The Naturalist Notebook
Welcome to the Shaver’s Creek blog! The entries here are posted by staff, interns, and volunteers, and aim to keep you informed about the programs, updates, and natural history happenings here at the Creek. Enjoy!
They say good things come in small packages. In this case, they also came with soft, white feathers and a sweet apple-shaped face.
Official hawkwatch counter Andrew Bechdel reflects on his experience at the top of Tussey mountain while exploring one big question: What is it all for?
We are thrilled to share that we have welcomed a new animal ambassador, co-worker, and friend to our Shaver’s Creek community. Please meet Sunny, the Great Horned Owlet!
The Birding Cup has always been focused on building community through a shared love and appreciation of the feathered friends that are abundant in Central PA and beyond — and this year stayed true to that mission.
A little plastic bucket sat on the roof of the Center this September and October, holding a microphone pointed at the sky. Nocturnal sounds were recorded to contribute to an Appalachian-wide study of fall bird migration run by Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology researcher Benjamin Van Doren.
A longtime friend and generous supporter of Shaver’s Creek, Mark McBride was recently chosen as the recipient of the 2022 Fischer Award of Distinction. The Fischer Award of Distinction recognizes friends, donors, alumni, and volunteers who have distinguished themselves through extraordinary service to advance the Penn State Outreach and Online Education (OOE) mission.
On a warm September day in 2021, a few short weeks after starting my position as an AmeriCorps outdoor educator, I found myself in the middle of the woods with a class of fourth graders on a field trip. I stood there as we were eating lunch, reflecting on how exactly this all happened.
All told, 109 birders, forming 30 teams, counted 235 unique species across the United States and Kenya. Whether these individuals were celebrating over two decades of participation or were picking up binoculars for the first time, everyone generously gave an entire day to raise money!
A new strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) called H5N1 was identified in migrating waterfowl earlier this year. This strain of avian influenza started on the East Coast and is now spreading throughout the Midwest from bird to bird, through contact with defecates or consumption of infected individuals.
The Maple Harvest Festival is back after a two-year hiatus! To mark the occasion, we caught up with Laurie McLaughlin, who oversees the festival in its entirety. She shares some cool stories about the history of the Maple Harvest Festival and also looks forward to the future.