Welcome to the Presque Isle Audubon Society web site. PIAS is a chapter of the National Audubon Society and a member of Audubon Pennsylvania serving northwestern Pennsylvania including Erie, Crawford and Warren counties. It is named after Presque Isle, a peninsula on the shores of Lake Erie near the city of Erie.
Arial view of Presque Isle © Bob Grubbs
The Presque Isle Audubon Society provides educational and recreational activities throughout the year which are centered around the natural world and open to the public. PIAS holds meetings on the third Friday of the month in September, October, November, February, March, April, May and June. A wide variety of field trips are offered throughout the year. PIAS publishes a newsletter, Tern of Events, every month except in January and July.
Don, Joao, and Michele at Erie, PA Christmas Bird Count
In addition to field trips and monthly programs, the Presque Isle Audubon Society is involved in other nature-related activities. PIAS conducts the Erie, PA Christmas Bird Count and hosts the "Festival of the Birds" in May. PIAS owns and maintains the 50-acre Laura Olsen Memorial Sanctuary in Crawford County, the 33-acre Fern Wood Sanctuary near Fairview, and is co-owner (with the Botanical Society of Western Pennsylvania) of the 89-acre Titus Bog Sanctuary in Erie County. PIAS maintains a collection of nature books at the Nash Library of Gannon University and was instrumental in establishing the Presque Isle Research Library at Presque Isle State Park.
The Presque Isle Audubon Society provides volunteer services to the Erie National Wildlife Refuge and co-sponsors a biennial nature photo contest with the Refuge. As part of the Important Bird Area Program, PIAS monitors breeding birds at Roderick Reserve.
Erie National Wildlife Refuge, Pool 9
PIAS is a member of the Erie County Environmental Coalition. The Society is also a member of the annual Allegany Nature Pilgrimage held at Allegany State Park, NY in June. PIAS participates in the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's Adopt-A-Highway program. The Society's Education Committee provides free subscriptions to Audubon Adventures to numerous classrooms and school libraries in northwest Pennsylvania.
Red House Lake, Allegany State Park, NY
Festival of the Birds at Presque Isle
The 2014 Festival will be held on May 9-11. Sharon Stiteler, an author and prolific blogger and podcaster, will be the keynote speaker. Stiteler may be better known online as Birdchick. She and her husband, aka Non-Birding Bill, offer up funny and interesting birding commentary on a running podcast. Stiteler's third and latest book is "1,001 Secrets Every Birder Should Know."
By giving an online gift to the Presque Isle Audubon Society, you make achieving our conservation mission possible! Your donation will help contribute to many of our conservation initatives including combating invasive species, compiling of vital conservation data, helping to care for injured birds and the protection of Important Bird Areas. Make your donation through PAYPAL today by clicking on the DONATE button.
Ornithology at Hog island
Enjoy world-class ornithology sessions at Audubon's spectacular Hog Island, located in Maine's Muscongus Bay. Taught by some of the country's leading birders and ornithologists, these dynamic sessions are for both beginners and experienced bird enthusiasts who seek field experience to learn more about the remarkable lives of wild birds. Two of these programs provide opportunities to work directly in the field with Project Puffin biologists on important seabird colony islands. Read about the experience of PIAS member, Lee Ann Reiners, at the camp this past summer on the PIAS Blog. Registration for summer sessions of 2014 begins October 15th. See: http://hogisland.audubon.org/.
Next Monthly Meeting
Will be in January
December 14, Saturday
Christmas Bird Count
This year, as in years past, we will be meeting at the Ranger Station at Presque Isle between 7:00 and 7:30 a.m. Participants do not need to pre-register, just show up and please sign in! From the Ranger Station we will form groups and fan out through the park with each group covering an assigned area. We will gather again at the Ranger Station for lunch (bring a brown bag lunch and drink as there are no cooking facilities at the RangerStation), compare notes and regale each other with our marvelous sightings. We will then head back out to count the areas we didn't get to in the morning. To wrap the count up, we will meet at Hoss's on 26th street for the final tally and more bird tales. Participants do not have to attend the entire count but are encouraged to sign in with the times they've participated for more accurate count data. In addition to covering Presque Isle, we will have groups in the county. If you are not able to make it to the park and go birding within our circle which stretches north to the waters off Gull Point at PISP, south to McKean and Waterford townships, east to Harborcreek township and west to Millcreek township near Sterrettania Road please notify me, Michele Rundquist-Franz with your tallies. Here is a link to a map of our circle.
7:00 am - Meet at the Ranger Station at
Presque Isle State Park to register
7:30 am – Disperse to designated areas
5:00 pm – Meet at Hoss’s to complete tally
Our mission is to promote the conservation and protection of wildlife, plants, soil, and water in relation to human activity; to initiate and carry out plans and activities which would contribute to the conservation and protection of these natural resources; and to provide opportunities to become more aware and appreciative of our physical and biological environment.
Presque Isle Bay © Michele Franz
Newly Revised Erie County Bird Checklist
Click here to download a color version of the Checklist of Birds Recorded in Erie County, Pennsylvania Including Presque Isle State Park in PDF format (6 MB).
A Proposed New Mission Statement for PIAS
The PIAS Strategic Planning Committee is asking for input from the membership for a proposed new mission statement. Please download and read the statement and email your comments to email@example.com. Click here to download statement.
PIAS Member Survey
This brief questionnaire invites you to share your opinions about various activities of the Presque Isle Audubon Society with the Executive Board. We hope that you will take a few moments to open, complete, and submit the survey (if you haven't already done so) so we know better what is important to you. It all can be done right here online. All responses will be kept confidential. Click here to open PIAS questionnaire.
Allegany Nature Pilgrimage 2014
This is the first official announcement for Pilgrimage 2014. We want to remind you that the cabin/campsite window is NOW OPEN! With a ton of choices available, now is the best time to get that cabin or campsite that you always wished you had for the Allegany Nature Pilgrimage. But do remember they GO FAST so don't delay, reserve today to get that cabin or campsite of your dreams for Pilgrimage 2014.
Reservations can be made by going to http://www.reserveamerica.com select Allegany State Park, May 30, 31 - June 1 and select the camping option you would like. Cabins start at $35 a night and up depending on how many amenities you prefer. We welcome you, and would like you to know that you that you are a part of what makes the pilgrimage happen. We hope you join us for Pilgrimage 2014. (Photo is of Buffalo Cabin Trail Cabin 13 and is courtesy of Paul Crawford)
"Wings, Sand & Song: Presque Isle's Habitat,"
Award Winning Documentary Available on DVD
Awarded an Honorable Mention in Natural Sound at the prestigious 33rd annual International Wildlife Film Festival, the documentary film "Wings, Sand and Song: Presque Isle's Habitats" created by filmakers Tracy Graziano and Benjamin Koncewicz of Moonfire Film Productions is now availble on DVD. DVDs can be purchased at PIAS monthly meetings, at the Big Green Screen Theatre concession stand at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, and at the Erie Wild Birds Unlimited store. You may also mail order. Click here for an order form.
As you watch the film you will journey through the unique habitats of Presque Isle during all four seasons to view some of the most intimate moments of bird life: watch a Yellow Warbler build her nest, a Killdeer clutch hatch and take their first steps, Baltimore Oriole fledglings fed by their parents and a multitude of other species who call Presque Isle State Park their home - either for a brief moment during migration or all year long. For more details about the film click here.