River Talk


TRR photos by Scott Rando

This bear is waking up from the amnesia drugs used in order to safely process it. A 225-pound male, it was trapped near bear damaged bee hives and deemed a nuisance bear. (Note: No electric fence was present when the bear breached the chain link fence and did the damage.)

Just the ‘bear’ facts

Now that summer is here and the kids are out of school, there are a lot of folks up in our region who are enjoying the mountains, lakes, rivers and all things that come with it. We share nature’s amenities with a very diverse variety of wildlife.


TRR photo by Sandy Long

Snapping turtles are a large aquatic species which can be found in most fresh water habitats such as streams, rivers, lakes, ponds and swamps. Adults typically weigh between 15 and 45 pounds and can reach a shell length of 12 inches. The dark upper shells feature tones of brown, black or olive, with off-white or gray undersides. Many accumulate mossy layers of vegetation. The skin is typically brown, black, or gray, and their tails are large and serrated. Legs are thick and the feet have pronounced claws. The face is often characterized by a wizened appearance. Powerful jaws are used to capture prey, and to defend if provoked, but snappers will usually attempt to avoid confrontation if possible.
 

Turtle primer

The Upper Delaware River region is blessed with interesting reptiles, among them the turtles we see moving about right now. Some, like the snapping turtle, have healthy populations and are commonly observed, while others, such as the wood turtle, are infrequently encountered due to declining populations.


TRR photos by Scott Rando

This is a close-up of the American goldfinch caught early in the program, a male in breeding plumage. This bird weighed in at 11.2 grams (about the weight of 2 quarters). If you want to attract these birds to your feeder, thistle seed is a favorite.

Bird banding and breakfast at Lacawac

On the morning of June 10, Dr. Rob Smith of the University of Scranton and Dr. Meg Hatch of the Penn State Worthington Campus gave a demonstration of bird banding at the Lacawac Sanctuary in Lake Ariel.


TRR photo by Sandy Long

This fishfly was found along the Lackawaxen River in Pike County, PA. Like many other aquatic insects, fishflies are bioindicators of good water quality, an important reason to appreciate their presence here. Visit bugguide.net/node/view/4156 for more information about the fishfly depicted above. 
 

Drama on the Delaware

As Delaware River water levels recede after recent rains and the river returns to its clear flowing nature, an evening stroll and scan of its serene surface reveals an interface alive with an unfolding drama.


TRR photos by Scott Rando
In midair, a male peregrine falcon, right, hands off a small bird to his mate. The male still has feathers on his beak and right talon.

Peregrine

Imagine for a moment that both you and your spouse are trained pilots, and you each have identical aircraft.


TRR photos by Sandy Long

The month of June is a busy time for turtles. This one lost its life when it encountered a vehicle while crossing a road in the Upper Delaware River region. According to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, thousands of turtles are killed each year when they are struck by vehicles as they migrate to their nesting areas. Make it a point to drive more slowly during the upcoming weeks, especially while traveling on roads near rivers and marshy areas.

Wildlife welfare

One of the most wonderful aspects of spring is the refreshing energy of new life. But with that rise, the risk to regional wildlife increases as well, putting many species in harm’s way as their paths and purposes interface with ours.


This is one of many red efts seen during the day. The red eft is actually a juvenile stage of the Eastern red-spotted newt. After a few years on land, red efts return to the water. They grow a keeled tail and their color changes to dark green to olive.

Reptile and amphibian workshop at Lacawac Sanctuary

LAKE ARIEL, PA — On May 8, there was a reptile and amphibian workshop and survey at Lacawac Sanctuary in Wayne County. Led by Larry Laubach, Northeast Regional Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Amphibian and Reptile Survey (PARS), it started in the morning and went into the early afternoon. There was a good crowd, from kids to older adults.


Photo by Sandy Long

Four robin nestlings nap in this backyard nest, which has been rebuilt and reused for the past three years. Look closely to see strands of plastic tarp woven among the dried grasses. Visit cams.allaboutbirds.org/channel/55/American_Robin/ to follow the progress of a robin family via the live bird cam at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Sapsucker Woods. Observe other nesting bird species at cams.allaboutbirds.org/all-cams.

The nature of nesting

On Mother’s Day, while our backyard American robin was foraging nearby for food, I checked on the progress of the four beautiful turquoise eggs laid in the recently restored nest near our wood shed. To my delight, four nearly featherless hatchlings were huddled together in the sturdy cup of woven grass and twigs.


TRR photos by Scott Rando

The cotton-like egg masses of the wooly adelgid are apparent at the base of the needles of this hemlock sprig. Many times, the egg masses are at the underside of the needles and branches, and lifting a branch up to look at the underside can help in detecting an infestation.

Attacking the hemlock attackers

On a hot summer day, I was enjoying a few quiet moments next to a stream in Sullivan County, NY. I saw some ebony jewelwings flutter near the stream in courtship flight, and in the stream, there was the occasional brook trout.


A male ruby-throated hummingbird perches near the feeder where he has just been seeking nourishment. The clear liquid in the feeder is a simple mixture of four parts water to one part sugar. It is not necessary for feeder fluids to be red, and is better for hummingbird health to exclude the red dyes that are often included in feeder mixes.

Hello Hummingbirds!

It’s that time of year when we’re busy prepping the garden or doing yard work and we hear it—the unmistakable buzz of an iridescent fairy bird flitting past, zooming and zipping, searching for sustenance from the funny-shaped feeders we’ve come to associate with that most beloved little creature—the hummingbird.

Pages

 

Privacy Policy & Terms of Use

Copyright 2017 Stuart Communications, Inc.

PO Box 150, 93 Erie Avenue

Narrowsburg NY 12764

(845) 252-7414

All Rights Reserved

Comment Here