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Checking In With Susan Koeppen: Interest In Birdwatching Soars During Coronavirus Quarantine

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- If you've noticed more birds now that you have been at home for a couple of months, you are not alone.

Birdwatching is considered the second most popular hobby after gardening, and right now the number of people who are taking part in birding is soaring.

"This year with so many people at home, they have been spending a lot of time in their backyards or outside walking, so we've seen a big increase. It's exciting," says Rachel Handel, from the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania.

Her office is receiving about 10 to 15 calls a day about birdwatching.

"People are looking outside more. They are putting up bird feeders. They are home all day, and even if they are in their home office, they are looking out the window and seeing birds they might not have seen before."

In the Pittsburgh region, birdwatchers can expect to see cardinals, robins and woodpeckers.

"If you take the time to look up, you can see bald eagles, turkey vultures, you can even see chimney swifts," says Handel. "It's a great time to be watching birds, because it's migration time. You will see a lot of birds that you may not see during other times of the year."

The best part of birdwatching — it's free. You just need to use your eyes and ears.

You can download apps that will help you identify birds by appearance or the songs they sing. The National Audubon Society has an app that will help identify more than 800 species.

You can get more information about birdwatching from the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania at And you can watch wildlife cameras, including the bald eagle cameras and various bird cameras and more at

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