THE RIVER REPORTER CLIMATE CHALLENGE
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Copyrighted photo by David B. Soete
Sparring is common among white-tail bucks. After the breeding season in late January, bucks form small groups that remain together through spring and summer. Such groups break up around September when the rut starts, characterized by fighting and breeding activities.

Antler sheds: a fascinating find

A natural phenomenon occurring at this time every year is the shedding of antlers by whitetail deer. Adult deer grow a new set annually, beginning in March or April, during which the antlers are covered by a velvet-like skin composed of downy hairs and blood vessels.

According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the bone-like substance that makes up the polished antler is secreted by cells on the inside of the velvet. By early September, the velvet has been rubbed off and the solid antlers remain through most of the breeding season, lasting into February, when antlers are shed.

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Bluebirds nest early; buy a house now

PENNSYLVANIA—The Pennsylvania Game Commission is selling bluebird nesting boxes by mail order. The boxes sell for $7 plus shipping and handling, and customers can select from assembled boxes or kits that can be assembled as a wood-working project.

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Free seedlings available to schools

NEW YORK STATE—Schools across the state are now eligible to receive free seedlings for spring planting through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) School Seedling Program. The program provides 50 tree seedlings or a mixed packet of 30 wildlife shrubs to any public or private school that would like to participate.

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