The 2nd Annual Breeding Bird Blitz for Conservation, hosted by the Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology (PSO), featured 20 teams searching for birds and raising funds for conservation between June 17th and 20th. The teams engaged in friendly competition to observe the most species in a county or region while raising funds for three critical bird conservation projects, focusing on protection of Piping Plover, Golden-winged Warbler, and Northern Saw-whet Owl habitat. As of July 4, 2022, the teams have raised more than $13,500, surpassing the $10,625 raised in last year’s inaugural event. Funds are being collected through July 15th at www.breedingbirdblitz.org/donate-teams in pursuit of an overall goal of raising $15,000. PSO is matching all gifts from now until July 15th up to $1,000 to help push the Blitz beyond its ambitious goal. All funds raised will be evenly distributed to three partners: Erie Bird Observatory, Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art (Dauphin County), and Willistown Conservation Trust (Chester County), which are each going to complete a bird conservation project with the proceeds.
The 2022 “Blitz” featured spectacular efforts from 20 teams and 100 birders across the Commonwealth. The award for the highest one-day count went to Pennsylvania is for Plovers (Josh Heiser, Katie Andersen, Sarah Sargent, and Ruth Swaney), who tallied a remarkable 121 species in Erie County. The highest fundraising total was achieved by the Brandywine Breeding Bird Blitzers (Brian Byrnes, Barry Blust, Alison Fetterman, Joel Flachs, and Jessica Shahan), who tracked down 101 species in a day in Chester County while raising nearly $4,000 for conservation. The full list of contest winners can be found at www.breedingbirdblitz.org/post/results.
Blitz participants documented 170 species during the four-day event, outpacing the 152 species found last year. The cumulative results and local data can be found at ebird.org/tripreport/63903.
The Breeding Bird Blitz for Conservation was founded by PSO to meet two goals: (1) enhance the monitoring of birds during the nesting season, and (2) increase the protection or restoration of bird habitat in Pennsylvania. Birders engaging in this event are generating more data – primarily through the eBird database – about the status and distribution of all bird species in Pennsylvania during the month of June. In the weeks leading up to the Blitz, many birders scour their county or region to determine which sites should be visited during the event, expanding the quantity of community science data collected by participants.