Conservation work earns Pittsburgh national ‘bird treaty’ status |
Art & Museums

Conservation work earns Pittsburgh national ‘bird treaty’ status

Mary Pickels
This photo from the Allegheny Bird Conservation Alliance's Facebook page shows the 2016 start of a project to remove several invasive understory species in key spots at Dead Man's Hollow in McKeesport. More recent work at the site included planting native shrubs and trees to provide natural forest structure and support rich caterpillar food sources for birds.
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Luke DeGroote , avian research coordinator for Powdermill Nature Reserve, stops to take in the sounds of migrating birds, during a bird count at Powdermill Nature Reserve's Avian Research Center in Cook Township, on May 3, 2017.

Carnegie Museum of Natural History is leading the way on conserving Western Pennsylvania’s bird population, bringing Pittsburgh national recognition.

The museum has brought together seven environmental organizations for a synergistic bird-conservation program, the Allegheny Bird Conservation Alliance (ABCA). Participating groups are the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Allegheny Land Trust, National Aviary, Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania, Humane Animal Rescue Wildlife Center, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and American Bird Conservancy.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services has recognized the collaborative effort by designating Pittsburgh an Urban Bird Treaty City , according to a museum release.

The designation recognizes cities that bring together many partners to help preserve migratory birds and that work toward hazard reduction, citizen science and educational outreach.

“Our efforts to make Pittsburgh a more livable city for birds have resulted in Pittsburgh being designated as an Urban Bird Treaty City exactly 100 years after the signing of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act,” says Luke DeGroote, avian research coordinator for the museum, in a release.

“Carnegie Museum of Natural History recognizes how beneficial birds are to our environment, and the enjoyment they bring to our lives,” he says.

Along with the museum, the participating groups recruited 122 volunteers to restore 2.4 acres of Dead Man’s Hollow Conservation Area in McKeesport by removing invasive species, and plant 387 native trees and shrubs. The groups also have provided native plants to 80 homeowners to help them improve their backyard habitats, and provided materials to reduce bird collisions with windows at 90 homes; they also provided and installed the window film at the Frick Environmental Center at Frick Park.

Matt Webb, urban bird conservation coordinator for the museum, coordinated volunteer efforts for BirdSafe Pittsburgh, a window-collision monitoring program.

Since the program’s inception, 81 volunteers have found 1,038 birds that flew into windows, 250 of which were alive and taken to the Humane Animal Rescue Wildlife Center.

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5401 or [email protected] or via Twitter @MaryPickels.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.