As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday 7 January 2013

Volunteer birders tally 80 species for the Pittsburgh Christmas Bird Count Read more: Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

When an O‘Hara man spotted one of the birds of summer — a bright orange-and-black Baltimore oriole — at his bird feeder during last weekend‘s snowstorm, Audubon Society officials didn‘t believe him.

The sighting of the male oriole, which lives here only in the spring and summer, will set a first-time record for the Pittsburgh Christmas Bird Count, Brian Shema said. Sherma serves as compiler for the effort as well as operations director for the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania.

Also topping Dec. 29‘s local bird count was the state-endangered short-eared owl discovered in the Oakmont area.

Now in its 113th year nationally, the annual so-called Christmas bird count is the longest running volunteer nature survey in the world, according to the Audubon Society.

About 100 volunteers showed up for the Pittsburgh area count, which began in 1961 and covers a 15-mile radius centered in Pittsburgh‘s North Hills. Other counts in the region and across the country have been scheduled from Dec. 14 through Jan. 5.

The volunteer birders tallied roughly 30,000 individuals for the Pittsburgh count, according to unofficial estimates from Shema

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