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Human Interest - Bensalem Township

Jerry’s Journal: Blue Jays Treat Kid Campers to Show

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The following story is submitted to Lower Bucks Source by the Silver Lake Nature Center as part of a developing relationship and sharing agreement. 

Every two weeks SLNC will be submitting content about the flora & fauna, events, and/or topical stories highlighting one of Bucks County’s “Jewels” to inform the public of all that SLNC has to offer. Jerry’s Journal will be a part of the sharing agreement and will run from time to time

Jerry’s Journal: Blue Jays 

The summer air was sultry and bright. Our breath felt thick in our lungs as our group of intrepid summer camp students and I peered through the dense foliage of the swamp in search of wildlife. The heavy silence was broken by a screech of “Jay! Jay!” from above in the tree tops. We scrambled forward to catch a glimpse of the creature making such a raucous sound. A flash of blue feathers in the canopy and our assumption is confirmed; it was indeed a Blue Jay.  

This large crested songbird with its brilliant blue, white, and black feathers is a year – round resident of this part of the world. What most people don’t know is that these relatives of the crow are highly intelligent and have tight family bonds.  

Photos by Dawn Denner

My young companions crouched in awe watching several Blue Jays circling and diving at a plump Grey Squirrel that sat on the ground undaunted, eating a cache of acorns. Acorns are the Blue Jays’ favorite food, and these birds are thought to have serendipitously aided the spread of Oak Trees after the last ice age due to their fondness of them. The crest of a Blue Jay can be raised and lowered and corresponds to its aggression level. The higher the crest, the more agitated the bird. This family of Blue Jays had their crests completely raised!

Photos by Dawn Denner

The children giggled as this chunky Grey Squirrel refused to move even with all the noise and diving from the Jays. Suddenly from high in the mighty Oak came the unmistakable call of the Red-tailed Hawk, a known predator of squirrels!  The Grey Squirrel, hearing the hawk call, raced for the closest tree and scampered up quickly to hide. The family of Blue Jays then dived onto the acorns, all except one lone Jay that stayed high in the tree. Much to the astonishment of the children this Blue Jay gave out a loud call that sounded like a Red-tailed Hawk! This species of bird, known for imitating other bird calls, had imitated the hawk to scare off the squirrel. This was an example of mimicry at its finest. After all the acorns were gone, we tromped off back to the Nature Center imitating hawk calls as we did so.

 

Upcoming Events at SLNC 

Intro to Kayaking  – July 18 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Moonlight Kayaking Excursion– July 18 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Changed from Saturday, April 11th, 10am – 2pm TO Saturday, October 10th!! 

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Barbara Campbell

    June 28, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    Great content Jerry and as usual great photos Dawn.

  2. Marty Shively

    June 28, 2020 at 8:54 pm

    Great Job & interesting story. Way to go Jerry & Dawn.

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Health - Bensalem Township

Funding for Bensalem Water Main Replacement Secured

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Bensalem Township will be allotted funding from a $77.5 million loan through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) for a water main replacement project, announced Rep. K.C. Tomlinson (R-Bucks).

PENNVEST funding specifically serves projects in Pennsylvania that focus on sewer, storm water and drinking water projects.

The loan will be distributed to 16 municipalities across southeastern Pennsylvania for water main replacement projects.

“I am happy to say Bensalem is included in this vital project in the southeast,” said Tomlinson. “Making sure our water mains are updated means our drinking water is safe and quality service is provided to the consumers.”

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Falls Township

Bucks Judge Orders Triple Killer Committed for 60-Day Mental Health Evaluation

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The man accused of killing three family members, hours before the Levittown St. Patrick’s Day parade causing it to be cancelled followed by a hours long manhunt, has been ordered to be evaluated at a state behavioral health facility.

Andre Gordon 26, a homeless Trenton, N.J man who is charged with three counts of first-degree murder, and three counts of second-degree murder in connection to his March 16 rampage in Lower Bucks County has been ordered to undergo a competency evaluation by a Bucks County Judge Raymond F. McHugh.  The evaluation period is not to exceed 60 days, court records show.]

Mr. Gordon is to be committed to Norristown Hospital or Torrance State Hospital under the Mental Health Procedures Act (AKA 302 and 302 b.) for psychiatric evaluation and treatment, said Manuel Gamiz Jr., director of communications for the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office. He added the facts about the petition are publicly available at this link. 

Killed in Gordon’s alleged killing spree was his 52-year-old stepmother, Karen Gordon, 13-year-old sister, Kera Gordon, and 25-year-old mother of his children, Taylor Daniel.

3/16/24 Andre Gibson

In May, Gordon was charged with aggravated assault and disarming a law enforcement officer —and eight related offenses stemming from an incident in the Bucks County Correctional Facility.

District Attorney Jennifer Schorn said she is seeking the death penalty, if the case goes to trial.

Marcel Johnson, now 31, is the last Bucks County resident sentenced to death. He was convicted in 2015 for the 2013 killing of five months pregnant Ebony Talley, 22, and daughter R’mani Rankins, 4. Rankins murder is what earned Johnson the death penalty.  The last person executed in Pennsylvania was Gary Heidink in 1979 by lethal injection.

 

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Human Interest - Bensalem Township

Bucks Co Appoints New CEO of Library System

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Bucks County has a new library system director.

The Bucks County Free Library (BCFL) Board of Directors appointed Dana Barber as the library system’s new chief executive officer at their June 17, 2024 board meeting.

She assumed the role beginning on July 15.

Barber has served as director of the Margaret R Grundy Memorial Library in Bristol Borough for the past 10 years, with a focus on creating strategic partnerships to enhance library services.

She received the 2023 Certificate of Merit from the Pennsylvania Library Association in recognition of her leadership skills.

“I’m looking forward to working with the dedicated team at BCFL to continue to enhance library services and foster meaningful relationships with patrons and partners,” Barber said.

Barber is excited by the new opportunity to share her vision for public library services as leader of the county system.

“Our libraries are vibrant community hubs providing access to high-quality information, essential support and education, and equitable spaces. They truly are for everyone!” she said.

Outgoing Chief Executive Officer, Martina Kominiarek, has served as the library’s CEO for more than 20 years.

“With Dana at the helm, I’m confident we’ll continue to thrive and innovate, serving our communities in even more dynamic and impactful ways,” she said.

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