News from across the Commonwealth
Pennsylvania ranks high in Great Backyard Bird Count
Pennsylvanians turned in over 6,000 checklists of birds spotted in the 2018 Great Backyard Bird Count, placing the state fourth in number of checklists behind California, Texas and New York. The number of species listed was 145, which ranks in the middle of states participating in the international event that encourages volunteers to count birds in yards, as well as parks, nature centers and other public locations.
Worldwide, there were nearly 200,000 participants who reported nearly 6,500 species of birds with the most commonly reported species being: northern cardinal, dark-eyed junco, mourning dove, American crow, blue jay, downy woodpecker, house finch, black-capped chickadee, house sparrow and European starling. All of the top 10 most commonly reported species are found in North America, reflecting the high number of participants from that region.
The top countries by number of participants were the United States with more than 100,000 participants, followed by Canada and India with about 14,000 participants each.
The next Great Backyard Bird Count is Feb. 15-18, 2019. For information about participating in next year’s event, go to birdcount.org.
Reading addresses ongoing dairy market challenges
Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding, a member of Gettysburg-based Adams Electric Cooperative, has called on the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board to undertake or recommend reforms to address ongoing dairy market challenges and to support the state’s dairy industry.
“Pennsylvania’s Milk Marketing Law and the Milk Marketing Board have both served our state’s dairy industry well, but there is room for improvement and reforms to meet the needs of today’s producers and milk dealers alike,” Redding said.
Redding submitted a formal petition to the board requesting a hearing, or as many hearings as necessary, to find actions the board can take without statutory changes and those that require action by the General Assembly.
Pennsylvania dairy farmers have seen a steady decline in milk prices over the past two years because of sustained pressures on domestic and international markets, declining fluid milk consumption, and growing production levels.
No eaglets in Codorus State Park nest this year
The eagle pair near Codorus State Park that has been featured on a live camera feed for the past few years will not raise any eaglets this year. The pair had two eggs they were tending, but in late March, a third adult eagle drove the nesting adult from the nest and the eggs were left too long to be viable in the cold temperatures.
There has continued to be some activity occasionally visible on camera, but it is not clear if the original adult pair is still in the area, or if the nest has been taken over by other eagles.