Doug Pifer

Welcome Back, Bob White!

The whistled call, “Bob-White,” is seldom heard here anymore. But that may be about to change. Interested farmers and landowners in Virginia and West Virginia now have an opportunity to bring the cheerful littl...

Vultures Smell Opossum in the Air

While getting hay for the animals recently, I discovered a very big opossum had died in the barn during the night. I carried the carcass outside the paddock in my manure fork, thinking I would dispose of it lat...

Rough-Wings Are Somber Swallows

I saw my first rough-winged swallow when I was a teenager fishing along a creek in western Pennsylvania. I thought it wasn’t much to look at. It had a graceful swallow shape, but otherwise it was plain and dull...

Otters Are Back in our Rivers

On August 25, my wife and I saw a road-killed otter on Route 45 (between Martinsburg and Shepherdstown) near where it crosses the Opequon Creek. We decided this was worth a second look and returned later. Th...

Song of the Wood Thrush

It’s been a cool, dry spring, but now a welcome spell of mild, rainy weather softens the evening. Distant thunder rumbles a counterpoint to the wood thrush singing in the woods behind the barn. Fifty years a...