Since 2017 the Trust’s Bird Conservation Team along with its partners (the Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art, Project Owlnet, and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s Powdermill Nature Reserve) has been working tirelessly to establish what is now the world’s second largest array of the Motus Wildlife Tracking System’s automated radio telemetry stations. Motus is a collaborative research project that uses a network of receiving stations to track the movements of birds and other small flying animals tagged with miniature radio transmitters. This cutting-edge technology has transformed our knowledge of bird migration. Watch this fascinating presentation from the Trust’s Bird Conservation Team to hear what researchers have begun to learn and how these discoveries can be shared to help further bird conservation in your community. Recorded on September 10, 2020.
Did you notice more birds than usual this spring around your yard? Watch the video of this this virtual event held on July 7, 2020. Our Bird Box Team discussed the birds you might have seen nesting around your yard this summer and covered the basics of bluebird box monitoring and maintenance. We also had a special guest and bluebird expert, Ken Leister.
If you missed our Fireflies, Moths, and Your Yard in the Dark presentation, watch the video to learn about our only bioluminescent beetle, the firefly, and how you can help these and other insects that enchant the night. Presentation by Blake Goll, Education Programs Manager on June 24, 2020.
Blake mentioned some fun and informative online resources and books during her program. Here they are if you missed them and would like to continue to learn about fireflies.
Silent Sparks This is the website for the book by Sara Lewis: it contains great information about fireflies including videos and even a TED talk to help you learn more about the fascinating world of fireflies.
Firefly Watch Get involved counting fireflies in your yard for citizen science! Also see live distribution maps of firefly activity.
Butterflies and Moths of North America Participate in citizen science by observing moths in your yard at night. Also use this database for researching moths in your area including their host plants!
Blake’s Favorite Books
Silent Sparks by Sara Lewis
Sam and the Firefly by P.D. Eastman
The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle
The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle
For learning about singing insects of the night:
The Songs of Insects by Lang Elliott
Cricket Radio by John Himmelman
How do I enter?
-Snap a photo at of one of Willistown Conservation Trust’s three preserves
-Follow Willistown Conservation Trust on Facebook and/ or @wctrust on Instagram.
-Share and tag the photo using Willistown Conservation Trust @wctrust.org (Facebook) and/ or @wctrust (Instagram) in the photo caption.
-Include #wctrust in your post.
How do I win?
-The post with the most likes on Instagram and/ or Facebook will win.
-All photos must be posted between May 15 and June 1, 2020.
-The winner will be notified via direct message by the Willistown Conservation Trust on or after June 2, 2020.
How many winners and what do I win?
There will be one winner for the contest. The prize is a Rushton Farm goodie bag, including a Rushton Farm apron, tea towel, two hats, car magnet, large and small honey dipper, Rushton Farm Honey and a free CSA share on the date of your choice (to be arranged in advance with Willistown Conservation Trust). As well as freshly cut flowers from Rushton Farm!
Can I post more than once?
Of course! Please abide by the above rules and add as many pictures of our beautiful preserves as you would like.
By participating in this contest, you are consenting that the Willistown Conservation Trust can use your photo(s) with suggested photo credit in future social media posts and publications.
For more information contact email@example.com.
In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
In 1970, millions of Americans pledged to start a movement to be better stewards of our planet Earth. As we prepare to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the now global movement called Earth Day, we are faced with an unprecedented reality.
While typical day to day life for many humans is on hold, nature doesn’t stop. The birds continue their annual migration and breeding season, our streams are flowing with spring rains, and the seeds in our greenhouse and the grasses and wildflowers in our native meadows are bursting with new life. Among the earth’s spring renewal, humans are discovering the nurturing, restorative power of nature. A simple walk through the woods or fields provides us with respite and peace.
This miracle felt especially true over Easter weekend as I explored Ashbridge Preserve with our nine-year-old twin grandchildren, Grace and James. After being quarantined indoors for three weeks, their joy in being free in the outdoors, skipping the Ridley Creek stepping stones and discovering the emerging spring plants and creatures was a palpable gift to hold and treasure.
While the earth has the power to heal humans, we in turn, have the power to help heal the earth. Willistown Conservation Trust’s holistic approach to land protection, with a focus on the connections among land, farm, birds, and water, protects native habitat and provides open space for our earth to heal itself.
Even as new studies show that grassland bird populations have declined by over 50% since 1970, hearing the song of the returning Eastern Meadowlark fluting across our preserved grassland habitat at Kirkwood Preserve gives me great hope. The newly sown peas at Rushton Farm are showing their first green tendrils of life and the skunk cabbage at Rushton Woods Preserve has completely unfurled. The first trillium have emerged at Ashbridge Preserve, dotting the woods with cheerful color.
As you think about Earth Day this year, I encourage you to seek out nature to find inspiration, healing and hope. Just as the earth renews each spring, we will resume our our regular lives once again, perhaps transformed with a deeper connection to our planet earth.
With warmest regards,