Pennsylvania Game News - March 2010 - 56

mixed farm and forest habitat, such as we have in our area. There they eat the carcasses of both wild and domestic carrion, such as livestock, woodchucks, skunks, raccoons, opossums and deer. In fact, turkey vultures only moved into Pennsylvania’s wooded mountains in the 1920s and ’30s to feed on starved deer. A study of turkey vulture pellets in North Carolina also found Bermuda grass, pieces of plastic sandwich bags, brown paper sacks and polystyrene in them, which proved that turkey vultures clean up road kills. Without them, we would have many dead critters around. They also hang around landfills, as Keith Bildstein of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary and James Mandel of Cornell University discovered. They spent 120 days in 2004 and 2005 watching turkey vultures from an unused hilltop at Waste Management, Inc. Landfill in Pen Argyl, Northampton County. The 30 to 90 turkey vultures that fed there roosted at three nearby communal roosts. Of those vultures, 10 to 15 stayed 90 to 210 minutes after the local sunset, while turkey vultures that fed in nearby farmlands, woodlands and suburban areas returned to their roosts no later than 30 minutes after sunset. Those vultures that remained at the landfill used hot air thermals caused by two methane venting sites to give them lifts to leave the landfill long after natural thermals had subsided for the night. However, landfill workers found turkey vulture carcasses at or near the base of the vents, which suggests that the flares killed them by suffocation or scorching. Bildstein and other raptor biologists at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary launched a long-term study of turkey vulture migration in 2003 to, in their words, “learn more about the extent, causes and consequences of their annual journeys.” They put tiny radio tags monitored by satellite on 24 turkey vultures to study both their autumn and spring migrations. According to rap- tor biologist David Barber, who is working on this study and recently spoke to our local Juniata Valley Audubon Society, four of eleven turkey vultures that he studied were migratory. Those that migrated went to Florida and Georgia, but while some go to the same place every year, others seem to adjust to the weather. They don’t always take the same route. Some migrate along the coast, while others go down the Appalachian spine. Pennsylvania birds take a month to migrate, making many stopovers and waiting for the thermals to waft them south. By implanting five vultures with heart-rate loggers, the researchers discovered that they don’t use much energy to migrate. The wind does all the work. Today, turkey vultures are a continentwide, common species, and Hawk Mountain scientists want them to remain so, unlike the incredible decline of Old World vultures in many parts of Africa and southern Asia, especially in India where an antiinflammatory drug given to cows has caused kidney failure within 36 hours to vultures that have scavenged the bodies of cows containing the drug. The population fell from 40 million in the 1980s to a couple thousand today, “The most catastrophic decline of a raptor species anywhere,” Bildstein says. Maybe we should all celebrate the second International Vulture Awareness Day next September 5. It grew from Vulture Awareness Days run by the Birds of Prey Working Group in South Africa and the Hawk Conservancy Trust in England. I was also pleased to learn about the Turkey Vulture Society, a nonprofit scientific corporation whose “purpose is to promote scientific studies of the life habits and needs of the turkey vulture, to protect the vulture and its habitat, and to inform the public of the valuable and essential services this bird provides to mankind and to the environment.” 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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