Birding With the Pros

We had the opportunity to lead a bird watch on Saturday with some pros, which turned out to be a very unique experience! Several members of the Pennsylvania Society of Ornithologists came to the PPL Susquehanna Riverlands in Berwick, PA to enjoy a morning of birding where we identified over 50 species (not including the particularly energetic gray and ground squirrels that joined us). We also travelled to nearby Council Cup to observe Peregrine Falcon activity. These endangered raptors are nesting on the cliff just below the trail that takes you to the top of the mountain that overlooks PPL’s Susquehanna power plant. As we enjoyed the lovely view we were visited by the male and female Peregrines, cacking to one another as they flew around us not 30 yards away. This was certainly a highlight ending to our morning that will not be forgotten!

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PPL’s Environmental Gardens Full of Color and Buzzing with Activity

Monarch Butterfly on Inula
Photo by Sarah Hall

 

 PPL’s Environmental Garden is in full bloom! Come to the Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center to witness the beauty of our gardens down by the dam! PPL prides itself in being responsible stewards of the environment. While you’re visiting the butterfly garden and hummingbird heaven areas, we hope you’ll learn something new about wetlands, butterflies, hummingbirds, and even bats.

 The garden is filled with many species to promote and support a healthy butterfly population, including Phlox (Phlox sp.), Butterfly Bush (Buddleia alternifolia), Daylily (Hemerocallis sp.), Lavender (Lavandula sp.), and many more.

Bumblebee on Butterfly Milkweed
Photo by Sarah Hall

Our garden also supports hummingbird populations with several feeders in place under the trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans), which is a natural source of nectar for hummingbirds. Hummingbirds are among the most important bird pollinators of plants in North America, so it is important to support their habitat. Learn more about how to create your own hummingbird and butterfly heaven while visiting the environmental garden at Lake Wallenpaupack!

 Directions to the Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center can be found at: http://www.pplweb.com/citizenship/environment/preserves/lake-wallenpaupack/programs-and-workshops.aspx

 

PPL and Millersville University team up to educate about vernal pools

PPL and Millersville University’s annual environmental lecture series presents “The Ecology of Vernal Pools,” which takes us through the seasons of a vernal pool. Join us for this program from 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, at Roddy Hall, Room 261, Millersville University.

Randy Cassell, a biology teacher for 29 years, has studied and produced documentaries on the migratory and breeding behaviors of salamanders using vernal pools. The lecture begins with the fall migration of marble salamanders and progresses through the late winter and springtime breeding of mole salamanders. Along the way, we will examine aspects of each species’ biology, courtship and ecology and ultimately the impact timber harvesting can have on a vernal pool community. Cassell’s films have appeared on the BBC and Jack Hubley, local naturalist, has highlighted some of Cassell’s work on the “Wild Moment” segment of WGAL evening newscasts.

This free lecture is sponsored by PPL and will be held at Millersville University, Roddy Hall, Room 261, 50 E. Fredrick St., Millersville, Pa. For additional information, contact Karen Ament at 717-284-6274 or kament@pplweb.com

A Bunch of Bluebirds

How many bluebirds fit in one bluebird box? As you can see from this photo, plenty! PPL’s Brunner Island Wetlands is home to a bluebird trail and during the summer we monitor the boxes and the population. If you want to help maintain the bluebird population, think about adding a bluebird box in your own back yard.

A natural attraction

Hummingbird Great  013  8 11 09We recently planted lobelia cardinalis at the Brunner Island wetlands with the help of some dedicated volunteers.

Since the planting on July 30, the lobelia cardinalis is doing a great job of attracting hummingbirds and butterflies to the area.

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