February 12, 2013 |
Kay Schuh has a dead vulture hanging in her backyard and is grateful for it. Until the bird was strung up last month by a federal wildlife biologist, Schuh's Mount Holly neighborhood had been taken over by what some see as vandals of the sky. For about nine winters, the pine trees in her backyard have hosted an increasing number of roosting vultures. "The smell is horrible," Schuh said. "You can see [droppings] all over our bushes and our shed in the back. " Schuh, mother of three, said her family routinely has had to clean dog Jake's feet before letting him in after a trip to the yard.
January 16, 2009 |
What does Philadelphia International Airport do to fend off pesky birds that might fly into jet engines? Turns out, plenty. Commercial airports have "wildlife hazard management" plans approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. At the Philadelphia airport, staff actively monitors the airfield 24 hours a day for birds and wildlife, deputy aviation director Mark E. Gale said. "Some things we do are preventive: We reduce brush, grasses and vegetation that attracts primarily birds, but all animals," said Gale, who oversees airport operations and facilities.
March 28, 1995 |
The cameras are so sensitive they can tell the body-heat difference between a dog and a deer, but they could not penetrate the underbrush of Lower Merion to find out how many deer live in the township. For the second time in a year, Florida-based AirScan ran into trouble while trying to count the deer. "It didn't go well. They did it at 5 a.m. this morning, and the results weren't what they expected," Lower Merion Sgt. William Boegly said yesterday. "The numbers didn't jibe with what was estimated.
March 30, 1999 |
The Fairmount Park deer are back in the cross hairs. A judge yesterday lifted his restraining order against the deer shoot along the Wissahickon, clearing the way for a sharpshooter hired to "cull" the deer herd to head back to Philadelphia. Fairmount Park Commission chief of staff Barry Bessler said decisions on the shoot will be made on a nightly basis. There was no shooting done last night. "I don't intend to give up. I intend to oppose the hunt," said Glynnis Gradwell, one of the plaintiffs who asked Commonwealth Court Judge Charles Mirarchi Jr. to block the shoot.
December 11, 2002 |
Andrew Burnett, a state wildlife biologist, opened the mouth of the dead deer with a P-shaped tool called a jaw spreader and peered inside. The well-worn teeth told him what he needed to know. "It's a nice, old deer," Burnett said. "Three and a half years old. " It was Monday, and Burnett and Jodi Powers, another state Division of Fish and Wildlife biologist, were on duty at one of the busiest deer-check stations in the state on the biggest deer-hunting day of the year - opening day of the six-day firearm season.
January 17, 2014 |
As far as historian Etienne Benson can determine, the nation's great squirrel experiment began in 1847 in Philadelphia, when three of the plucky little rodents - a wildlife novelty at the time - were released into Franklin Square. At the time, trees - nut trees especially - were scarce, so keeping them here took some effort. Officials actually provided nest boxes and food. Urban reformers thought the tiny beasts were beautifying the city and elevating the moral character of the citizenry.
January 30, 1995 |
A cougar in Cobb Creek Park? A bobcat in Chester County? One might think a spaceship from Pluto would be about as likely. But there they were. A number of residents and at least one police officer in Delaware County have sworn they saw the so-far elusive cougar - which is another name for a mountain lion or puma. The bobcat was dead, so its identity could be confirmed. Not only that, but a wildlife biologist who examined the animal concluded it was wild, not an escaped illegal pet, as the cougar is suspected to be. Other than the fact that the bobcat was found along Route 202 in the suburbs near Valley Forge National Historical Park, a rather unlikely habitat, the presence of the bobcat was not as surprising as that of a cougar.
June 1, 1997 |
Far across the pond, a tiny spot rose out of the treetops and silhouetted itself against the afternoon western sky. A tiny spot, half a mile away, so far that it must be huge. Sitting in his truck on a narrow road between two ponds, Paul Daly was asked whether anything else as big as an eagle lived in those trees. "Nothing," Daly said. Likely, he said, it was a bald eagle, one of two adults nesting at the 15,978-acre Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge. "You could walk in from the other side," through thick woodland, to try to spot the nest, said Daly, the refuge manager.
July 7, 1994 |
As e.e. cummings, whose poetry at times involved barnyard animals, might have written, the way to catch an owl is not to do it bodily harm but lie all night as mosquitoes bite in darkened, dusty barn. Now, e.e. cummings probably didn't catch owls. The fellows known in these parts as the "owl boys" do. Bruce Colvin, 39, and Paul Hegdal, 58, are those fellows. They study barn owls. Colvin arrived from Boston in mid-May and stayed two weeks. Then he left, and Hegdal arrived from San Antonio, Texas.
December 21, 1998 |
A thick glove covers the long, slender fingers of Martha Wible's left hand as - at 3:45 p.m. on a Monday - she stands on a platform 15 feet up in a gum tree. But her right hand - the one wearing the sapphire-and-diamond "sweet 16" ring - is necessarily exposed to the late-afternoon chill. It is her right thumb that slowly hooks over the hammer of her muzzleloader rifle and pulls back. Click. Her eyes probe the nearly silent woods. Her face is a picture of frozen concentration, framed by a stocking cap tugged so far down against the dropping temperature that not one strand of her auburn hair escapes.