Outdoors


Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Sullivan County birders—split up into teams of six—tallied 1,326 of these birds, the dark-eyed junco, in the 2017 bird count. The second-most tallied bird in the region that year was the Canada Goose.

The bird census begins

The Audubon Society will hold its annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) December 14 through January 5, gathering data from across North America on bird species to compile a census on our winged friends.


TRR photo by Sandy Long

This deceased shrew was discovered atop the dam at the Shohola Recreation Area in Shohola, PA, where it might have been dropped by a predator that mistook it for a mouse. Because shrews secrete an offensive musky odor, predators will sometimes choose not to eat this prey. In addition to predation by animals such as owls, herons, hawks, weasels and foxes, shrews also succumb to starvation, rapid temperature changes, accidents and battles with other shrews.

Shrews: short-lived and sassy

Have you ever seen a shrew? Chances are good that the answer is no, given their secretive nature and relatively brief life spans of approximately 18 to 20 months. 


Photos by Scott Rando

The confluence of the Lackawaxen and Delaware Rivers attracts wintering eagles. Anywhere there is ice-free water offers eagles an opportunity to forage for fish. There are several eagle-viewing areas in the region.

Enjoying cold weather critters

Although it is getting cold with good potential for snow throughout the next few months, opportunities abound for winter activities and sights that can only be found this time of year.


Photo from the PA Department of Agriculture, by Erica Smyers

Spotted Lanternfly egg masses look like this on the bark of a tree, and become caked like mud over time. The PA Department of Agriculture is asking hunters to scrape them off with knives.

PA agriculture department assigns hunters new target

REGION — Now that hunting season has officially begun, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the Penn State Extension are using the opportunity to encourage hunters to track a different prey: the Spotted Lanternfly.


TRR photo by Sandy Long

This juvenile American woodcock was photographed at the Shohola Recreation Area in Shohola, PA. Woodcock primarily breed in the northern United States and Southern Canada and overwinter in the southern United States. 

Woodcock whereabouts

One of the most interesting birds with which we share habitat in the Upper Delaware River region is the American woodcock. With its long needle-like beak, plumpish rounded body and peculiar bobbing gait, it is undoubtedly also one of the most adorable birds to behold.


File photo

Rattlesnakes and copperheads

Habitat and habits

PORT JERVIS, NY — The Hub at the Port Jervis Public Library will host a program on rattlesnakes and copperheads on Thursday, November 29 from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. in the Community Room at the library.

‘Holiday Bows and Boughs’

DINGMANS FERRY, PA — Create your own holiday decorations using natural materials at the Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC) on Sunday, December 1 from 1 to 4 p.m. PEEC provides evergreen boughs and materials for you to make wreaths, swags and table decor. You can also bring your own supplies and decorations.

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