk. The first belted kingfisher of the year also flew by, and a pair of ospreys were also present. They are apparently setting up housekeeping on the platform by the dam -- first time that we have had a sincere nesting effort there since 2010.There were not a lot of land birds, but we did see some robins, bluebirds, song sparrows, cardinals and juncos.

Next walk will be April 14, 8:00 AM. Everyone is welcome to participate, and there are no fees. Meet at the park office.

Eastern Phoebe by Sean Minnick


Nesting Ospreys at Hills Creek State Park by Sean Minnick

Thursday, March 15, 2018

HIlls Creek State Park Spring Bird Walks

Our annual spring bird walks at Hills Creek State Park (held every Saturday in April and May) will start up again this year on April 7, 8:00 AM. Meet at the park office.  Please note that the April bird walks are frequently cold and blustery, so please dress warmly. If the lake is free of ice, we can expect to see a variety of waterfowl, including diving ducks, grebes, and loons. Spotting scopes will be available if the birds are too far out in the lake. Bald eagles are almost always present, and we might see an osprey if the weather warms up. A few migratory land birds may also be present, but their numbers will be small until 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.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

March 21 Meeting -- Treasure Hunting for Wild Plants

Join the Tiadaghton Audubon Society on Wednesday, March 21st  for "Treasure Hunting For Wild Plants" presented by local native plant enthusiast Mark Simonis. Mark retired from the US Army Corps of Engineers in 2014 and now pursues his hobby of botany here in Tioga County. Come to learn about some of our local treasures! The monthly business meeting will begin at 6:00 pm followed by the program at 7:00 pm at the Gmeiner Art and Cultural Center in Wellsboro. The business meeting and program are both free and open to the public. You can also check us out on Facebook, where you can learn more about our local chapter.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

February 21 Meeting -- Birding in Costa Rica

Although Costa Rica is a small country, about the same size as West Virginia, it has as many bird species as the entire United States -- around 800. It is also one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world with about 5 percent of the world's biodiversity while having only about 0.03 percent of the world's land mass. In addition, about 25 percent of the country's territory is in national parks and in other protected areas. These facts and a well-developed eco-tourist infrastructure make Costa Rica one of the most popular destinations for birders everywhere. Please join the Tiadaghton Audubon Society on February 21 at 7:00 PM at the Gmeiner Art and Cultural Center in Wellsboro, when TAS webmaster Gary Tyson will describe his experiences birding and photographing the wildlife in northern Costa Rica's rain forest and Pacific coast last year. Gary is an award-winning, published photographer and was able to obtain many excellent photographs of this Central-American country's colorful, tropical birds and other exotic animals. The program will follow our regular business meeting, which will begin at 6:00. Both the business meeting and program are free and open to the public. You can also check out some of Tiadaghton Audubon's activities on our Facebook page.

Friday, January 5, 2018

January 17 Meeting on Birding Yellowstone National Park

Our January 17 meeting will be a presentation by TAS member Rich Hanlon entitled Birding Yellowstone National Park. Rich currently serves as the Pastor at the United Methodist Church in Wellsboro and has been leading nature education programs for young people since 2010. Rich has a passion for encouraging people of all ages to get inspired by the beauty and wonder of our natural world and has been a birder for 18 years. This past summer he had the rare opportunity to travel to Wyoming and Montana. Rich will lead us along a tour of the birds (and a few other natural features) of Yellowstone National Park as depicted by the wildlife photos from his travels. 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. Please visit us on Facebook, where you can learn more about our local Audubon chapter!