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Tioga County, Pa. -- While waiting for in-person programming to resume, Hikks Creek State Park staff are continuing to hold virtual online programs for would-be or future visitors.

The first of the series is "Birding at Hills Creek" on Friday, April 9 from 1 to 1:30 p.m.

"Birding at Hills Creek" is for both avid birders and first-timers. The program will be held every other week, with the next scheduled for Friday, April 23 from 1 to 1:30 p.m.

"This virtual series will explore birding opportunities at Hills Creek State Park and several other parks in Tioga County," said Tim Morey, natural resource specialist with the Hills Creek State Park Complex, which manages eight state parks in Tioga and Potter counties. "It may continue on Fridays or be held on a different day."

Each program will highlight birds that are at the park or may be arriving soon with tips on where and when to see them. Among the birds at Hills Creek are migratory birds that stop at the park on their way to their spring or summer locations as well as those that live there year-round and others that are spring, summer and/or fall residents at Hills Creek.

"This will provide people who are interested in bird watching with information they can use to go on a self-guided tour at Hills Creek State Park or other areas to see many different species from bald eagles and ospreys to bluebirds," said Morey.

A supplement to the general birding program, "Birding with Technology," will be held on Thursday, April 15 from 5:30 to 6 p.m. The free program will feature a brief introduction to birding and instructions for using the Ebird website and Merlin app to make the most of time spent in the field. Technology can help discover more places to find interesting birds, view hard-to-find birds, and identify unfamiliar birds.

A virtual tour of Hills Creek State Park will be held on Friday, April 16 from noon to 12:30 p.m. The virtual visit will highlight the park's amenities and popular things to do and experience, from fishing to paddle sports, birding, hiking, or just spending a quiet weekend camping.

Register for any or all of these free programs on the DCNR website under Hills Creek State Park to receive a link to the program. For best viewing, use a desktop computer or larger tablet.

For more information, call Hills Creek Environmental Education Specialist Bob Edkin at (570) 724-8560 or email redkin@pa.gov.

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