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December 29, 2014
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River Talk

A peek at a peregrine pair

It’s probably fair to say that, were she alive today, scientist and author Rachel Carson would be thrilled to find that a pair of peregrine falcons has again elected to build a nest on a ledge of the state office building in Harrisburg, PA that bears her name. Fledging young peregrines from the Rachel Carson State Office Building is especially fitting given Carson’s role in raising awareness of the terrible impacts of DDT on species such as peregrine falcons through her 1962 book, “Silent Spring.”  Read more

A cure for cabin fever: The Great Backyard Bird Count

About this time during the winter, many people yearn for spring; it’s cold, the holidays have passed, and trout and spring gobbler seasons are many weeks away. Fortunately, there is an event coming up real soon that the whole family can participate in, and in doing so, can also provide scientists and researchers with a real-time snapshot of which birds are where. The event is the 15th annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC).  Read more

Kids who care

Readers of this column will not be surprised to learn I’m a big fan of the Lorax, the miniature mustachioed character created by Dr. Seuss and beloved for his impassioned environmental messages as put forth in the book of the same name.  Read more

Winter eagles arrive--after a slight delay

One thing that can be counted on in the region is the arrival of hundreds of wintering bald eagles to the Delaware River and other waterways. Typically starting in late December or early January, eagles arrive from Canada as they seek open water to forage for their favorite food: fish.

With the milder than normal winter so far, the eagles have been slow to migrate to the upper Delaware. Many of the northern rivers where eagles forage were still open as of the New Year, so that eliminated the need for them to migrate all the way to the wintering ground of our region for a few weeks.  Read more

A gap in trapping regs

As currently regulated in Pennsylvania, trapping presents certain hazards of which outdoor recreationists should be aware.

I discovered this the hard way when our 15-pound Miniature Pinscher, Beetle, stepped on a foot-hold trap set along a public multi-purpose trail in the Delaware State Forest in Pike County, PA.

What started out as a healthy hike on Commonwealth land turned into a harrowing experience that resulted in a $230 veterinary bill, a set of questions and some unsettling answers.  Read more

Frozen waterworks

As the first week of January winds to a close, we are finally getting some typical winter cold weather; overnight temperatures dipped below zero degrees in a few spots in the region. The cold was sufficient to freeze over most of the area lakes and some snow squalls moved through the area, a small contribution to this year’s below average snowfall to date.  Read more

Planting with wildlife in mind

Two helpful tools from the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) are now available to guide landowners and gardeners in developing “backyard habitats” beneficial to wildlife.  Read more

Birds, stand up and be counted!

Along with the winter holiday season comes a time for birdwatchers to take to the field and survey the species and numbers of birds they see. Any bird gets counted; if it has feathers and not in a cage, it gets tallied. This is the time for the Christmas Bird Count (CBC).  Read more

River love

The Delaware River is many things to many people, in addition to sustaining the abundant variety of flora and fauna that characterizes the Upper Delaware region. Named America’s Most Endangered River in 2010 by the American Rivers Organization and Pennsylvania’s River of the Year for 2011, the Delaware continues to elicit the passionate devotion of thousands who cherish its generous gifts. From sportsmen, recreationists and residents, to artists, writers and visitors, the Delaware has touched the spirits of people of all ages and from all walks of life.  Read more

Late fall bugs

After the Halloween snow that coated the roads and trees, it seemed that winter was trying to get a foothold in time for November. November, however, was not ready for winter. The Halloween snow soon melted, and by the end of the month, the weather was very mild. During the weekend after Thanksgiving, temperatures were approaching 60 degrees.  Read more

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