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Audubon’s First Friday features Ralph B. Simpson, birdwatcher and collector

Audubon Community Nature Center’s Simpson bird collection has fascinated visitors for decades. At the December 1 First Friday Lunch Bunch, Senior Educator Katie Finch will tell the story of the Warren, Pennsylvania, native whose work in the late 1800s makes this possible.

Ralph B. Simpson of Warren will be the focus of the Audubon Community Nature Center’s next First Friday Lunch Bunch.

The Audubon Community Nature Center houses a collection of over 150 birds created during a time when bird collections, rather than field guides, were an important resource to learn more about birds. Ralph B. Simpson was a Warren native who contributed to the field of ornithology by studying and collecting birds.

At Audubon’s First Friday presentation, December 1, from 11 a.m. to noon, Audubon Senior Nature Educator Katie Finch will explore the story of the Simpson collection, as well as the man who collected and mounted the birds.

A passionate and skilled naturalist, Simpson explored the wild places in Warren County, Pennsylvania, and Presque Isle in Erie, Pa. With a license from Warren County, he collected birds, nests and eggs, preserving them himself. He also contributed to the larger scientific community in the late 1800s through his writing, record keeping and photography.

Finch is a senior nature educator and interpretive projects manager at Audubon Community Nature Center.

You are welcome to bring a bagged lunch to stay after and chat with Bowman and other attendees.

The fee is $8 or $6 for Nature Center members and children ages 9 to 15. Reservations are appreciated by calling 716-569-2345 or online through Programs and Events at AudubonCNC.org. Walk-ins are welcome.

The Audubon Community Nature Center is located at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown and Warren. Visit the nearly 600-acre nature preserve, check in on the live birds of prey, and hike the more than five miles of trails dawn until dusk daily for free.

The three-story Nature Center building houses interactive displays, a collection of live animals including the Hellbender exhibit, and the Blue Heron Gift Shop. Visitors are welcome Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sundays, 1 to 4:30 p.m. Nature Center members and SNAP/EBT cardholders have free building admission daily. Building admission is also free every Sunday for non-Nature Center members.

To learn more about Audubon and its programs, call 716-569-2345, find Audubon Community Nature Center on Facebook, or visit AudubonCNC.org.

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