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!

peregrine_falcon_3[1]

PPL donates $5,000 to the Hazleton Downtown Improvement District

PPL helps to improve communities

Young and Restless

Fawn052013cropSpring is here in all its glory. The old and drab is giving way to the new and lush. Young birds and animals are testing wings or legs and venturing farther afield from nests and burrows. As they leave the shelter of their hiding places, young animals have many encounters with other species. They learn about finding food and how to avoid becoming food themselves. Sometimes they narrowly escape disaster and sometimes…
We must remember that if we encounter a young animal or bird in our travels, the best approach is to allow it to go its own way. Countless generations of animals have survived quite well without human intervention and will continue to do so. Young animals and their parents know much better than we do how to care for themselves and their offspring. Not that a helping hand once in a while can’t be beneficial. A quick airlift of a box turtle from a busy highway assures it will live to produce many more generations. The honk of a horn to frighten an undecided deer or rabbit from the berm of the road keeps your car and the animal intact.
Yet, when it comes to young animals, we seem to lose all our senses and cave in to a deep-seated maternal instinct. Our need to be good Samaritans, while certainly good intentioned, has very detrimental effects on young animals taken from the wild. Many “rescued” animals survive, but only with proper and almost constant human care. However, the quality of life is drastically reduced for these animals. Chances are they will never lead a “normal” life and may perish suddenly and unexpectedly in captivity. The probability of surviving in the wild on their own is actually very good for young creatures. Parents are usually nearby even though unnoticed, ready to answer distress calls of the young quickly and effectively. Natural food is also close at hand, allowing young animals to feed at will. So, if you find a cute, young animal, resist the temptation to pick it up, take it home and care for it. Confinement to a cardboard box pales in comparison with life in the natural environment. Allow nature’s babies to be young and restless on their own.

PPL Holtwood Bald Eagle Monitoring Program Honored by the National Hydropower Association

Springing from the Ground

Spring woodland wildflowers seem to spring up overnight coaxed by a little rain, sunshine and warming temperatures. Shenk’s Ferry Wildflower Preserve at Holtwood is alive with spring wildflowers. Virginia bluebells give the forest a bluish haze. Spots of yellow, white and purple show where yellow, white, Canada and common violets are blooming. The odd-looking blossoms of Dutchman’s breeches and squirrel corn add an interesting touch to the mix. You might even catch wake-robin or purple trillium still blooming.

DutchmansBreeches

Dutchman’s Breeches

If you visit the wildflower preserve, don’t forget to look up. Right now woodland warblers are moving in and through the area. Listen for their high-pitches and buzzy songs along with those of returning resident birds.

For more information on Shenk’s Ferry Wildflower Preserve follow this link: http://www.pplpreserves.com/preserves/holtwood/pints-of-interest/#shenks

« Older entries Newer entries »