Parks and Rec hosts mid-day hikes
Frederick County Parks and Rec staff will lead two mid-day hikes. On April 27, from 10 am to 2 pm is a hike at Fort Frederick. This 4-mile hike begins at the historic fort built during the French and Indian War. Terrain is easy to moderate. The cost is $9, and transportation is provided. On May 7, beginning at 10 am, the mid-day hike will be on the Brown’s Farm Trail on an easy half-mile loop trail that passes through wetlands, a pine grove, a farmstead and an eastern hardwood forest. The cost for this hike is $5. More details will be provided upon registration. Pre-registration is required for both hikes. Learn more and register at recreater.com or 301-600-2936.
Hunter safety classes
The Maryland Hunter Safety Class covers hunter responsibility, firearm handling and safety, marksmanship and shooting fundamentals, principles of wildlife management, tree-stand safety and first aid, water safety, Maryland’s legal requirements and more. Students must attend all sessions and pass a 50-question multiple choice test, demonstrate to the instructor that he or she can safely handle a firearm in a field situation and participate in live firing. An adult must accompany any student under the age of 14. Catoctin Fish & Game Club, Myersville, will host the course from 6:30 to 9 pm April 26, 27 and 29, and 8 am to 2 pm April 30. The Poolesville Izaak Walton League of America will hold classes 8 am to 4 pm April 30 and May 1. To register and for more information, visit dnr.maryland.gov.
Fishing rodeos for youth
Nearly 50 youth fishing rodeos have been scheduled around Maryland. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources works with dozens of organizations to offer these free events. The Town of Sharpsburg will host a derby beginning at 7 am April 30 at Sharpsburg Town Pond; 240-382-4561 for more information. The Brunswick Lions Club will host a fishing derby at 1 pm May 1 at Lions Merryland Park. Details at 567-712-0814. On May 7, the Mount Airy Lions Club hosts a fishing derby at Prospect Park in Mount Airy, beginning at 8:30 am Details at 240-401-5512. Both fishing derbies are for youth ages 3 to 15.
Females in Fisheries scholarships available
The American Fisheries Society Black Bass Conservation Committee and BASS are accepting applications for the Noreen Clough Memorial Scholarship for Females in Fisheries scholarships. Scholarships will be awarded to two female graduate students with a demonstrated commitment to pursuing a career in fishery management and conservation. Clough blazed many trails in the field of fisheries, including as the first female regional director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service and later as the BASS conservation director. She passed away in 2015 from pancreatic cancer. More information on the scholarship program can be found at bassmaster.com/conservation-news or by contacting Gene Gilliland, BASS national conservation director, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The application deadline is May 1.
Black bears are on the move
After a long winter’s hibernation, Maryland’s black bears are leaving their winter dens. They’re hungry, maybe even a little “hangry,” and they will be searching for food sources such as acorns, plants, berries, insects and anything that smells like food. Residents who have human-generated food sources out in the open may unintentionally draw bears to residential areas. You can help avoid human-bear interactions by removing backyard bird feeders, putting garbage in bear-proof trash bins and cleaning food residue from your grill after cooking. In Maryland, bears are most common in Allegany, Frederick, Garrett and Washington counties. Learn more about living with bears at dnr.maryland.gov.
Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever announce new habitat program
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are partnering in a new program to improve habitat for wildlife in conjunction with transportation, railway, electric, oil/gas and solar rights-of-way corridors and footprints across the country. The Rights-of-Way & Energy (ROWE) Habitat Program provides conservation technical assistance to industry leaders for creating sustainable, integrated habitat management plans with the potential to improve an estimated 34 million rights-of-way and energy acres. Michael Retterer, ROWE coordinator, says the organizations will unveil several key partnerships in the near future that will serve as pilot projects. Serving as linear ribbons of habitat, rights-of-way can help connect the fragmented landscapes in the US “These corridors should be considered ribbons of biological diversity as opposed to mowed ditches, and we’re dedicated to helping with that transformation,” Retterer said in a news release. For more information, email email@example.com.
New book on birding in Maryland
The “Birds of Maryland” is the latest in the Birding Pro’s Field Guides series by Marc Parnell. The field guide gives a complete description for each species’ daily life and behavior and each entry also includes a month-by-month birding forecast and highly identifiable photographs. It features the 140 most common birds to Maryland all sorted by size for quick identification; sections on behaviors, diet, habitat and nesting; and tips on how to become a better birder. Released in March, the “Birds of Maryland” also identifies the best places to find birds in Frederick County and five proven tips to finding birds in everyday life, such as hawks along highways. The author is a lifelong naturalist and lives in Ohio. The book is available from birdingpro.com, Amazon or Barnes & Noble for $14.95.
Extinct no more?
A team of biologists has revealed trail camera photos and drone videos that show the consistent presence of ivory-billed woodpeckers at their study site within extremely remote swampy forests in Louisiana. According to the Birding Wire, each of the team of field researchers observed at least one ivory-billed woodpecker and periodically heard their calls while investigating the area. The ivory-billed was declared “extinct” last year by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Trail cameras have captured multiple images of the birds and, according to Steve Latta, who is the team leader and director of conservation at the National Aviary, the size and markings of the birds photographed is strong evidence that they are not another species of woodpecker. To read the team’s research paper, visit https://tinyurl.com/yxpbked4.