Not only do people and furry animals live in our watershed, but many species of birds also make their home in the Nine Mile Run Watershed. In spring and summer, Duck Hollow, a small community located at the point where Nine Mile Run enters the Monongahela River, is a very good place to see many species of birds. Armed with a pair of binoculars, you might spot a Kildeer guarding its nest by "playing hurt" to lure attention away from eggs or baby birds. You might catch a glimpse of an immature Cedar Waxwing fluttering its wings trying to get its parent to feed it. Or maybe a Green Heron, the smaller relative of the Great Blue Heron, stalking the small, sandy islands looking for a bite to eat. Even Great Blue Herons have been spotted in and around Nine Mile Run. You might be lucky enough to hear the rattling call of a Belted Kingfisher as it dives for a fish. And you will most likely be able to see tiny house sparrows, omnipresent in any populated area, bathing in shallow puddles on the sandy islands in the Monongehela.
Mallards can almost always be seen floating in the plunge pools of Nine Mile Run. Many species of ducks make their home in Duck Hollow (hence the name). Muskovy Ducks, a tropical species of bird escaped from captivity, are quite prevalent in the area.
Frick Park is also home to many bird species. Hawks, woodpeckers, and wild turkeys live in the park year round. Migratory birds pass through in spring and fall, adding bright spots in the forest canopy.
So grab yourself a pair of binoculars and a good field guide (see our resources section for suggestions) and try your hand at birding. You'll be amazed at what you can find.
For more information about birds in Frick Park check out the 3 Rivers Birding Club . There is a check list for birds in the park that can be accessed from their homepage.