Newsworks: IPCR Student Assists in Local Bird Census

January 10, 2012

Newsworks recently reported from a Schuylkill Center environmental education event in Roxborough, where Angella K. Irwin, a student in Acadia’s International Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) program, volunteered her time in support of the 2012 Philadelphia Mid-Winter Bird Census. Led by Mike Weilbacher, Executive Director of the Schuylkill Center, the group listened for, observed and recorded dozens of bird species as they toured the Center's 340 acres.

The Bird Census, while driven by the experience of veteran birders, is also a chance for fledgling observers to participate – and learn.

This is the first time out for Angella Irwin. A resident of Mt. Airy and Arcadia University Masters student, she was looking at First Friday event listings and saw the Schuylkill Center's advertisement for the Bird Census, and took a chance.

"I wanted to be outside, and I wanted to learn," said Irwin, describing her motivations.

She comes from an ornithologically-inclined background – her dad's a birder – but had never seen the attraction.

"I never understood the fascination for something that is so difficult," she said.

But, now that Irwin is out in the depths of the Wissahickon, her skepticism is receding, and she is beginning to recognize birding's appeal – and wishes that she had brought dad along.

"I feel guilty I didn't invite him along," she says, adding, "he would have loved to be here."

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college of arts and scienceshistorical and political studiesinternational peace and conflict resolution