Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 52

trees leafed out. After my waterthrush stopped “leafpull,” it waded about belly-deep in the water. Then it flew up on a moss-covered log spanning the backwater to preen. During the entire time it preened its breast, neck, belly and under its tail, that tail kept pumping as regularly as a metronome. Years ago, again on the last day of April, in the deepest part of the hollow, which is overhung with hemlock and beech trees, I walked quietly downstream and saw a pair of Louisiana waterthrushes in the water in front of me. They didn’t notice me when they turned over wet leaves in the stream. As I followed and watched, the male walked a couple yards behind the female. Unlike most warbler species, male and female look alike, so I was relying on a description of this courtship tactic by ornithologists. The male made a “zizzing” sound and fed the female. Then they continued alternately foraging and poking at the stream bank. After I followed them for 15 minutes, they suddenly saw me, chipped warning notes, and flew off. Last spring, on the fourth of May, a Louisiana waterthrush swayed and scolded on a branch overhanging the road near Waterthrush Bench. Somewhere nearby in the road or stream bank there must have been a nest with eggs. I remembered my son Steve’s discovery a quarter of a century ago of a nest he found in the road bank as he walked up the road. The female flushed in front of him and performed her broken wing act. Following his description, I easily found the nest four feet from the ground, tucked in over a rock well-padded with dead leaves. An overturned sapling provided a roof above the five whitish eggs spotted with irregular brown spots that lay in a nest of dried grasses. The nest had been built on the south side of the ravine by both parents. They dug a shallow cup in the bank’s soil and hauled in fallen leaves from the forest floor to fill the cup and provide a short pathway to the nest, a task that ornithologists say
52 

takes three to four days. Incubation by the female lasts 12 to 14 days, and the altricial nestlings go from naked to fully feathered in nine or 10 days when they fledge. The nest Steve found did produce not only nestlings but fledglings, and I saw both the nestlings and their fledging. We’ve never found another nest since then, but suspect that most are along the stream bank and in the interstices of uprooted trees, which are the usual nesting places for Louisiana waterthrushes. The bird that scolded me last May then waded into the stream and poked up food from the wet moss on the rocks and from the swiftly flowing water. Like the dippers of the western United States, Louisiana waterthrushes are wedded to clean, running streams. It jabbed quietly in the crevices, living its enviable life in the moving water whose babble blocks out all other sounds. Its affinity for water makes it an ideal species to use when assessing the ecological health of streams, researchers discovered at the Powdermill Nature Reserve in southwestern Pennsylvania. This biological field research station of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh is best known for its long-running, year-round, bird-banding program begun in 1961 by Robert Leberman. Leberman’s assistant, Robert Mulvihill, now at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, along with Leberman, chose the Louisiana waterthrush as a model for looking at bird populations back in 1996. After all, two streams — Powdermill Run and Laurel Run — hosted Louisiana waterthrushes. But those two streams differed in one important aspect. Powdermill Run’s water has a neutral pH of 7, but Laurel Run’s was an acidic pH of 5, the result of acid mine drainage from a small, hand-dug coal mine on nearby private land. More than 50 years after this 30-year-long disturbance, it still impacts Laurel Run, despite the best efforts of a local watershed association that installed a Successive Alkalinity Producing System to filter water through
GAME  NEWS



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

Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012
History of the Whitetail
26 Days for a Gobbler
I Took a Stand
Enemies Among Us
The Smile Says It All
Wild Turkey Trivia
Wild Turkey Cures A Heartache
First VPA-HIP Habitat Project Nears Completion
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
The Naturalist’s Eye
Fun Game
Straight from the Bowstring
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - History of the Whitetail
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 26 Days for a Gobbler
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - I Took a Stand
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - Enemies Among Us
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - The Smile Says It All
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - Wild Turkey Trivia
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - Wild Turkey Cures A Heartache
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - First VPA-HIP Habitat Project Nears Completion
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - BB1
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - BB2
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2012 - Cover4
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