The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

February 3, 2014

Bird(watcher)s of a feather flock together to program

MERCER — A dozen local bird enthusiasts flocked to Munnell Run Farm outside Mercer Thursday evening to learn about “backyard birding.”

The night flew by as the farm’s environmental educators, Jacqueline McCullough and Chris Mosebach, gave a presentation on the 20 different winter birds native to the area and their feeding preferences.

As the bird watchers migrated into the Pig Barn, now the education center of Munnell Farm, they chirped about their love for the winged creatures and shared their advice on feeding.

One participant suggested making your own suet – animal fat that is easily digested and metabolized by many birds – saying it saves money and the birds enjoy it more.

“The main theme for tonight is winter feeding,” McCullough said. “We are going to go through a pictorial journey of the common winter birds, their characteristics, their sound and their feeding preferences.”

Throughout the presentation the environmental educators offered up their own advice on bird watching and feeding, as the participants asked questions and gave tips of their own.

“Interesting fact is the mourning dove likes millet though a lot of other birds don’t,” McCullough said. “They keep a substantial amount in their gizzard and then will swallow a few pebbles to help break up and grind the millet. So if they seem as if they hang out all day it is because they will sit all day and digest the food.”

The youngest ornithologist in the crowd, Leah Hostetler, 9, of Mercer, said she began liking and watching birds thanks to her grandfather.

“My grandfather gave me the bird book and that is how I got interested,” Hostetler said. “I have liked birds for awhile now and I learned a lot tonight. My favorite birds are chickadees, owls and blue jays.”

Several of the participants in the program were married couples who enjoy bird watching together.

“My husband and I feed birds and we get all excited about it,” said Gloria Kane, of Mercer. “We have a heated bird bath and the birds are still getting into it in this cold. I love learning about birds and being able to identify the ones that we see. This is something my husband and I do together.”

Scott and Darlene Patterson, of Fredonia, said they live in the country and bird watching is one of their favorite hobbies to do together.

“We really enjoy feeding and watching the birds together. This was a really good program tonight and we are really glad to have such an organization and programs on the environment available in this area,” Scott said.

Munnell Run Farm contains 163 acres of cropland, woodland, pasture and forested wetland. It is owned by the county and managed by the farm’s foundation.

The mission of the foundation is to become a destination for various residents and organizations to explore and discover the interrelationship between agriculture, the natural and cultural environments and the economy.

The farm offers various courses on many topics throughout the year.

“We try to hold as many programs as we can,” Mosebach said. “Basically anything people are interested in and has to do with the outdoors or environment.”

For more information on Munnell Farm Run or any of their programs, visit

Text Only
Local News
  • Prison term upheld for sex offender

    A sex offender challenging a 4- to 8-year prison sentence for a probation violation lost an appeal of that sentence.

    April 23, 2014

  • Man, 24, must register as sex offender for life

    The Ohio man who exposed himself to Sharon girls on their way to school last fall must register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life when he gets out of jail.

    April 23, 2014

  • Man deemed predator – for now

    A former Sharon man was sent to the state prison system Tuesday for corrupting the morals of a teenage girl, but the question of whether his penalties under Megan’s Law will stand could be subject to future legal proceedings.

    April 23, 2014

  • Not even waste will be wasted

    Tom Darby admits he wishes the startup of the anaerobic digestion process at the Hermitage Water Pollution Control Plant had moved along much faster.

    April 23, 2014

  • 3rd Earth Fest draws families to Penn State

    Penn State Shenango’s Earth Fest has become a spring tradition for area residents.
    Families poured into downtown Sharon for the campus’ third annual sustainability celebration.

    April 22, 2014

  • Amish clean Shenango River Volunteers protect Shenango River

    Shenango River Watchers has spent more than a decade working to clean up the Shenango and improve recreational access to its water and banks.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • For many, recycling’s become way of life

    When Pennsylvania mandated curbside recycling for its larger municipalities in 1998 – those with more than 5,000 people – there was grumbling about government interference in the lives of everyday people.

    April 22, 2014

  • Many items can’t be thrown away

    The computer screen in front of you isn’t likely to do you much harm, at least not until it’s tossed in a landfill where the lead-filled components start to leak and eventually find their way into your drinking water, according to Jerry Zona, director of the Lawrence-Mercer County Recycling/Solid Waste department.

    April 22, 2014

  • David Sykes' solar panels Earthworks

    While touring Germany last year, David Sykes spotted solar panels resting in a residential back yard.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Burned using Icy Hot, woman claims

    A Grove City woman has sued Chattem Inc. and Rite Aid of Pennsylvania Inc., alleging she suffered a second-degree chemical burn using one of Chattem’s Icy Hot pain relief products.

    April 21, 2014

  • Family outing Family friendly

    “We’re No. 5’’ isn’t a sports cheer you’ll hear any time soon.
    But considering the lumps the greater area has gotten over the years on economic rankings, it’s an outright victory.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • To demolish or not Tear it down? Fix it up?

    In 2007, Richard D. Givens bought a home at 831 Knobwood Drive in Hermitage for $245,000.
    Today, the city of Hermitage is seeking the demolition of the now-vacant house, arguing the damage from water infiltration makes the structure not worth saving.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from April 19, 2014

    April 19, 2014

  • Man admits having child porn

    A Mercer man accused of soliciting and downloading photographs of nude teenage girls pleaded guilty April 8 to sexual abuse of children for possessing child pornography.

    April 19, 2014

  • Police getting new tool to fight crime

    Sharon police working at crime scenes will be putting a powerful new investigative tool to work as soon as next month.

    April 19, 2014