Friday, February 15, 2013

Eagle Love on Valentine's Day

Getting up early has it's advantages... The sun behind my house emerges in a blaze of color
 We didn't expect new snow but it was there and sticking to every tree and branch along the way               
As we head toward Fisherman's Paradise and the Eagle nest to see what's happening

 A winter wonderland

 The sun would pop out and what a glorious sight that would be along Spring Creek

 The Bellefonte Fish Culture station was quiet


 The Eagle Nest we are looking for is in the dark pine in the middle at the top of the ridge
 No Eagles visible to us here

 We leave Bellefonte and drive to Lamar where there is another fish hatchery and as soon as we drive in we see the Female in the top of a tall pine

 My first try at getting pictures of Eagles in the snow

The Male came flying in and sat below her in the snow covered branches

 Wow! I was happy to get these shots
 He moved up and sat beside her at the top of the tree

 We wondered if they knew it was Valentine's Day .. 
 She left and gathered some nesting materials... a sure sign of egg laying in the near future for them.
 He must have brought her food and they are eating together
 When I watch these Eagles it seems to me they have their own communication as they look towards one another
You can still see a little dusty color on her head...  signifying her maturity.  It takes 4 to 5 years for an eagle to have it's white head. She is on the left and a little bigger than the male.
Then he starts screaming at her over and over
 What better way to spend Valentine's Day but with a best friend observing "Eagle Love"

 He shakes the tree so hard the snow is falling  down


 Another day in the life of an Eagle Pair



To God be the Glory  ~~  Great Things He Hath Done

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Benezette, Elk County, PA

One of my favorite trips in the fall is to see the bull elk when they are bugling.  Mid to late September is the best time to hear and view this spectacular event.  My first trip there was in October of 2010 just weeks after the grand opening of the new Elk County Visitor Center.


As you arrive in the town of Benezett it is not unusual to see Elk in people's yards.  As the herd increases this has caused concern for the local residents.

Radio-collars are used to complete a Minimum Number Alive (MNA) Count and to monitor elk movements, reproduction, survival and habitat use.
Just of Route 555 along Winslow Hill Road you will see the sign to the Visitor Center.
It is the largest visitor center in the US and sits on 245 acres of woods, food plots and open fields.
On the inside you will find viewing stations, a gift shop, a movie theater to watch the history of the elk interactive games and videos and many many more fun exhibits of elk and other wildlife in the area.

 As you leave the center and drive around be mindful of the signs telling you to drive cautiously.  On Route 555 the elk can be seen crossing and walking on the roadway. Many are hit by careless drivers.
 This is also a great place to get in some beautiful landscape photography. 
If you happen to get there and the elk are hidden there is a lot of other photographic opportunities.

 Look very careful at the top of that ridge........
 You just might get to see that  rack
as the bull elk stands and walks towards you

 My last trip was mid-September of 2012.  We found the herd  grazing at the top of Winslow Hill Road with a beautiful fall backdrop.
My brother and his girlfriend were with me

The Elk were very visible and we got a lot of really beautiful pictures







bugling, a loud series of vocalizations which establishes dominance over other males and attracts females.

The Elk is primarily nocturnal, but is especially active at dusk and dawn except during the rut when you can see them just about any time.... bulls chasing cows.

At the end of your day ...  you may want to stop at the Benezett Hotel and try an elk burger.  At 93 calories and 1.8 grams of fat.. it wins over Beef.  We had one and we liked it!


It would not be proper if I didn't add a video of the 'bugling' elk. 

enjoy!
video

To God be the Glory  ~~  Great Things He Hath Done






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