Fall Migration Festival


 Conserving Pennsylvania’s Forest Interior Birds and their Habitats

Many of our forest birds are in trouble and as Neotropical migrants, they face a full gamut of threats from their wintering grounds south of the U.S. to their breeding habitats in Penn’s Woods and even farther north. Nearly 40% of all bird Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) in Pennsylvania are forest-dependent and require high quality habitats to have their best chance at nesting successfully. This lengthy list includes the likes of scarlet tanager, Canada warbler, and Swainson’s thrush, just to name a few. Learn about these specialized forest interior birds, the importance of deep forests and wetlands, and the studies the PA Natural Heritage Program at the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has been conducting to aide in their conservation.  

In 2011, David joined the Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program (PNHP) at the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) in Pittsburgh. David provides capacity for a variety of conservation planning and ornithology projects. His work includes mapping important habitats for rare species as PNHP Natural Heritage Areas, spatial analysis in GIS, avian ecology and monitoring, wildlife-habitat relationship studies, and conservation projects for species of greatest conservation need. David serves as a field ornithologist and represents the Natural Heritage Program on the Pennsylvania Biological Survey (PABS) Ornithological Technical Committee.

Prior to joining WPC, David was the Important Bird Areas Coordinator for Audubon Maryland-DC, where he identified critical bird habitats, developed conservation strategies for IBAs, and conducted monitoring for at-risk bird populations. He has also worked at Fort Indiantown Gap National Guard Training Center in Annville, PA and for the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry, District 8 (Clarion) doing wildlife and habitat inventory and research.

David has a M.S. in Applied Ecology and Conservation Biology from Frostburg State University and a B.S. in Biology from Messiah College. He is a native of Forest County and currently lives with his wife, Colleen, northeast of Pittsburgh.

We are very excited that he will be joining us for this year’s Fall Migration Festival!

Meet Kim Vensel – the Butler Butterfly Lady! 


Meet Terry Lobdell (who participates in Citizen Science with the PA Game Commission and others) to learn all about the bats of Pennsylvania and how to build and mount successful bat houses on your property. He will also touch base on white nose syndrome and its affect on our bats, the difference between little browns and big browns. (They are as different as white tail deer are to elk!)





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