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Outdoors

Rosalie Edge served at forefront of raptor conservation

The Hawk Mountain Sanctuary near Kempton is well-known to bird watchers, and especially those who enjoy birds of prey (raptors). A new book review recently stirred my interest in learning more about the creation of the sanctuary. The popular raptor migration viewing site has existed for ...

Animals use natural camouflage to protect themselves

With the spring turkey season underway, I’m sure you have seen hunters dressed from head to toe in camouflage clothing and footwear. This art of concealment is nothing new. Animals have been using camouflage since time began and, for some animals, their only means of protection is to be ...

Trees have flowers blossoming this time of year

During the middle of April we experienced spring-like weather when the temperature rose into the 70s. This warm spell put nature ahead of her normal schedule, causing the trees to begin blossoming. The flowers of the Norway maple tree in our backyard appeared almost overnight. However, this ...

PGC appoints new Northcentral Region director

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Game Commission has appointed new directors at its Northcentral and Southeast Region Offices. David Mitchell, who had headed the agency’s Northcentral Region, has been appointed director of the Southeast Region Office, while David A. Carlini, who had served ...

Vernal pools important to ecosystem

Averaging just an inch in length and four grams in weight, the spring peeper’s annual heralding of the spring season depends much more on sound than sight. “For such a tiny tree frog, their high-pitched voices can carry up to a half-mile,” said Jon Beam, a master naturalist and ...

PA pushes for dedicated conservation funding

HARRISBURG — Appropriately introduced in Congress on Earth Day, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act could rank among the most meaningful initiatives for fish and wildlife in history, the Pennsylvania Game Commission and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission announced. The bipartisan ...

Studies highlight microplastics in region’s water

In 2019, as Susquehanna University professor Jennifer Elick transported her class to a wastewater treatment facility tour and water sampling opportunity in eastern Snyder County, one of her students started feeling sick. “I dropped her off at the local laundromat with some fleece ...

Animals sleep in different ways

Have you ever been so tired that you almost had to crawl up the stairs to go to bed? We remember as young parents this was normal. However, Mary Alice and I are in our early 80s and this is still how it is some nights. Without sleep, the brain begins to shut down. The longest recorded awake ...

Brood X cicada will make summer a fisherman’s paradise

ERIE — Anglers are expecting a fisherman’s paradise toward the end of May in southeastern Pennsylvania. The Brood X cicadas are expected to emerge after a 17-year slumber and the high-protein insects are delicious food for a variety of fish. Eric Hussar of Lewisburg, a commissioner with ...

Scientists develop new CWD testing

BILLINGS, Mont. — Scientists have developed a new way to test live animals for chronic wasting disease that holds promise for one day detecting the illness in the wild. “We need to do more in the form of field testing to verify its utility,” said Byron Caughey, chief of the TSE/Prion ...

The Eastern Whip-poor-will is hard to see, but its call is distinct

There is an enigmatic bird in our region which likes to be heard but not seen. It chants its song into the darkness of spring and summer evenings then spends the daylight hours sitting motionless in the forest, camouflaged by the grays and browns of leaf litter and tree bark. A member of ...

Starlings a pest to farmers

I’ve recently noticed that the starlings have returned and are sporting their breeding plumage. During the winter months, the starling’s plumage is heavily speckled, with either white or tan spots, and the bill is black. During the spring, the lighter tips of the feathers wear away, leaving ...

PGC gives final approval for hunting, trapping seasons

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave final approval to hunting and trapping seasons and bag limits for the 2021-22 license year. Modifications adopted for the 2021-22 seasons include: • A statewide, 14-day concurrent antlered and antlerless firearms season, ...

Listen now for the frogs

Diary entry for March 29, 2021: “Drove to Farmer’s Valley and stopped several times, hoping to hear wood frogs.” Although the temperatures have been low at night, our days are sunny, and I thought perhaps the wood frogs might have begun their mating rituals. The wood frog’s breeding ...

Pennsylvania deer harvest up again during 2020-2021 seasons

Pennsylvania hunters followed up the 2019-20 hunting season’s highest overall deer harvest in 15 years by topping it when they took an estimated 435,180 deer in the 2020-21 hunting seasons, which closed in January, the Pennsylvania Game Commission reported Monday. The 2020-21 estimated ...

Robins starting to sing, define their territory

We heard the male robin in our backyard begin singing on the March 10. On March 22, a late-arriving male robin came on the scene and attempted to also set up his territory in our backyard. The second robin, who did not heed the first robin’s warning to stay out of his territory, was ...

Clinton County waters stocked for trout season

HYNER — It was a busy week for the Western Clinton Sportsman’s Association as the non-profit group had an HVAC unit put into their complex in Hyner. It came just two days before they stocked 10,000 trout into area streams to help supplement waters with fish in preparation for Saturday’s ...

United States government has moved quickly before in time of crisis

During this past year our news has been mostly about the COVID-19 vaccine, and now, we are hearing reports on how our lives will soon be returning to normal due to the vaccine. Supposedly, there is a sufficient supply available for all that want to be inoculated against the virus. It is ...

Microplastic studies illustrate need for awareness

When I first noticed it about a year ago, a study by Susquehanna University’s Freshwater Institute fascinated me on a variety of levels. The group studied contents of 206 smallmouth bass stomachs collected from the Susquehanna River and Pine Creek (a tributary to the West Branch) over the ...