Powdermill Nature Reserve

Powdermill Public Day

Hibernation and Migration: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Saturday, June 4
9:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Rain or shine

Visit Powdermill Nature Reserve, the environmental research center of Carnegie Museum of Natural History, for Hibernation and Migration: Should I Stay or Should I Go? Powdermill’s Public Day offers fun nature activities and hands-on demonstrations for all ages! Many activities will feature this year’s theme of hibernation and migration in nature.

Observe bird banding and the flight tunnel, talk with Carnegie Museum curators and see the collections, take nature walks with expert botanists, watch taxidermy demonstrations, touch interesting specimens!

Event Schedule

Note: This schedule is subject to change

  • Bird banding and Flight Tunnel: 9:00 a.m.–noon
  • Herpetology Talks: 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
  • Wildflower and garden walks: 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
  • Geocaching: 12 p.m.
  • Electrofishing: 12:30 p.m.
  • Orienteering: 2 p.m.

Ongoing activities 9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. in the nature center

  • Museum collections from sections of entomology, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles
  • Taxidermy demonstration
  • Exploration stations with touchable specimens
  • Nature drawing
  • Children’s activities

Snacks and beverages are available for purchase onsite; picnic tables are available for those who wish to bring their own lunch. This event is rain or shine, so be sure to dress for the great outdoors.

Important information about bird banding:
To ensure the safety of the birds, bird banding takes place as long as weather permits, but may end earlier than anticipated. Please plan on arriving early to participate in this activity.

Summer Camps

Powdermill Nature Reserve offers weeklong day camps for children ages 5-12. Fun-filled days await campers as they explore the great outdoors, view wildlife up close, and make exciting discoveries about the natural world. Each summer brings new activities and experiences in a dynamic natural setting. While splashing in the stream and investigating ponds, forests, and meadows, campers increase their understanding of nature and appreciation for its beauty and mystery.

Browse the 2016 summer camp offerings.

Education Programs & Exhibitions


Powdermill Nature Reserve offers three monthly educational programs that target learners of differing age groups.

Information regarding upcoming programs 

Research News

The Powdermill Avian Research Center has joined efforts with The National Aviary, The American Bird Conservancy, Chatham University, the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania, the Green Building Alliance of Pittsburgh, and The Wildlife Center at the Animal Rescue League to form BirdSafe Pittsburgh, a bird collisions monitoring program in the city of Pittsburgh. The monitoring program will provide us with baseline bird-window collision data for the area, allow us to test our scientific protocols before expanding the research area, raise public awareness of bird-glass collisions, and rescue birds injured from collisions (http://www.wqed.org/birdblog/2014/04/04/help-make-pittsburgh-birdsafe/).

Schools & Groups

Powdermill offers a variety of interdisciplinary, hands-on, environmental education activities at the Nature Center. Enhance your environment and ecology curriculum in our natural setting. In addition to our standard activities, we can also design field trips to meet your curriculum needs. For information about school field trips, call 724.593.6105.

Bird Banding

The museum's bird banding station at Powdermill Nature Reserve has been in operation for more than 50 years, and, after calling ahead, you can observe the trained staff as they identify, measure, weigh, and band the more than 200 bird species that have stopped for a rest during their long migration. Banding is seasonal and weather dependent, but is usually in operation on weekends. To schedule a visit, call 724.593.7521. To learn more about our bird migration research, visit http://www.powdermillarc.org.

Educational Improvement Tax Credit

Support from area businesses through the Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program supports all aspects of our programming. Click here to learn more about how your business can help.

Powdermill programs are supported by the Mudge Environmental Education Program and the Martha Edwards Lazear Foundation.