September 17, 2008

Hawk Mountain Opens For Raptor Watch Cougar Or Fat Cat In Elizabethtown? Antlerless Deer Licenses Here Gone

By Pack Notes

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, that Berks County Mecca for migrating birds of prey, is now open for a 72nd season. Hawk watches are being held daily through Dec. 15.

An average of 18,000 birds of prey will soar over the sanctuary's North Lookout 1,500 feet atop the Kittatinny Ridge. Trained staff announce approaching birds for the visiting public.

Ospreys, bald eagles and American kestrels are featured in late summer. Broad-winged hawks build in mid September. The greatest diversity, about 16 species, may be seen in mid-October. The migration ebbs in November but that is the time to see golden eagles and northern goshawks.

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Is there another mountain lion roaming Elizabethtown? Or still one there? Or are people seeing things?

Devin Shriner, the grandson of Katharine Wagner of Mount Joy, took this photo the morning of Aug. 13 on Masonic Village property.

She said other people stopped to stare at the animal and that one woman followed it until it disappeared into a cornfield.

A Masonic Village security officer, seeing the photo, dismissed the siting as an oversized stray cat that had been seen in the area.

Wagner said it looked like a bobcat or baby mountain lion and definitely was not a cat.

She and her grandson are not the first to think they have seen a cougar in the Elizabethtown area.

In 1992, an Elizabethtown man and his neighbor claimed they came within 15 feet of a mountain lion behind Groff Avenue on the edge of farmer's field and woods.

And in January 2006, an Elizabethtown man said he spotted a growling mountain lion in the Cedar Manor development on two successive nights.

Wildlife Management Unit 5B, which includes almost all of Lancaster County, has exhausted all its antlerless deer licenses.

The only WMU's that still have antlerless licenses are 2A, 2B, 3B, 3D, 5C and 5D.

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