There are many things to do at Presque Isle State Park and bird watching is one of the most popular.  Over the next few days people won't only be bird watching, they'll be bird counting.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is underway and runs through Monday, not only at Presque Isle, but all over the world.  It's the 25th year for the count which was organized by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society.  The experts want to know the latest about bird populations and every year they recruit everyday people to help them with a study.

"Biologists can't be everywhere all the time,” says Emily Pritchard, Environmental Education Specialist at Presque Isle State Park. “That's where you and I come in handy.  Regular good old citizens that just enjoy watching birds.  We can be the biologists."

Presque Isle State Park is a favorite spot for birds to stop, feed, and rest during migrations across Lake Erie. It rates as one of the top birding spots in the country.  So, educators at the park are hosting an event on Sunday welcoming people to participate in the bird count.

"You're going to learn what to look for in a bird.  You see a beautiful red bird out there and you don't know what it is, there's some hints that you can use to help you ID that bird.  That's what we're going to teach you,” Pritchard said.

The counting will be conducted at bird feeders at the park so participants don't even have to look up into the skies. The birds will come to them.  Even though it's still winter, there will be birds.  For example, woodpeckers were visiting the feeders during a cold day earlier this week.  Pritchard says there will be a lot of seed-loving birds to be counted.

"So you're looking at your tufted titmouses, your black-capped chickadees, and even some of the early, early spring migrants might be coming through as well,” she said.

Speaking of early birds, guess what's out at the park already?  Robins are waiting to be counted.  A few have been gathering at the front of the Tom Ridge Center over the past few days. Maybe that's a sign of hope that all the warm weather activities we love at the peninsula will resume soon.

People wanting to register for Sunday’s event at Presque Isle State Park are asked to log on to the park’s website at http://events.dcnr.pa.gov/presque_isle_state_park.   Those who want to learn more about the Great Backyard Bird Count worldwide are asked to log on to birdcount.org.