Bird Call

Pickering Creek Audubon Center Volunteer News
Volunteer E-news, January-February 2011 Edition


New birding platform under construction!

If you look out to the west from the driveway into Pickering Creek Audubon Center you can see the beginnings of the new birding platform adjacent to the constructed wetland.  Five hardy volunteers braved winter chills on December 5 and 7 to frame the platform. The concrete for the footers were donated and installed by Steven Hershey of InTownRestorations. Kudos to Albert Moschetto and Bill Griffin for jointly taking the lead on this project.  We have high hopes to have it completed in thenext month or so, just in time for spring birding adventures!

Volunteer Service in 2010

The volunteer spotlight is a special feature of the Bird Call launched in September of 2010 to focus on an individual, a group of volunteers, or a special activity supported by our volunteers at Pickering Creek.  It’s fitting that the first Volunteer Spotlight of 2011 focuses on what YOU, all of our awesome Audubon volunteers, have accomplished over the past year in 2010.

Volunteers have helped maintain Pickering Creek Audubon Center as a wonderful place to enjoy the outdoors. Many of you helped maintain over three miles of trails, repair the Center’s 1.2 mile-long driveway, mulch educational areas, remove invasive plants and plant native ones in the newly established meadow areas during five general work days. Some individuals and small groups of volunteers have undertaken major projects for a whole season. Members of the Chesapeake Herb Society and others have maintained the beautiful children’s and herb and gardens.  The invasives removal team spent 14 workdays removing multiflora rose, and other aggressive non-native plants. Other volunteers diligently mowed driveway edges and grassy educational and parking areas throughout the growing season as well as tackled major bush-hogging projects. 

Quite a few very handy volunteers worked on maintenance and construction projects all over the center.  Projects range from making bluebird and wood duck boxes, and repairing picnic tables to building changing stalls for summer camp, finishing the interior walls of two rooms of the Byron House, and repainting the Center office.

Volunteers built upon a tradition of wildlife monitoring and citizen science at Pickering Creek. This past year volunteers monitored Pickering Creek’s 65-box bluebird trail and 27-box wood duck trail. They recorded the fledging of 154 bluebirds and 101 tree swallows and the hatching of 111 wood duck chicks.   A handful of volunteers also undertook a new citizen science project at Pickering Creek, water quality monitoring. They recorded data for 27 testing days from April through December.  Water quality testing by staff, students, and volunteers 11 out the 12 months of last year, gave us baseline measurements of what water quality indicators like oxygen, pH, and nitrogen levels are like throughout the year.

Volunteers lent a hand to the center on a quite a few important indoor projects. Nearly a dozen people helped with administrative projects like stuffing and sealing envelopes for large mailings, entering data, organizing the library, and assisting with computer issues. Others have used their expertise by writing articles, organizing projects and events, and participating in board activities.

Over the past year, volunteers have supported what Pickering Creek is all about-connecting people of all ages with nature and inspiring them to participate in conservation.  These volunteer activities directly impact programming offered by Pickering Creek staff, and sometimes they are even part of our programming!  Several volunteers chaperoned and assisted during field trip experiences for elementary through high school students.  Junior Naturalist shared their love of nature with younger children during eight weeks of summer camp and at library programs. Volunteers of all ages represented Pickering Creek at the Waterfowl Festival, Harvest Hoedown-Pickering Creek’s annual public open house, and Tour, Toast and Taste- the Center’s major fundraising event.

This only touches on some of the great stuff volunteers have accomplished. It does not cover everything. A modest estimate of time spent by volunteers in 2010 is over 3,500 hours.  Your time is always appreciated, but not always recognized if it is not recorded. Did you forget to submit volunteer time?   It’s not too late to make it count. You can record hours in the volunteer logbooks at the office and welcome center. You can also submit your time online at the Pickering Creek website or send an email directly to the Volunteer Coordinator.


Animal Care Volunteers needed immediately

We are seeking adults or mature, responsible teens interested in reptiles to help care for our collection of turtles and snake used in public education programs.  We are looking for volunteers who can come by once week a on a regular basis. These animals are fed and cared for three days a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday).  Training in reptile care and handling will be provided. Please contact Mandy Smith by email at 

Great Backyard Bird Count February 19, 2011

There will be a special Great Backyard Bird Count Day at Pickering Creek Audubon Center on Saturday February 19 from 8am -2pm.  Volunteers with all levels of birding experience are invited to come by the Center office anytime throughout the day. New, first time volunteers are especially welcome, so invite friends and family to come out with you! Event registration is on-site.  

This fun, family-friendly event is a great way to get involved in wildlife monitoring.  Most bird watching will be done from the display room at Center office, which offers a great view of our FeederWatch area.  Experienced birders will be on hand to help with identification. A PPT slide show with birds you are likely to see will run throughout the day.  Assorted field guides and binoculars will be available for volunteer use.  Fun activities will be available for children between lulls in bird activity. Hot beverages will be available throughout the day.  Prizes and giveaways will be offered to volunteers in appreciation for enthusiastic participation throughout the day.

The Great Backyard Bird Count Day at Pickering Creek is the fourth of six volunteer events supported by Together Green, a unique partnership between the National Audubon Society and Toyota to promote citizen involvement in conservation.  Help Pickering Creek meet its goal of involving new volunteers in citizen science and conservation stewardship.  Come join staff and other volunteers to for the GBBC at Pickering Creek, bring along interested family and friends, and spread the word out about this event to others! Your support does make a difference.

Project FeederWatch at Pickering Creek

Additional Wing Watchers are needed to help out with project FeederWatch from February to April.  FeederWatch is an easy, fun way to monitor winter birds as they visit our feeders this winter.  FeederWatch observation days at Pickering Creek are Wednesdays and Thursdays through April 7. Wing Watchers are volunteers that participate throughout the year in a wide variety of organized bird citizen science projects used by Audubon and its partners including Project FeederWatch. This team is especially designed for volunteers of all ages and birding skill levels and may be of interest to those who enjoy wildlife watching in general.  Volunteers interested in participating in Project FeederWatch should contact the Volunteer Coordinator for a short orientation session. 


Contact  Samantha Pitts, Volunteer Coordinator to register for events or ask questions.
Email:    Phone: (410) 822-4903 x26

11450 Audubon Lane, Easton MD 21601

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