December 14, 2014
** 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 (12-5-14) 
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)
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 December 2014.
1 p.m. - "Animals of the Sky"
2 p.m. - "Back to the Moon for Good"
3 p.m. - "Dynamic Earth"
4 p.m. - "Animals of the Sky"  
Weekdays at 4 p.m. in December 2014.
.             Mon. - "Animals of the Sky" 
.             Tues. - "Stars"
.             Wed. - "Back to the Moon for Good"
.             Thurs. - "Two Small Pieces of Glass"
.             Fri    . - "Astrology: A Story of You" 
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

December 17, 2014            Wednesday    2 - 4 pm
Nolde Forest. Dress warmly. Meet at the Mansion parking lot. Nolde Forest is located on PA-625, 2 miles  south of PA-724.

Berks Mineralogical Society

December 9, 2014                   TUESDAY 7:30 PM
Mineral Exchange and Pot Luck Dinner.” Also, election of officers. Auditorium of the Reading Public Museum. All Welcome. Free

Mengel Natural History Society and Baird Ornithological Club

December 12, 2014                   FRIDAY 7:30 PM
Conservation Issues of Bats in Pennsylvania” by Dan Mummert, Wildlife Diversity Biologist with the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Dan's primary professional objective is to conserve and monitor the region's tremendous diversity of birds and mammals and provide guidance to private landowners on how they can better manage their land for species of concern and overall wildlife diversity. The Baird Ornithological Club hosts this program. Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center, PA-625 2 miles south of PA-724. All Welcome. Free

Geminid Meteor Shower
Geminid Meteor Shower this Saturday Night - December 13, 2014

December 13, 2014                   FRIDAY Evening - Best starting 10 pm.
For more information on one of the top two meteor showers of the year visit http://www.skyandtelescope.com/press-releases/geminid-meteor-shower-returns-december-13-14/.

Baird Ornithological Club

"Christmas Bird Counts in Berks County"
DECEMBER 14, 2014 (Sunday)    Reading Christmas Bird Count    
Compiler: Ken Lebo 610-856-1413
DECEMBER 21, 2014 (Sunday) Elverson Christmas Bird Count
Compiler: Bob Cook, 610-286-9919
DECEMBER 27, 2014 (Saturday)    Bernville Christmas Bird Count    
Compiler: Ed Barrell, 610-926-2962
DECEMBER 28, 2014 (Sunday)    Hamburg Christmas Bird Count    
Compiler: Laurie Goodrich, 570-943-3411 ext 106

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 only adults and egg masses are around. 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.