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Birdwatching at KU

By Erin Foley
Contributing Writer

With the cooler fall months are upon us, more than 200 species of birds will migrate through PA. Here at KU, there are countless ways to appreciate the bird migration and ways you can help birds through migration season.

The peak of migration occurs during late September and early October and continues into late November for some species. Thousands of birds soar over PA, landing to rest or feed in fields, forests and residential areas as they make their way towards their destinations. 

While it’s difficult to spot them in the night sky, you can often see various species by simply observing your surroundings, and you can be certain you’ll hear the geese as they pass overhead.


The KU Ornithology Club took a trip to Hawk Mountain–a nearby destination for birding–to observe raptors during the fall and spring. Around 1,500 raptors pass through Hawk Mountain in one day during the peak of the migration. During the club’s trip, they spotted several turkey vultures, northern flickers, sharp-shinned hawks and two ospreys. 

But even if you do not want to devote a ton of time to birds as a hobby or career path, you can still help birds and their migration in your community. Each migration, there are thousands of bird deaths due to building collisions and light pollution. 

You can try the following tips to reduce deaths in your area. First,turn off outside lights and keep blinds closed during the night to prevent contribution to light pollution. Second, place window-safe, removable window cling stickers on windows to diminish reflective properties and enable birds to see the glass. Birds cannot tell if there is a window, especially during the dark of night, so anything to indicate that the window is a solid object will help birds navigate. 

Whether you prefer bird watching, feeding the birds, or just helping nature, be sure to appreciate this upcoming migration season.