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The Bushkill Creek Watershed’s diverse habitats attract a large variety of bird species throughout the year. 246 species of birds have been recorded in the Bushkill Creek Watershed. Many of these species are migratory and are just passing through, however at least 100 species of birds nest or are presumed nesting within the watershed, an indication of the great ecological integrity of this area. The occurrence of hawks and eagles in the watershed is based mainly on their abundance along the Blue Mountain, the northern border of the watershed and a critical migratory route for these raptors. Most of the waterfowl and other water birds are based on observations at the Albert Road Ponds north of Belfast. Many of the breeding birds occur along the Blue Mountain, in the Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center, and in the vegetative greenways that connect Jacobsburg and the Blue Mountain. In winter, American Robins, Eastern Bluebirds, Cedar Waxwings, and Yellow-rumped Warblers survive the winter in sheltered areas of Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center where there is an ample supply of food in the form of cedars, wild grape, sumac, Virginia creeper and poison ivy. Conservation of habitat and good land stewardship practices are vital in protecting the watershed’s bird life.
– contributed by Rick Wiltraut, Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center

Rick Wiltraut leading a field trip to find owls in Jacobsburg State Park.      

Yards landscaped with native plants can be very attractive and provide important habitat for migratory and resident birds and butterflies (see the National Wildlife Federation’s Backyard Wildlife Habitat program).

The hooded warbler is a rare breeder in the understory of the forested slopes of Blue Mountain
Photos by K & D Brandes
Hummingbirds love cardinal flower, which blooms from mid to late summer
Photos by K & D Brandes
The aptly named Spicebush Swallowtail feeds on spicebush, an attractive native shrub whose fruits are a favorite of the wood thrush
Photos by K & D Brandes