February 3, 2015
** Berks County Nature **
Since 2002
Nature Activities of Organizations in Berks County, Pennsylvania
This site contains information about programs, field trips, exhibits, and organizations relating to natural history in and around Berks County, Pennsylvania. Programs and events are open to the public.
Mengel Natural History Society  .To receive a monthly email notice of programs and field trips sponsored by the Mengel Natural History Society send an email request to .
Mengel Natural History Society
Page updated (2-1-15) 
Baird Ornithological Club
Baird flashbirdwalks   BOC Facebook page
Berks Mineralogical Society
 Butterflies seen by month in 2013
73 species seen. 20 in October
Updated (10-14-13)
Planetarium -Reading Public Museum
Lancaster Butterfly & Entomology Club
Butterfly Walks 2014 Updated (10-15-13) q
Reading Public  Museum
Birds seen in 2012 (262 species)
Berks County Conservancy
Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center
Yearly Berks Bird & butterfly sightings 2000-12
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary
Monocacy Hill Conservation
 Blue Mountain Eagle Climbing Club
Pike-Oley-District Preservation Coalition
Berks County Amateur Astronomical Society
Quittapahilla Audubon Society
Lebanon  County
 Blue Marsh Lake
Orchids of Berks County, Pennsylvania by Hans Wilkens
A checklist published by the MNHS.
 Tulpehocken Chapter - Trout Unlimited
 Muhlenberg Botanic Club
  Wednesday Botany Walks
Updated 12-14-14) 
 Green Lane Park
and Events Brochure
  Berks County RECYCLE info

 Woolly Bears and Look-alikes in Berks Co.
  Blue Mountain Wildlife

Don't Forget Other Great Local Sources for Natural History are listed below
Reading Planetarium
Star shows every Sunday in February and March 2015.
1 p.m. - "Legends of the Night Sky"
2 p.m. - "Tales of the Mayan Skies"
3 p.m. - "Realm of Light"
4 p.m. - "Jack Frost and the Skies of Winter"  
Weekdays at 4 p.m. in December 2015.
.             Mon. - "Our Place in Space" 
.             Tues. - "Clouds of Fire"
.             Wed. - "Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity"
.             Thurs. - "More than Meets the Eye"
.             Fri    . - "Jack Frost and the Skies of Winter" 
Check the link for admission, conflicts and other information. Free to Museum members.
Blue Mountain Wildlife

We welcome Blue Mountain Wildlife to the links table on Berks County Nature. Blue Mountain Wildlife Incorporated was formed to preserve the natural areas at Kernsville Dam on the Schuylkill River, helps maintain the Hamburg-to-Port Clinton portion of the Bartram Trial, and sponsors educational programs. To learn more about this organization visit their website above. "The Mission of Blue Mountain Wildlife, Incorporated, is the preservation and conservation of the wildlife and wetlands along the scenic Schuylkill River."

Wednesday Botany Walks

To continue in February 2015 (when weather permits).            Wednesday    2 - 4 pm

Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center

February 1, 2015                  Sunday   2:00 pm
"Frogs, Frogs, and more Frogs!" by Richard Bonnett, naturalist. This slide program will identify over 20 species of East Coast frogs and toads that inhabit the east coast states. Then we will look closely at the breeding cycle of a few species here in Berks County.A few western state odditieswill also be included. Bring the kids but leave the frogs at home! No live frogs will be on site for this program, . . just cool pictures for all ages to enjoy. Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center, PA-625 2 miles south of PA-724. All Welcome. Free.
Baird Ornithological Club

February 13, 2015             Friday 7:30 PM
Birds of Indiantown Gap by David McNaughton. Fort Indiantown Gap has been called the largest and highest quality native warm-season grasslands in the state. Learn about the use and occupation of the Gap for breeding, wintering, and migration of species such as the Chuck-will's-widow, Eastern Whip-poor-wil, Golden-winged Warbler, Grasshopper Sparrow, Prairie Warbler, and many more. Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center, PA-625 2 miles south of PA-724. All Welcome. Free.

Mengel Natural History Society

. February 27, 2015      Friday 7:30 PM
Bear Run Aggressive Stream Restoration from Coal Mining in Indiana County   by Scott Heidel. Scott works in the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) in the Bureau of Conservation and Restoration where he manages the stream restoration projects in the state and conducts the numeric modeling for the Bureau. He also writes success stories for watersheds they have restored and this is an example. Scott will discuss a new approach to to stream restoration: the "Watershed Renaissance Initiative." The initiative involves 8 phases which restores a stream in a narrow timeframe of five years. All welcome. Free.

Adult above, egg mass below.
Spotted Lanternfly QUARANTINE for five Berks County Townships

Spotted LanternflyThere is a QUARANTINE for District, Herford, Pike, Rockland, and Washington Townships in Berks County, PA.
All residents and visitors (such as hikers and hunters) to these townships and nearby areas should keep a lookout for these insects. Currently adults have died and egg masses are overwintering on tree trunks, rocks, fence posts, and other smooth surfaces. Pictures are at the web page below. ALL SIGHTINGS should be reported to the phone or email list on that page.

An excellent printable checklist by Penn State extension with good photographs of all the life stages plus an inspection checklist you should use before moving items out of the quarantined area is available at Spotted Lanternfly Checklist with Photos

This insect (a plant hopper native to SE Asia) was discovered for the first time in North America in September 2014. It is a potential threat to an array of plants from herbaceous plants to trees not only locally, but for the continent. Grapes are especially impacted and the insect prefers to feed on and lay eggs on Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus) at this time of year. The PA Agriculture web page for this insect is at Spotted Lanternfly. That page has links to the "Pest Alert" and quarantine regulations. The "Pest Alert" page has photographs of all the life stages and lists some plant hosts. Citizen scientists can report sightings or collected specimens to the automated Invasive Species Hotline at 1-866-253-7189 listed there or photographs may be sent to Badbug@pa.gov. A PDF of the study of the insect in Korea is available at Spotted Lanternfly - Korea

How many food
calories in a gallon of
Most of us know how many food calories an adult needs per day, so in the debate over making ethanol from corn to replace gasoline, wouldn't it be nice to know how many food calories there are in a gallon of gasoline? Can you skip breakfast and drive to work on the energy you didn't eat?
The answer is: the number of food calories in a gallon of gasoline is 31,500
For most adults this is the energy in about two weeks of food.
YOU can calculate this. How to calculate page.
Butterfly Enthusiasts
There is a small informal group of local butterfly collectors/observers in Berks Co. If you are interested in butterflies and would like to meet this group, contact. You are also invited to the butterfly walks found at the link at the top of the page.
You may contact the web master at the same address.
Other Great Local Sources for Natural History Activities and Information
Jack's Backyard, hosted by Jack Holcomb, on Saturdays at 8 to 10 am on WEEU, 830 AM, announces natural history activities at 8 am followed by 2 hours of call-ins and interviews about natural history. Rebroadcast on Sunday nights 10:00 p.m. to midnight.

Outside by Mike Slater is a nature column which appears weekly in the Berks Country insert of the Wednesday Reading Eagle. Links to these articles can be found at the Outside page of Berks Country.

The Weekend section of the Thursday issue of the Reading Eagle includes a "To Do" list which includes natural history activities. 

      Berks County Nature was created January 29, 2002.