Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 54

Tyrone were excited when vultures chose their 27-acre property as a seasonal roost in 2006. Located on a hill above the wooded town park, their 1930s-era house and their pool were shrouded with trees that darkened their prospect. Shortly after moving in, they cut down 25 large trees, and the next year the vultures arrived in March. They hang out in the four acres of open woods around their house and garage and beyond their pool. “They seem to have three or four favorite trees,” Shannon says. “I call those trees the Radisson. When they are filled, they go to smaller trees — the Motel 6.” Those trees are mostly oaks and conifers. That habitat — partially open under a canopy of large trees to give the vultures room to move around in — is perfect for a vulture roost. And in southern Pennsylvania, northern Maryland and northeastern Virginia, according to a study, roost sites were closer to clearings, human residences, roads and permanent streams than roosts in other parts of the U.S. That perfectly describes the habitat of the Lang’s roost, because there is a stream on their property and in the park below. Shannon, who has a degree in wildlife biology, enjoys watching the vultures even though her neighbors think they are spooky and wonder why she doesn’t get rid of them. “I think they’re fascinating,” she says. “They add to the wildlife. I like to see them in the morning when,” she tells me, “they are off by 7:30 and back around 7:20 in the evening. You could almost set your watch by them.” She adds that they are quiet and clean. Her two sons collect the pellets the vultures cast below the trees, gagging them up while they lie in a horizontal position, their bodies hanging down and heads bobbing. Shannon has even watched the vultures play. Once, when their pool was still covered, a turkey vulture landed on it and, using its beak, tried to roll a large ball that her sons had left on top of the cover up a slight incline. Each time the ball rolled back down to the vulture it tried again. Apparently, its antics kept the entire family entertained for quite a while. The Lang’s roost is a seasonal one and is made up mostly of turkey vultures with a couple black vultures and has about 50 birds. These communal roosts — winter, seasonal, or year round — can range from a few birds to several thousand, although the largest are winter roosts, because both residents and migrants occupy them. The one at Gettysburg National Park has held as many as a thousand, and those in Florida more than 4,000. Such roosts are probably used to escape predators, provide opportunities for various social interactions and supply meeting places for possible mates. But surprisingly little is known about the life history of these common birds. For instance, researchers believe they mate for life, but they aren’t certain. They also don’t know at what age turkey vultures mate for the first time, but they do suspect that less than half breed in any given year. Here in Pennsylvania, turkey vultures arrive in early to mid-March, and most eggs and nests are found between April 18 and GAME NEWS

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010

Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010
Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Contents
The Scofflaws
The Last Shot
Hunters Connect with the Chesapeake Bay
Chasing the Dream
The Barberry Grouse
Mentored Youth Program Gobbler
The A Team
Hand-Me-Downs
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
The Naturalist’s Eye
Straight from the Bowstring
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Fun Game
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - The Scofflaws
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - The Last Shot
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Hunters Connect with the Chesapeake Bay
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Chasing the Dream
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - The Barberry Grouse
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Mentored Youth Program Gobbler
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - The A Team
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Hand-Me-Downs
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - I1
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - I2
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - Cover4
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