Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 44

will	 fledge,	 or	 begin	 to	 fly,	 in	 about	 70 days. “The	chicks	have	a	relatively	long	 period	 of	 vulnerability	 when	 they’re susceptible	to	predation,”	Hayes	said.	 “But	 once	 they	 reach	 six	 to	 seven	 weeks	 of	 age,	 they’re	 able	 to	 defend	 themselves,	 especially	 when	 their	 parents	 are	 around.”	 Haynes	 noted	 that	family	ties	can	be	pretty	strong,	 especially	when	it	comes	to	predators. “In	 August	 we	 were	 watching	 a	 flock	of	20	birds	out	in	a	field	when, all of	a	sudden,	their	heads	went	up,”	 Hayes	related.	“They	all	started	looking	 around	 and	 then	 circled	 up	 like	 musk	ox	do,	with	all	the	chicks	in	the	 center	and	the	adults	on	the	outside	 with	their	bills	pointing	out.	A	coyote	 suddenly	 appeared	 and	 ran	 through	 the	field.	After	it	passed,	they	broke	 apart	and	returned	to	foraging.” Sandhills	are	also	wintering	in	increasing	numbers	in	western	counties – Butler,	Crawford,	Mercer	and	Lawrence,	 and	 in	 eastern	 Pennsylvania,	 particularly	 Lebanon	 and	 Lancaster	 counties.	“There	are	seasonal	chances	 to	 see	 them	 at	 the	 Pymatuning	 and	

Joe Kosack

ANDY GOSSENS of the International Crane Foundation cradles a 2-day-old crane during their fieldwork

Middle	 Creek	 wildlife management	 areas,”	 Brauning	 said,	 “but	 the	 best	 place	to	watch	sandhills	in	the	state	 is	 at	 Pennsy	 Swamp	 on	 State	 Game	 Lands	284	in	Mercer	County.”

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012

Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - Cover1
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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 1
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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - BB1
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