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The Manayunk Peregrines

January 8 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm EST

Judy Stepanaskie

The story of the peregrine falcons nesting in the steeple of St. John the Baptist RC Church in the Manayunk Neighborhood of Philadelphia.


Judy has always loved nature and the outdoors and even spent a year as an intern at a nature center but didn’t start birding until she was in her 40’s. She was there on the Green Lane Bridge over the Schuylkill River in Manayunk when the two peregrines were first spotted in February 2011, and has been watching them ever since. She was nicknamed the ‘Peregrine Godmother’ in an article by Mike Weilbacher, formerly the Director of the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education.
Judy bought a camera to photograph the peregrines and is now an avid photographer as well as an avid birder. Her photos of the peregrines have been shown on WPHL 17 and in the Philadelphia Inquirer. They have also been published in Mike Weilbacher’s 2023 book: Wild Philly – Explore the Amazing Nature in & around Philadelphia, Timber Press, and Bernard S. Brown’s 2022 book: Exploring Philly Nature – A Guide for All Four Seasons, Temple University Press.
Judy received an undergraduate degree from West Chester State College and worked as a chemist. She later went on to earn a master’s degree in environmental science from Drexel University. She then went into the field of Occupational Health and Safety, working as an Industrial Hygienist until she retired in 2015.
Since retiring Judy has been active in bird conservation. She is the co-chair of the PA Audubon Council’s Renewable Energy Committee and was honored by the Wyncote Audubon Society in Dec. 2022 with the Edward Hicks Parry award for her work with this committee. She is a fellow of the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club and has also been active with Bird Safe Philly.


Note: This meeting will be held in person at the meeting house and via Zoom. Zoom signon will start at 7:15 to enable the meeting to begin at 7:30.


January 8
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm EST
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