Counting Raptors in Mid-Winter

Last winter was the 20th year of the Winter Raptor Survey. This innovative survey is the brainchild of Greg Grove, who is a retired biochemist from Penn State University, the compiler of the Stone Mountain Hawk Watch and the editor of Pennsylvania Birds magazine. The Winter Raptor Survey (WRS) is designed to count all raptors […]

Ghost Bird

A leucistic creature is white or pink all over, its eyes are usually blue, and it has little ability to produce color. Another source says a leucistic animal is not pure white, its pigmentation is diluted, and its plumage is lighter than usual but not pure white. David Bird, an ornithologist, recently defined leucism as “a partial loss of melanin pigments” in Bird Watcher’s Digest. That simple definition suited me.

Allegheny Front Hawk Watch

“It’s the Cadillac of hawk watches,” my husband Bruce said as we were leaving the Allegheny Front Hawk Watch. Not only does it have a wide, grassy field flat enough for lawn chairs, a picnic table, and a portable restroom back near the parking area, but also a pair of platform benches, fondly called “the […]

Nature’s Garbage Collectors

Like residents of Hinckley, Ohio, who always welcome the first turkey vultures back on March 15, I too await the return of them in March and regard them as one of the first signs of spring.  Usually the day they appear here is windy, and they rock back and forth above First Field, their wings […]