2 historic Philadelphia-area cemeteries host citizen's science walk for birds

February 13, 2020, by Molly Daly

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — On Saturday morning, Laurel Hill and West Laurel Hill cemeteries will team up with birding experts for the Great Backyard Bird Count, a free citizen science event that anyone is invited to take part.

Jason Weckstein, associate professor of ornithology at Drexel University and associate curator at the Academy of Natural Sciences, says the Great Backyard Bird Count gives researchers a real-time snapshot of bird populations.

“We use things like e-bird, which is a citizen science database, and input our information into that, and it’s a lot of fun. It’s just a good excuse to get out and see some birds,” Weckstein said.

And burial grounds can be very bird-y, especially 19th century “garden cemeteries,” which were designed as much for the living as the dead. CONTINUE READING