Bird Watching

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

People who started as strangers have become friends, spending every weekend on a portion of the Great Allegheny Passage trail, gazing upward.

Get your binoculars ready, because the 114th annual Christmas bird count is set for Dec. 28 in Pittsburgh.

Before 1900, the Christmas “Side Hunt” was a popular American tradition where participants competed to see who could shoot and kill the most fowl. In opposition to the practice, ornithologist Frank Chapman created the Christmas Bird Census.

In its first year, 27 bird watchers from cities such as Toronto and Pacific Grove, California tallied about 90 bird species.