Thursday, June 7, 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

Wild Hogs Confirmed in Adams County

There have been signs of them, and sightings too. Now there is photographic proof. Have a look at this article from the People's Defender.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

9th Annual Adams County Amish Bird Symposium coming March 3rd

If you are a nature buff, you'll likely enjoy the popular Adams County Amish Bird Symposium on March 3rd. Experts will give talks on Passenger Pigeons, bird coloration, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, and Kimberly Kaufman will give a talk on
"How To Be a Better Birder - Even if You're Already an Expert!" The event includes lunch and a field trip to Adams Lake State Park to view winter water birds. This event is very popular and always fills up, so be sure to register early to make sure you have a spot. More information is available by visiting the Adams County Travel and Visitors Bureau website.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

More Bears in Adams County

A black bear was recently confirmed in Adams County by the Division of Wildlife. Apparently the bear had an appetite for pears. Check out the link below for the facts.
Tom Cross

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Peregrines in Adams County

            Adams County now has two nesting pairs of falcons with a successful nest at each DP&L power plant. In early May four chicks hatched at the DP&L Stuart plant, a month later another three chicks hatched the Killen plant located near Ohio Brush Creek. The three chicks at the Killen plant represent the inaugural class of what is hoped to be a long string of successful nesting. Previous attempts have been unsuccessful but a recent move of the nest box to a more secluded location at the plant appears to have done the trick.

            The female identified from a leg band is a Pennsylvania native that was hatched in 2009 at the Pittsburg Cathedral Tower of Learning. The male has so far eluded identification. The new chicks, two females and a male, were banded and given a brief medical checkup before being delivered back to the nest box. The nest box, a simple platform measuring about 2' x 2' sits in a window high atop a coal handling structure at the plant. The biologist took blood samples and attached leg bands before returning the noisy trio to the nest. 

            Locally other notable bird sightings would include two juvenile bald eagles seen recently at the Manchester Islands, a mature bald eagle was spotted at a private pond near Peebles last week and on May 28 a mature bald eagle visited Wrightsville.


Tom Cross

Exec. Director

Adams County TVB

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What species -tree frog?

My wife came across this little fellow yesterday while working in the flower bed. I've never seen one so small. We have a lot of tree frogs around the place and some spring peepers- can anyone identify? He sure was lively.
Tom Cross
Tourism Director
Adams County

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Coyotes in Adams County

Dusk falls and the family gathers in the dining room to enjoy diner together after a long day of work and school. The children's stories are suddenly interupted by the unmistakable yodel of a wild animal outside: a coyote. As the family falls silent to listen, more yips and yelps join the first, until a chorus of eerie voices fills the night air.

These days, this scene is nearly as likely to unfold in the heart of a Chicago suburb as it is in the rural countryside of Adams County. Coyotes are increasing in numbers throughout their range, which includes every one of the United States except Hawaii. A new book, written by local author Carol Cartaino, separates fact from fiction concerning this often-maligned creature.
On Thursday, March 10th, 2011, at 7:00pm, Eulett Center will host Ms. Cartaino for an evening of discussion about the coyote and her findings doing research for her book, "Myths and Truths about Coyotes - What You Need to Know About America's Most Misunderstood Predator". This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please call Chris Bedel at 937-544-2880, Ext. 11.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Going Batty

This little bat was found clinging to a window screen inside Eulett Center this morning. When we captured him and offered some water, he drank and drank. In return, he kindly held still so that Chris could snap a few photographs. He is likely a Northern Long-eared Bat, also known as the Northern Myotis, Myotis septentrionalis.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Hope you are not missing it, Spring is here!

Yes Spring is here big time. Everyone thinks its starting early and it may be. We have all the expected plants blooming and a few we didn't expect. The Ladies slippers, Pink open, Yellow starting and White out of the ground. Just saw these yesterday, Indian Paintbrush on the right, Blue-eyed Grass center and Birdsfoot Violet on the left. Get out there and enjoy it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bog suckers and timber doodles

One bird that can’t be overlooked and is here now and just starting to display around the preserve is the American Woodcock. This “mysterious hermit of the alders”, ”timber doodle” or “bog sucker” winters in southern US and comes back early March to get to its breeding grounds here. It then begins one of the strangest breeding displays in the bird-world. Shortly after evening sets it stakes out a flat area of open ground marches around in circles with a pitifully small tail spread and long bill towards the ground resting on his chest calling “peent” “peent” “peent” over and over again almost all night. This march is only interrupted every now and then by a valiant flight circling around and around the parade grounds, circling higher and higher up into the air 200 to 300 feet high. While doing this the wind whistles through the specially modified outer three feathers of his wings and sounds as if he is twittering constantly. Then he begins to dive back down calling “chicharee, chicharee, chicaree” zig-zagging then finally to the ground right where he started or directly onto the back of a receptive female. Then back to “peent, peent, peent”. If you are careful you can run over to the place he takes off while he is flying and wait there without moving and many times he will land again, right at your feet.

The two photos of American Woodcocks are by Richard McCarty the one on the left is an adult on the nest and the one on the right is just a young one.

Friday, March 12, 2010

More Signs of Spring

Enjoy these photos, taken just this morning, of more signs of spring around the county. Wood frogs are singing, (along with spring peepers), spotted sallamanders are breeding, and spiders are weaving.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spring is Sprung

Skunk Cabbage? Check
American Woodcock? Check
Red-winged Blackbird? Check
Grackles? Check
Eastern Phoebe? Check

Other signs of spring: Northern Mockingbirds are displaying for mates; Red-tailed Hawks have been observed carrying sticks for nests; Jefferson's salamanders have laid eggs in at least one vernal pool on the Preserve; Carolina Wrens are investigating nest boxes and advertising by singing; Oh, and the temperature today will be 60 degrees! Hooray!

Enjoy the sunshine, everyone.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Screech Owl

I turned the porch light on late last night and I saw this visitor guarding our front steps. I snapped a couple of pic's through the door window but he flew off as soon as I cracked open the front door. No wonder the cat doesn't sleep on the porch anymore.
This morning I saw a perplexed groundhog out and about in the neighbors yard. He probably never saw snow before.
Tom Cross

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mephitis mephitis

With the deep snow and chilly temperatures, wild animals are relying on shear tenacity to survive the final months of winter. Birds like Tufted Titmice, Chickadees, Blue Jays, Nuthatches, Juncos, and Goldfinches welcome the free seed put out on the office deck, as do the squirrels and mice. We received a little unexpected guest today in the form of a striped skunk. He waddled up to the building and has been digging through the snow below the bird feeders, trying to scrounge what little sustenance he can from the discarded seeds. Striped skunks were once thought to be members of the weasel family, however, a recent report in the Journal of Mammalogy by Dragoo and Honeycutt (1997) suggests placing striped skunks in their own family ("Systematics of Mustelid-like Carnivores". Journal of Mammalogy 78 (2): 426–443). They begin emerging from winter dens at this time of year to track down mates (you might notice an increase in skunk roadkill over the next few weeks). Skunk kits are born from mid-May to mid-June and stay with Mom for up to a year. Though it has a bad reputation for spraying would-be predators (or your family dog) with foul-smelling liquid, this is not the striped skunk's first choice of defense. When approached by an assailant, skunks will first try to run away. With such short, stubby legs, however, running is not likely to be effective. Turning towards the attacker with arched back and stomping feet is Plan B. Only if the intruder still does not take the hint will the skunk resort to spraying. This makes sense, considering it takes up to 10 days for the skunk to replenish its supply of stink.

Photos courtesy of Pete Whan, Mark Zloba, and Jessie Huxmann.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

We have received a few beautiful visitors this winter. Here is a picture of one. All in all we have seen three indivduals. Richard says three, two adults and one juvenal. We are hopeful that they will stick around and build a nest on Ohio Brush Creek. We are worried that we haven't seen them since the creek started flooding. It was raising last week but stopped and then hit the dams and now it is backing up. I drove over the Brush Creek bridge this morning and the water was running upstream. We see this often in the spring but a little odd in the winter. So I slow down to watch the water running the wrong way just a few feet below the bridge, and a beautiful hooded merganser floats by. Never a dull day in Adams County!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Things are Gettin' Squirrely

Four Eastern Gray Squirrels, Sciurus carolinensis, are foraging for seeds below our bird feeder at Eulett Center today. Their presence confirms reports of a very healthy local squirrel population this year. The genus name "Sciurus" is derived from two Greek words, "skia", meaning shadow, and "oura", meaning tail. The name means "sitting in the shadow of his tail", in reference of a common squirrel pose. In our area, Eastern Gray Squirrels breed twice a year, from December to February and again from May to June. Gestation lasts 44 days. The first litter is born sometime around February or March; the second around June or July. There are normally two to six young in each litter, but this number can be as high as 8. The young are weaned at 7 weeks and leave the nest after 10 weeks. At about 6 months old, the squirrels are ready to reproduce. Gray squirrels have been known to live up to 20 years in captivity, but in the wild they usually only live about a year, though some live up to 12 years, if they can avoid predators, disease, acidents, and starvation. In addition to the Gray Squirrel, the fox squirrel (Sciurus niger) and southern flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans) are other squirrels that live in Adams County. Eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus) and woodchucks (Marmota monax) are also members of the squirrel family which inhabit our area.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

It's Freezing Out There!

The Ohio River is mighty, and hasn't frozen since the Blizzard of 1977-78. With the below-zero temperatures throughout the past week, however, ice has indeed been forming along the banks. Huge flocks of Canada geese riding downstream on ice flows have been observed by locals along the river. With sunshine and 45° temperatures beginning Thursday, the ice will surely retreat again.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bald Eagle

An adult Bald Eagle was seen along Ohio Brush Creek on Wednesday, December 30 2009. The winter months often offer good opportunity for seeing eagles in Adams county.

Photo was taken by Mark Zloba.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Bird Count Tomorrow

Each year, right around Christmas-time, small groups of hearty souls set their alarm clocks for a pre-dawn awakening, don winter apparel, and set off in cars and on foot to participate in the Audubon Society's annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC). The CBC is one of the most successful, and longest-running citizen science monitoring programs ever. Ohio has been involved with the CBC since its inception in 1900.

A little history (from Ohio Audubon Society's website):

The CBC was first instituted by Frank M. Chapman, an ornithologist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and an officer in the relatively new Audubon Society. At the turn of the century the depletion of bird populations through unregulated recreational hunting, and over-harvesting for the fashion industry of the time were major concerns for many people throughout the U.S. In an attempt to create greater awareness for the plight of bird populations, and develop an alternative activity to hunting Chapman created the Christmas Bird Count. Christmas was chosen for Chapman’s Bird Count because that date had traditionally been used for a hunting-related activity where hunters split up into different competitive teams and went out into the field to shoot as many birds as they possibly could. The winning team was the one that had shot the most birds.

The first Christmas Bird Count had 27 volunteer participants who counted birds in 25 distinct count circles across 13 different states and two Canadian provinces. They collectively counted 18,500 individual birds and 90 total species. Today there are nearly 50,000 volunteer CBC observers throughout the world, including groups that participate right here in Adams County.

To get involved in a Christmas Bird Count near you, click here.

Photo by Jeff Ratliff

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sandhill Crane Flyway

For at least a week, flocks of Sandhill Cranes, Grus canadensis, have been flying over Adams County on their way south for the winter. Cranes are North America's tallest bird. Sandhill cranes stand 3-5 feet tall. There are currently six recognized sub-species of Sandhill Crane. Sandhill cranes are grey with red foreheads, but adult birds often preen mud into their feathers, giving them an orangish-brown look. They probably do this to camouflage themselves while sitting on nests, which are located on the ground. Cranes fly in a "V" pattern, similar to Canada Geese. To distinguish between the two, look for the tell-tale long legs of the cranes. Image by J. Schmidt - NPS Photo.