Jeff Giles, our friend and cemetery next-door neighbor, has gone above and beyond once more in creating “The Birds of Penn Forest” (we have mentioned previously for all of the help he has volunteered at Penn Forest).
Well, we caught up with Jeff a few weeks ago to ask him a few questions about the birds of Penn Forest project…
1. What inspired you to start this project?
I have been watching birds for most of my life. Because of this interest in birds, I bought a book from the Audubon Society so that I could learn more about these fascinating creatures. I can now recognize most birds by site and some even by sound.
As a part of the project, I have created a few visual displays that Penn Forest can use to show visitors.
2. How many birds have you catalogued?
Roughly between 35 and 40 birds. There were 34 or so on the project board, but I have spotted a few more since then.
3. What is the rarest bird that you’ve seen on the property?
The Pileated Woodpecker is one of the rarest birds I’ve seen. Before I moved here I had only seen one other in my life and that was out in Ligonier. These birds are not often seen in densely populated areas. Penn Forest does not have that much human activity, so I think they like it here. I once witnessed their mating dance and boy was that cool. They are very unusual birds.
There are Middle Eastern bluebirds are hanging out at Penn Forest too.
4. Do you think birds are drawn to Penn Forest? If so, why?
For one the lack of humans is a factor that draws some of the birds to Penn Forest. Another is the availability of water. Also, the various different kinds of trees and berries available at Penn Forest attract them. The trees provide insects and birds eat insects.
5. What else can you tell me about the birds of Penn Forest?
I witness all sorts of beauty when I’m sitting on my property at night. And one of my favorite things is that the robins know me and follow me around when I mow the grass! I love that.
Thanks Jeff Giles for being such a great friend and neighbor to Penn Forest!