Guided river tours starting again this month
If you're looking to spend some time on the water this year, consider getting involved with one of the state's many river sojourns.
The events are guided paddles along a number of rivers, all meant to showcase the natural resources and opportunities for recreation they offer. They are multi-day affairs, though participants can choose just to tag along for a day or two.
All feature guides, catered meals, camping and opportunities to fish, swim or take photos. Organized by the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers, they start this month and run through late June. One trip is scheduled for the Allegheny, Kiski and Conemaugh rivers; another explores the Kiski and Conemaugh. There's a trip on the Upper Allegheny, too, as well as others on the Juniata, Delaware and West Branch Susquehanna.
For more information, visit pawatersheds.org .
Bird count results
The 13th annual Great Backyard Bird Count revealed some interesting developments.
The count — a four-day event in February that drew a record 63,000 volunteer bird watchers — recorded more American robins than any other species. At the other extreme, one of the most dramatic results was the absence of other species, including winter finches such as Pine Siskins and Redpolls.
The count also revealed continued expansion of introduced species, such as the Eurasian collared-dove, which expanded from nine states at last count to 39 states and Canadian provinces this year. Tree swallows showed a dramatic increase, too.
More details can be found at birdsource.org .
Hunters and anglers who like to do their thing outside of Pennsylvania have a new tool at their disposal: Huntnfishregs.com claims to offer up-to-date hunting and fishing regulations for all 50 states.
Sportsmen will not only be able to e-mail or print copies of the regulations for the states they're traveling to, they also can buy a hunting or fishing license, find a hunter safety course and check out maps, fishing reports and weather/lunar forecasts.
Pennsylvania's Wildlife for Everyone Endowment Foundation is now selling merchandise, including limited edition patches, to raise money for wildlife conservation.
You can check out what's available at wildlifeforeveryone.org .