LAS volunteers work with various community groups and local and state agencies and national and regional organizations on projects which benefit wildlife, particularly birds, and the habitats that support them. Some of the work can be categorized as “citizen science” in that the data collected locally is used as part of a larger survey effort. An example of this work is the Christmas Bird Count effort which LAS volunteers undertake in two count circles in Lycoming County each winter. Information on bird species and numbers of individual birds observed during the count day are forwarded to the National Audubon Society for inclusion in a hemispheric database which is used by many organizations and agencies to track changes in bird populations across the span of years during which the count has been done. (See our Citizen Science page for more information.)
Some of our volunteers’ efforts are geared more towards local habitat enhancement work designed simply to make life easier for some of our feathered friends. We cooperate with Loyalsock Township here in Lycoming County in the maintenance of their Riverfront Park/Canfield Island complex to enhance the habitat for various species of birds. We maintain a number of Blue Bird Trails and monitor reproductive success. We also manage "housing" for ducks and Purple Martins at various locations.
Some of our work is simply community service oriented, as in the quarterly litter cleanup that our volunteers do in participation with the PA Department of Transportation’s Adopt-A-Highway roadside beautification program.
Another project involves working alongside The Game Commission to conserve barn owls, a declining species. Banding, studying, providing stable nesting locations and habitat management recommendations are all important efforts. To learn more about this and how you can help, visit the Barn Owl Conservation Initiative webpage
(Mario Giazzon, Game Commission Northcentral Region Diversity Biologist and Wayne Laubscher take measurements and band this barn owl nestling as part of the Barn Owl Conservation Initiative)
All of our volunteers manage to find some opportunity to do work that is personally gratifying and that they feel gives them an opportunity to “give back” to our fellow citizens and to the wondrous natural world that surrounds us all.
Four times a season (March through October) our volunteers do an hour or two of litter cleanup on the 2.0 mile stretch of Old Rte 220 between the Twin Hills Cemetery and the Lycoming Mall. We typically gather 6 to 16 bags of trash which is staged for pick-up the following day by DOT personnel. PennDot supplies us with safety vests, gloves, bags and litter cleanup signage used to mark our activities on the designated days. Permanent signs along the highway designate the two mile stretch of highway as “belonging to” the Lycoming Audubon Society. We all take considerable satisfaction when we drive this particular road always noticing that it is the cleanest road around! Our volunteers gather at a local eatery for food, drink and good conversation after each cleanup.
Canfield Island/Loyalsock Township
The chapter maintains a "bluebird trail”, a series of bluebird nest boxes along the walking trail on the island. Our volunteers repair and replace the boxes as necessary, clean the boxes at the beginning of each nesting season and check and document the nesting activity at each box as the season progresses. Fred Stiner is our chapter bluebird guru and he coordinated this work. We also consult with Loyalsock Township on habitat improvement projects on the island and as the need arises we assist them in tree pruning and other habitat work.
Injured Wildlife Transport
Chapter members have signed up to transport injured wildlife to Centre Wildlife Care in Port Matilda. This rehabilitation center is fully licensed and endorsed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Once at the Centre animals receive nursing and veterinary care and if able, are released back to the wild. No experience is necessary, just a willingness to be on a call list to drive the boxed animal to the facility.
If you are interested in helping, please contact us via Email