We get questions all the time about wildlife, water quality, conservation, and so much more. In this series, we invite our friends and supporters to submit their questions about specific topics and experts on our staff answer those questions in a video. We have covered questions about water quality and conservation.
For humans, winter is a time to bundle up, enjoy warm drinks, and sit by the fire—but how do other animals manage to survive the coldest season? Nature is full of impressive methods of winter survival, join Senior Naturalist Kristy Morley to learn more with this overview of how different animals cope with the cold.
Birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and even insects migrate, often over large distances and in great numbers. Kristy Morley, Senior Naturalist, uses birds as a foundation to explore migration timing, physical adaptations and navigation, and will also take a look at some other species that migrate in and through our area.
Learn about the remarkable courtship dance and song of the American Woodcock. This secretive bird puts on a display in the early spring and this program will teach you how to find them to see (and hear) it for yourself. Program presented by Senior Naturalist Kristy Morley.
Spring is upon us, and with it the return of wood warblers to our area. Small, fast, and various combinations of yellow and black, these birds can be challenging to identify. Watch this program for specific warbler ID strategies, including their songs. Presented by Senior Naturalist Kristy Morley.
On April 15, 2020, Margaret Rohde, Wissahickon Trails Conservation Manager and board member of Wyncote Audubon Society took us on a virtual tour of Crossways Preserve in Blue Bell, PA. She shared information about the unique landscape of meadows and woods, conservation projects, and more.
On April 23, 2020, Executive Director Gail Farmer gave a tour of our new website and trail finding tools. The new website focuses on enabling people to protect, steward, and enjoy our local land and waterways because we know that our mission can only be achieved in partnership with you. Our hope is that the website makes it easier for you to act on behalf of a healthy environment and do more of what you love - exploring the Wissahickon and all its charms.
On May 6, 2020 Wissahickon Trails hosted an online program called Creating Wildlife Habitat in Your Backyard. In this recording of the program, you will learn about how you can sustainably landscape your yard using native plants to benefit everything from wildlife to your electric bill. Our presenter, Cindy Nuss, owner of Nature’s Way Designs, LLC., explains why native trees, shrubs and perennials are so important for survival of everything from insects to birds as well as preservation of clean air and drinking water for future generations.
On May 14, 2020 Wissahickon Trails hosted an online program called Learning Birdsong. In this program, you will learn how to identify birds by their songs. Presented by Kristy Morley, Senior Naturalist, this program focuses on learning the songs of several common breeders with a dose of migrating warblers for good measure. You will learn tips and tricks for remembering bird songs as well as the latest technology tools to help you continue mastering bird song ID on your own.
On May 18, 2020 Wissahickon Trails hosted an online program called The Monarchs are Coming. In this program, you will learn all about monarch butterflies. We cover their lifecycle including their fantastic fall migration. We also discuss how we can use understanding monarchs as a springboard for conservation of other pollinators, and how you can contribute to monarch research right from your own backyard.
On May 20, 2020 Wissahickon Trails hosted an online program called Choosing Pollinator Plants for Your Garden. In this program presented by Cindy Nuss, owner of Nature's Way Designs LLC, you will learn how to convert your yard into a haven for beneficial butterflies, bees, moths and more – and without a lot of work! Planting for insects is easy and rewarding. You will not only have beautiful flowers and grasses, but also interesting and entertaining insects to enjoy, even if you don’t think that you have a green thumb.
On June 9, 2020 Wissahickon Trails hosted an online program called Birding 101. This program is meant for anyone who is interested in birding, but isn't sure where to start. We cover bird identification using birds of our area, how to use a field guide, binocular basics, and where to find birds. We also have some tips for backyard bird feeding.
On June 18, 2020 Wissahickon Trails hosted an online program called Wildlife of the Wissahickon. This presentation covers some of the common and uncommon residents of the Wissahickon watershed. Learn how you can help us monitor wildlife while you enjoy our trails and preserves. Program presented by Senior Naturalist Kristy Morley.
On June 23, 2020 Wissahickon Trails hosted a webinar on Waters of the Wissahickon. This presentation covers an overview of watershed health, some trends in water quality we have found through on-going monitoring programs, and actions you can take at home to protect water quality.
On July 9, 2020 we held a program called Fireflies: Jewels of the Night. Presented by Senior Naturalist Kristy Morley, this webinar dives into the fascinating world of the state insect of Pennsylvania! We cover some basic biology and lifecycle, and the hows and whys of firefly glows. Learn how to make your yard firefly friendly as well.
On July 16, 2020 we partnered with Backyard Eats to host the program, Environmentally Responsible Gardening. Presenters Chris Mattingly and Mike Bennett from Backyard Eats explore how to best use your space to experience the magic of homegrown food in an environmentally responsible and organic way. This webinar includes: best practices for garden design, planning, and maintenance, as well as a Q&A session for all of your gardening needs. Backyard Eats is a full service vegetable garden company based in Chestnut Hill, and serves residential and community serving clientele in the Greater Philadelphia area.
On July 21, 2020 Wissahickon Trails hosted an online program called Moths: Denizens of the Dark. To celebrate National Moth Week, we put together a webinar that helps folks discover more about these gorgeous nighttime critters. Senior Naturalist Kristy Morley provides footage from her own home moth station and explains how you can set up your own moth station for further exploration.
Click here for the common moth families handout (other nocturnal insects guide can also be found here).
On August 19, 2020 Wissahickon Trails hosted an online program called All About Butterflies. Learn about the wonderful world of butterflies during this virtual program! We will cover the basics of butterfly life cycles, common species of our area, and how to identify them. We will also discuss how to attract butterflies to your yard.
On August 25, 2020 Wissahickon Trails hosted an online program called Nature Photography.
Not sure what that aperture priority setting is for? Curious about how to compose a photo? In this program, we explain how to set up a good shot and use all your camera’s tricks to your advantage. Cameras of all kinds (point and shoot, DSLR, and smartphones) are welcome.
On September 2, 2020 Wissahickon Trails hosted an online program called Using iNaturalist for Wildlife Identification.
When you think of conservation, a smart phone may not be the first thing that comes to mind! However, your phone and the free iNaturalist app can help you identify wildlife you encounter and contribute valuable data to Wissahickon Trails’ conservation efforts.
On September 25, 2020 we held a program called Monarch Butterfly Migration & Tagging presented by Senior Naturalist Kristy Morley.
How long does it take a monarch to get to Mexico? Join us for the answer to this question and many more, as we dive deep into the spectacular migration and overwintering strategy of these amazing butterflies. Video footage from Wissahickon Trails monarch tagging project will also be shown.
On October 6, 2020, Senior Naturalist Kristy Morley hosted a virtual program called All About Salamanders. Watch the recording of this program to learn about one of the most important creatures of the forest (that most of us never see!). Viewers will learn about why they are so important, the species that live in our area, and how we use them to monitor forest health. Program includes footage from Wissahickon Trails Salamander Monitoring Project.
On October 20, Senior Naturalist Kristy Morley hosted a program called Vernal Pool Exploration. With temperatures falling, and winter weather on the horizon, learn about the puddles that will soon form on the forest floor. These unassuming puddles—better known as vernal pools—provide a unique ecosystem for a variety of amphibians and invertebrates. Learn about the functions of these pools and how you can help us monitor them in our area as part of Wissahickon Trails Citizen Science program.
On November 5, 2020, Senior Naturalist Kristy Morley hosted a virtual program called Backyard Bird Feeding. Learn how to create a safe haven for birds in your yard. We discuss setting up a bird feeding station, how to prevent window collisions, and the top 10 plants that you can plant for birds. Learn how you can provide valuable data to bird researchers by watching your backyard feeders.
On November 19, 2020, Senior Naturalist Kristy Morley hosted a virtual program called All About Owls. One of our most unique and mysterious family of birds, owls are most active when the rest of us are settling down for the night. In this webinar we will go over unique adaptations that make these birds so amazing, which ones call our area home and how to increase your chance of seeing them.
Bird surveys help us understand which birds rely on our preserves throughout the year, and allows us to document if and when changes occur. One way we monitor birds is by operating a summer banding station at Crossways Preserve. Trained staff capture and band wild birds to collect information about their populations that helps us, and the larger conservation community, understand what is driving bird declines so that we can be more focused in our work to conserve them.
Conservation Manager Margaret Rohde spots spring ephemerals along the Green Ribbon Trail, shares characteristics for identification, and describes some of the biology behind these unique wildflowers.
Sit back and enjoy a variety of backyard songbirds as they visit Community Outreach Manager Kelly Joslin's mealworm and suet feeders. Video was shot in early April 2020 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
You may have noticed Spotted Lanternflies have invaded the Montgomery County area in the past few years. You can help! Join Pat Oelschlager, Stewardship Assistant, as he walks through a step-by-step instruction of how to find and remove Spotted Lanternfly egg cases from trees and other surfaces.
NOTE: Please be careful and steer clear of poison ivy vines on trees while looking for Lanternfly egg cases!
To learn more about the Spotted Lanternfly, visit PennState Extension's website.
On a spring day, the air is filled with the sounds of songbirds. But at night, nature plays a different tune. The spring rains have awakened our local tree frogs from their long, winter slumber and they are out in force to sing and look for a mate. Community Outreach Manager, Kelly Joslin, shares fun facts about native tree frogs in this video.