Saturday, June 29, 2013

Chipmunk sightings.

Chipmunks have been reported frequently in the last few weeks.  One picture was sent in to us.  Chipmunks are part of the squirrel family. There are 25 species of chipmunk, 24 of which live in North America. The only chipmunk that doesn't live in North America is the Asiatic chipmunk, which can be found in northern Asia and parts of Eastern Europe.  Chipmunks create dens to live in that will contain two different rooms in them.  One room is a sleeping chamber while the other is a place to store food.
Photos taken by Mary Wolfinger.  The chipmunk's name is "Chippy"

Monday, May 27, 2013

Black Necked Garter Snake Spotted!

A black garter snake was spotted recently in our area and photographed.  The garter snake is commonly mis-pronounced as garden snake.  Easily identified by the two large blotches of black on the neck.  These snakes are not native to Pennsylvania.  They are original found in the Utah, Texas and Colorado.  These snakes are active during the day.  The picture here shows them basking due to their ectothermic nature. It east frogs, toads and tadpoles when near water.
Photograph Taken by Mary Wolfinger

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Tiny Turtle Found

Today a tiny turtle was found at Coventry Lake.  It was spotted trying to cross the pathway in the open space.  It was a far distance from a water source so he was picked up and moved to a nearby water source.  The tiny turtle appears to be a common box turtle.  You can see it in the hand of a toddler.  Box turtles are a numerous turtle in Pennsylvania.  However, they are not the most common turtle.  The red eared slider is the most common turtle in PA and the most commonly sold turtle in the pet store.
Tiny Box Turtle From Coventry Lake

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Gorilla Encounter

This video link was sent to us by a fan.  It is truly amazing.  It is a man who gets an up close an personal encounter with a silverback gorilla and his family.  I would be very afraid if I were in this man's shoes.  Apparently he was scared to due to the fact that he wets himself during the encounter.

Simply click here to launch the video:

Gorilla's are close to humans in the evolutionary scale.  Here is a diagram I have used in presentations on the lineage of Gorilla's before.

Taxonomy of genus Gorilla
Phylogeny of superfamily Hominoidea 

humans (genus Homo)

chimpanzees (genus Pan)

gorillas (genus Gorilla)

orangutans (genus Pongo)

gibbons (family Hylobatidae)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Osprey filmed catching fish!

The Osprey is a familiar bird of prey to most.  If you don't know it by name you will recognize it once you see it in this awesome film a follower sent to us. Osprey description according to the National Geographic field guide to birds: Dark brown above, white below, white head dark eye stripe.  Females usually have darker neck streaks.  Wings appear to be bent back in flight.  Scientific Name: Pandion haliaetus.  Usually found near an aquatic habitat.   Here is video a follower sent to us.

 This is truly incredible video. I can't believe this Osprey got 5-6 fish at a time, then got a flounder under 3' of water, and then made off with what looks to be a 5+ lb. Steelhead.  I've never seen a bird shake water off like a dog does 
There are 3 sequences in this one video:
1st sequence he catches half a dozen fish in one strike.
2nd sequence he plunges talons into deep water right to the bottom to grab his prey.
3rd sequence he captures a big old fat fish that looks as if it weighs more than he does!
This is incredible to watch... Enjoy 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Deer running out of room?

 These pictures were sent to us from Reading PA near CarTech business.  There are approximately 30 deer according to the photographer.  These deer are so accustomed to people that they will let you walk up to them without scattering.  They will also let you feed them.  According to sources that have fed them the deer really enjoy apples, corn and bread.  You can see a small buck in the one photograph and many other doe.  These pictures are great but it begs the question, are deer running out of room?  Is the deer population simply too many?  I'm not sure.  What I do know is every year the law enforcement agencies use the deer in Valley Forge Park as target practice.  The deer population is so crowded at Valley Forge that snipers practice on moving targets to hone their skills and to thin out the deer population.

Photos courtesy of Mary Wolfinger

Friday, December 14, 2012

Rocky the squirrel

Rocky the squirrel is a wild pet of one of our fans.  He often visits the home and is not afraid of humans.  He will often let the homeowners get very close to him before he flees into the woods.  Did you know squirrels are the most active in late winter,  when the mating season begins.   The males will chase a females, as well as, chase off other suitors. This ritual of chasing, occurs through the trees at top speed.  Squirrels are usually born in the early spring. The average litter consists of four. This varies with climate and location.  A second litter can occur in mid summer,  if there is an adequate food supply. 

Photos courtesy of Mary Wolfinger