Tweet, tweet! An Update on the Birding Backpack ProgramBy JoAnne W. Tue, March 8, 2022
If you've spent any time around here, you know we love talking about some of the more unique and unexpected items available for lending at the Free Library! You know, beyond the books, DVDs, and other more conventional materials you may be used to. One of the more unique items you can borrow at the Free Library is a birding backpack!
Spring is almost here! Birds will be migrating north again, coming from as far away as South America to land in Philadelphia. Many of these birds will stay in Philadelphia until the fall, but most will just stop by for a few days on their journey further north. Different birds travel at different times of the year, and some birds don’t migrate; they're here all year long. Most birders would agree that spring migration is one of the best times to go birding! To avoid predators, birds travel at night long distances to breeding grounds. Male birds will sing and dance and really show off in order to attract a mate. Once they pair off, they breed and raise a brood of young birds before flying south in the fall. During migration, you could see many types of warblers, wood thrushes, tanagers, and more! You will hear more bird songs in the spring than any other time of year—that makes it easier to spot the birds!
Each Free Library birding backpack contains a pair of binoculars, local park maps and trail guides, a field guide to identifying local birds, and some information about BirdPhilly, one of our partners. BirdPhilly is an organization that leads FREE expertly-guided bird walks all over Philadelphia. You could borrow a backpack and go birding on your own, or sign up for an organized bird walk. Our friends at the Andorra Library partner with the Wissahickon Environmental Center to offer bird walks, too!
The birding backpack lending program started in 2017 at three neighborhood libraries, and thanks to our partners including BirdPhilly, the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, the Knight Foundation, and others, the program has expanded and birding backpacks are now available at 11 locations: Andorra Library; Blanche A. Nixon/Cobbs Creek Library; Cecil B. Moore Library; Falls of Schuylkill Library; Frankford Library; Greater Olney Library; Logan Library; Richmond Library; South Philadelphia Library; Torresdale Library; Widener Library. Library card holders in good standing may borrow a backpack for three weeks.
Keep up to date on birding events and other information by checking out the Andorra Library event calendar.