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Nature programs are presented in the Clarion Free Library on the second Wednesday of the months, September through December, and March through June. Programs begin at 6:30 p.m. after a few announcements.

 The programs are free and open to the public. Please observe any current CDC precautions for Covid. 

Nesting Black-throated Green Warbler by Alie Lewandowski.jpg
Pennsylvania Bird Atlas: Join the Dark Side
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with Alejandra (Alie) Lewandowski
March 13, 2024

       Everyone knows that the Pennsylvania Bird Atlas is the biggest thing happening on the PA bird scene right now. The massive citizen science project, a collaboration between the Game Commission, the Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology, and Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, will inform conservation efforts in the Keystone State for years to come. But did you know that there's a dark side to atlasing? Alejandra Lewandowski will explain the numerous pitfalls to watch out for, including but not limited to: neglecting important personal responsibilities to go atlasing, developing an unhealthy obsession with checking eBird county rankings in confirmed species, getting your vehicle stuck along some remote backcountry dirt road, and forgetting how to interact with polite human society.


       Of course, the safe, "normal" parts of bird atlasing- entering data in the atlas portal, understanding breeding codes, following block protocols, etc. will be explained as well. Just be aware of where it all can lead. You have been warned.


       Alejandra is an avid birder with extensive atlasing experience, having worked on the third New York Breeding Bird Atlas as both a volunteer and a paid seasonal technician. The patient, close observation of birds and their breeding behaviors is her favorite type of birding. When atlasing gets a bit too intense, she decompresses by going fly-fishing- her other obsession.

Nesting Black-throated Green Warbler courtesy of  Alie Lewandowski
Bird Window Collisions and Their Prevention
with Paulette Colantonio and Alice Thurau
April 10, 2024

     Did you know that an estimated one million birds die DAILY as a result of hitting windows in the U.S? That’s a conservative estimate! Most of those fatal collisions occur with buildings four stories or less, like our homes. 

     Birds simply don’t see windows as obstacles to avoid. The glass is either like a mirror to them or invisible. They’re fooled by reflections of trees and open skies, or by seeing what looks like favorable habitat on the other side of a transparent window. 

     Paulette Colantonio and Alice Thurau are members of Seneca Rocks Audubon. They’ll use a PowerPoint created by the Bird-window Collision Working Group, a collaborative group in Pennsylvania, to help us understand the problem and also to realize the easy solutions that are available.

     There will be handouts describing a variety of window treatments, actual samples to examine, and time to discuss this all-too-common problem. 

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Cords in front of a window make the window visible to birds and prevent crashes. This is one example of an effective window treatment. 

The Allegheny National Forest: Then and Now
with Jenna Morgan
Administrative Support Assistant, Forest Service 
May 8, 2024

         We are so fortunate to have the Allegheny National Forest in our backyard.  With more than 500,000 acres and a 12,000-acre Allegheny Reservoir, it offers a diversity of wildlife habitats and many opportunities for recreation. It includes two wilderness areas, two national scenic areas, and two national wild and scenic rivers. 

       Jenna Morgan will highlight the history of the Forest Service, the history of the establishment of the Allegheny National Forest, and its current status. 

Photo from Allegheny National Forest website. 

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Pennsylvania State Game Warden Alex DiCicco in the field with a Great Horned Owl. 
Bald Eagles in Pennsylvania
with Alex DiCiccio
June 12, 2024
     State Game Warden Alex D. DiCicco will discuss many fascinating details in the life of a Bald Eagle -- its description, habitat, diet, and reproduction.  


     Warden DiCicco is a graduate of the 32nd Class at the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Ross Leffler School of Conservation in Harrisburg.  After 44 weeks of training, he was assigned to Clarion County upon graduation beginning service in February of 2021. 

     Warden DiCicco is from Westmoreland County originally. Prior to work as a State Game Warden, he was employed in the behavioral health field. 

     In his free time Warden DiCicco spends as much time as he can in the Pennsylvania outdoors, usually with his German Shorthaired Pointer right beside him. 

Andromeda galaxy as viewed from western Pennsylvania. Photo by Susan Prezzano. 

 Star Gazing, or What Else Can I See with My Binoculars?     with Dr. Susan Prezzano 
6:30 pm,  June 12, 2024

     Please join us for a presentation on using binoculars to observe the night sky. 
     You might assume that to observe the treasures of the night sky you need to buy an expensive telescope and spend many weeks learning complicated astronomical information.  If you are a birder and own a pair of binoculars, you already have one of the best types of equipment needed to observe the heavens.          In this presentation, you will learn how to use your binoculars, what resources are available to help you observe, and what celestial objects are within reach of binoculars. 
     About the presenter: Susan Prezzano is a retired professor of anthropology at PennWest-Clarion University.  She specializes in the archaeology east of the Mississippi and has worked on projects in Italy, Antigua, California, and all over the southeast and northeast of North America.  Her interest in astronomy started at the age of 14. She began actively observing the heavens when the passage of comet Hale-Bopp in 1997 rekindled her lover of stargazing. 
     This program is FREE and open to the public. 

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