About Webb Weekly

Webb Weekly is a family-oriented newspaper direct mailed to over 58,000 homes each week.

Webb Weekly

280 Kane St. STE #2
South Williamsport, PA
United States

Phone & Fax

Phone: 570-326-9322
Fax: 570-326-9383

Get In Touch With Us

Latest Issue


The Roving Sportsman… The Season of Birth – The Season of Death

For all of us who enjoy the out of doors and watching nature at its best, springtime is a wonderful season to observe some of the greatest moments in the world of wildlife. It is the time of year when all manners of birds and mammals give birth and nurture their young — replenishing and

For all of us who enjoy the out of doors and watching nature at its best, springtime is a wonderful season to observe some of the greatest moments in the world of wildlife. It is the time of year when all manners of birds and mammals give birth and nurture their young — replenishing and regenerating their species. It makes these weeks throughout the process even more rewarding to spend time outdoors, observing nature and their young.

Already, throughout Lycoming County, I have witnessed and heard reports of newly born ducklings, turkey poults, and now numerous sightings of freshly born fawns. Probably the most often seen are the new fawns as they wobble and rock back and forth trying to establish their balance so they can walk to the does that gave birth to them and take nourishment from the nutrient-rich milk that she provides.

Black bears have been out of their winter dens for some time and provide one of the more unique sights when a mother bear shows up with her cubs, usually numbering from one to four. It is quite a sight to see a Mama bear appear with four cubs trailing behind her. It is not unusual, when there are three or four cubs, to have one, in particular, that is noticeably the runt of the litter.

For the last several weeks, hen turkeys have been seen out in fields by themselves as they feed throughout the day gaining nourishment with clover leaves, grasses and the occasional insect or two. And, now they are beginning to appear with a string of young poults in trail. A family of young poults can number from two or three to almost a dozen and are funny to watch as they scurry back and forth, always under the watchful eye of the mother hen. She is usually standing tall, head stretched up looking for any airborne or ground traveling predators. If approached by any bird or animal that is interested in snacking on her young, she can be very aggressive and quite lethal.

To the watchful eye, both wood duck and mallard duck young have been visible over the last several weeks as well. The Mother Hen is always in close proximity as the busy little ducklings are swimming all around strengthening their legs and flapping across the surface of the water as they strengthen their wings.

Within a matter of just a few weeks, young turkey poults will be able to fly up to lower branches of trees to avoid ground predators. Ducklings will also be able to fly to safety after an amazingly short amount of time strengthening their legs and wings.

It is an amazing transition to watch a newly born fawn wobble and try to gain its “feet” until, in just a few days, he is quite adept at following behind his mother. For the first few weeks of his life, he has no scent. It is part of his defense against ground predators. Additionally, his mother teaches him to hide, usually in tall grass, and all curled up in a ball while lying as motionless as possible to avoid predation. It is quite amazing to come across a fawn and look closely to watch only the slow movement of his nostrils, as all of his other body parts remain perfectly still.

Yes, it is an amazing time of the year, as the new crop of young come into the world and romp and run about as they quickly grow in their first few months of existence and sooner than you can imagine become independent of their parents. But, along with this period of joy and pleasantness comes the reality of the other part of the equation — that death is also prevalent this time of year.

An excessive amount of cold temperatures, combined with too much rain, can be a deadly environment for young of all shapes and sizes. If one of the young in a litter is a runt, these first few weeks will either allow him to become stronger and survive or wither away if it is unable to keep up with the rest of the gang.

And then there is the predation that occurs among all of the young of the species. Hawks, owls, and eagles will be targeting young birds and mammals. Coyotes, bobcats, raccoons and even black bear are very active this time of year predating on young birds and animals. It is an interesting fact that black bear are recorded as taking more young fawns than any of our other predators.

Yes, ‘tis the season of birth and of death, and it can provide some very entertaining observations, along with a few grim sightings as well.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Posts Carousel