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Wildlife in the Piedmont Corridor

Ever wonder about the wildlife along the Delaware River?  Come and meet some of the awe-inspiring and majestic wildlife that inhabit Driftstone’s corridor of the Delaware River, The Piedmont.   Seen on a regular basis are bog turtles, eels, the osprey, herons, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, raccoons and foxes.  For today we offer a look at our favorites, the flying squirrel, the owl and the Bald Eagle.

 

Photo Courtesy of Jeff Ackerman

 

The Northern Flying Squirrel is a small, unique creature measuring only 8 to 11 inches long with large eyes, flattened tail for steering and skin flaps between its wrists and ankles which allows  it to glide from tree to tree, averaging 65 feet.  It is currently protected under Game and Wildlife Code as it is classified as endangered.  The flying squirrel is a quick critter on the ground as well, averaging eight miles an hour. Fungi and lichens are the food of choice for these little critters followed by acorns, beechnuts and conifer seeds.  You may catch a glimpse of one during the day but are more active at night so keep a look-out when you’re around your campfire tonight!

 

 

 

Photo Courtesy of Jeff Ackerman

The Eastern Screech Owl has made a cozy home in a nearby barn of Driftstone’s.  This nocturnal bird is also listed as an endangered species and protected under the Game and Wildlife Code.  These small birds will range in size from 8 to 10 inches and project a wingspan of 19 to 24 inches.  They have a chameleon like quality, morphing to either gray or red to blend in with their environment to hunt their prey of insects, crayfish, earthworms, mice, bats, songbirds, reptiles and amphibians.  Its call can be heard throughout the campground at night.

 

 

Photo Courtesy of Jeff Ackerman

Our final look into the wildlife surrounding Driftstone is the majestic Bald Eagle, protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Protection Treaty Act. No longer considered endangered, this powerful bird of prey is one of the largest in its class at up to 14 pounds with a wingspan up to 7 feet.  Their prey of choice is fish with waterfowl, small mammals, turtles and carrion coming in close second.  The bald eagle is conscious of conserving energy and will most often be found perched on a tree waiting for prey to emerge but don’t be fooled. If prey is near and in the grasp of another it has no fear of swiping that catch.  These birds will soar at right angles and give a forceful wing beat, showing off their majesty.  The Delaware River is a comfortable location for these birds as they have a plethora of food courtesy of the river.  While they do not tend to inhabit areas where there are many humans there have been many sitings at the campground so look upward!

References:

http://www.pgc.pa.gov/Wildlife/EndangeredandThreatened/Documents/Northern%20Flying%20Squirrel.pdf

http://www.pgc.pa.gov/Wildlife/EndangeredandThreatened/Documents/Long-eared%20Owl.pdf

http://www.wildlifewatchers.org/esReports/report53.html

http://www.pgc.pa.gov/Education/WildlifeNotesIndex/Documents/owls.pdf

http://www.pgc.pa.gov/Wildlife/EndangeredandThreatened/Documents/Bald%20Eagle.pdf