Not long after her relase, one of the female pheasants laid an egg at the Safe Harbor Preserve. Odds are this egg will not hatch. However, it is an interesting observation.
This is a pilot project where undergraduate students learn ecological principles and field techniques by conducting applied research. Students are responsible for tracking released pheasants at a local wildlife preserve, gathering data on these birds and then analyzing this data. The goal is to determine if applied learning can be conducted as a research project to benefit student success in the STEM fields. Click below for video.
Millersville Pheasant Project
During this weeks lab, the Ornithology class got to help in trapping and banding House Sparrows on the Millersville University campus. Students also took measurements on the birds such as weight, tarsus length, bill length etc. Pictures below provided by Melissa Sell.
On Saturday Match 7th, Millersville University Ornithology students took a trip to the Middlecreek Wildlife Management Area run by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The visitor center had a great collection of bird mounts to peruse and the outside bird feeder had a large number of visitors. In addition, students got a great look at a rough-legged hawk (photo below by Kira Klassen), a rare winter visitor that breeds in the tundra.
On Saturday, February 21st, A few Ornithology students and myself went on a search for waterfowl along the Susquehanna River at Wrightsville, Pa. Saw some great species including Common Golden-eyes, Buffleheads, Common Mergansers, Hooded Mergansers, Black Ducks, Mallards, Pied-billed Grebes, Red-necked Grebes, Lesser Scaup and Canvasback. Also saw a few birds along the shore including Yellow-rumped Warbler, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and White-breasted Nuthatch to name just a few. Pictures below taken by Melissa Sell and Mike Englar.
One of the assignments for my ornithology class was to have students illustrate their favorite bird species and label all the key morphological features of that bird. Below is an ‘A+’ quality assignment completed by Kira Klaassen. Looks like she could develop her own bird field guide. Great original work Kira.
On Sunday, January 18th, Millersville Students Anthony Kessler, Joshua Bard and Sarah Way (refer to picture below) helped out with the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Annual Ring-necked Pheasant Survey. Students were out with bird dogs and their owners to find and flush birds and give count. A total of 15 pheasants were counted on our survey routes (7 females and 8 males). The weather was a little wet, but over all it was nice to get out in some pheasant habitat.
Below are links to some amazing documentaries on different animal phylums and the Ecosystem Services they provide us humans. These videos were created by Millersville Biology Students for an Honor’s Zoology Seminar course here at Millersville University. These videos are for educational use only, but they still rock.
( I especially love the end of the Porifera Phylum video; time 7:10)
1) Arthropoda Phylum Video
2) Nematoda Phylum Video
3) Cnidaria Phylum Video
4) Porifera Phylum Video
On Saturday, December 13th, Biology Students from Millersville University were able to help the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife with their bear check stations. Students helped wildlife biologists take tooth samples, weight measurements and identification information from harvested black bears. Students also learned the basis, justification and science behind sustainable harvest practices for wildlife management. In addition, students were exposed to the Human Dimensions of wildlife biology via protest demonstrations established to end bear hunts in New Jersey. We thank the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife and their great staff for providing us these great educational opportunities.