On November 2nd 2015, The Millersville Pheasant Project officially ended with the night-trapping of the last pheasants. Night-trapping was done to retrieve the pheasant radio-tracking collars. Once collars were removed from the birds, the birds were then released to enjoy the rest of their days at Lancaster Central Park.
The Millersville University Field Ecology Methods class conducted a Service Learning Project with Lancaster County Conservancy by setting up Wildlife Next Boxes at the Climber’s Run Preserve. Bluebird boxes, Wood Duck nest boxes, Woodpecker boxes and Owl nest boxes were all set-up by Millersville students throughout the preserve to help increase nesting success of local wildlife.
On Late October of 2015, Biology students from Millersville University went to visit the Saw-whet owl banding station in Schuykill County Pennsylvania. This banding station has been in operation for many years and has collected a large amount of data on Saw-whet owl movements and morphology. Students learned about the capturing, banding and data collection process at the banding station as well as get a first hand look at their unique morphology.
This weekend we finished tracking birds for the Millersville Ring-necked Pheasant Project. Tonight we will be trapping bird 0.65 to get the last of the VHF collars back. Students will then begin analysis of the spatial data by calculating home range size of birds, identifying spatial overlap between birds and looking at habitat selection. Below is a final map of pheasant locations, with each circle representing a bird location and each color representing a different bird. There are at least 3 wild birds still using the Lancaster Central Park Area.
Below is a video of Millersville Environmental Biology Student Kira Klassen tracking one of the collared ring-necked pheasants. She got a little closer than expected and the bird flushed. Our remaining birds are looking healthy and doing well.
We are down to 3 birds. One bird suffered a mammalian predation event, another bird slipped its collar and another bird is currently missing in action. We will begin an intensive search for this bird soon. The other 3 birds are doing well and loving the nice cover at Lancaster Central Park’s City View Road (see below). The Millersville Field Ecology Students are doing a great job tracking the birds thanks in large part to the efforts of Environmental Biology student Anthony Kessler, who is leading and organizing this effort. The birds are really starting to use more of the park (locations of the birds are shown below as red dots).
On September 21st, Millersville students from the Field Ecology Class, collared and released 6 ring-necked pheasants within Lancaster Central Park. Students are currently tracking the spatial movements of these birds. Updates of pheasant movements will be posted here. Stay tuned.