Sharp-shinned hawk. Photo by Jonathon Irons, Maryland Biodiversity Project

Sharp-shinned hawk in Queen Anne's County, 2020. Photo by Jonathan Irons, Maryland Biodiversity Project

Updated: December 13, 2021
By Andrew Kling , Jonathan S. Kays , and Nancy Stewart

In our Summer 2021 issue...

Registration is now open for two online courses offered by University of Maryland Extension's Woodland Stewardship Education program! Also, learn about that returning pest, the gypsy moth, and how you can use handheld GPS in your woodlands. Our regular features include the "Woodland Wildlife Spotlight," "Invasives in Your Woodland," plus the events calendar, the Brain Tickler challenge, and the News and Notes section.

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GPS Isn't Just for Going to the Store

Jonathan Kays, Forestry Specialist

Many people confuse the GPS available on a smartphone that requires a cell phone tower signal with that of a handheld GPS unit or one in a car (such as Sirius radio or GPS navigation) that works anywhere directly from satellites. There is a big difference, because once you are out in the woods or in rural areas, cell towers are few and far between. This has spawned a large industry of handheld recreational GPS units that have multiple uses for woodland owners.


Becoming a Steward of the Land: UME Forestry Program Offers Certification Course

Learn to be a steward of the land this fall with the University of Maryland Extension General Forestry Course. This online course will be offered beginning Sept.1 through Dec. 15, 2021.

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Registration is Now Open for “The Woods in Your Backyard” Online Course

Our course is designed primarily for small-acreage property owners who want to learn how to care for or expand existing woodlands, or to convert lawn space to woodlands. The self-directed, non-credit online course runs for ten weeks, from September 6 to November 15.

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Woodland Wildlife Spotlight: Sharp-shinned Hawk

Andrew A. Kling, Faculty Associate

The sharp-shinned hawk is unlike many of the raptors that make a home in Maryland. Some, such as the osprey or the bald eagle, migrate to warmer habitats; others, such as a variety of owls and other hawks, will remain year round. The sharp-shinned hawk, apparently, does both, depending on where in the state it resides.

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Invasives in Your Woodland: Porcelain-berry

Andrew A. Kling, Faculty Associate

Porcelain-berry is a deciduous, climbing, woody vine introduced from northeast Asia in the 1870s. It became popular for its tolerance of adverse conditions and its ability to provide ground cover. However, it is an aggressive plant that invades damp, shady areas such as streambanks, forest edges, pond margins, and disturbed areas, and forms dense mats that crowds out native vegetation.

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Forest Pests: Gypsy Moth

Nancy Stewart & Agnes Kedmenecz, Woodland Stewardship Education Program - Wye Research & Education Center

What methods can be used to control gypsy moths? The key is understanding the life cycle.  As stewards of the land, it’s up to us to keep the gypsy moth in check by walking our woods often, keeping an eye open for their presence, and taking the steps necessary to minimize their impact. 

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Events Calendar

August 13, 2021, 12:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Forestry Friday series: Assessing the Health of Your Woodlands Workshop
Western Maryland Research & Education Center, Keedysville, MD
Our Forestry Friday series is back! Join us to learn about two new tools to help you better manage your woodlands: the “HealthyWoods” app and the “Woodland Health Assessment Checklist.” CECs approved for SAF and ISA, and applied for for Maryland Tree Expert. The workshop costs $12 per person and registration is limited. For more information and to register, go to

August 18, 2021, 12:00 noon - 1:00 pm
Woodland Wildlife Wednesday webinar series: Wildlife Ecology and Management in Maryland
The Woodland Wildland Wednesday webinar series continues with Luke Macaulay, wildlife biologist with the University of Maryland Extension. He’ll present a broad overview of ecological principles applicable to wildlife management in Maryland, with highlights of how to identify plants and animals and best practices to manage habitat to support wildlife and reduce problems. Join us to learn more about The webinar is free, but registration is required. For more information and to register, visit this Eventbrite link:

August 27, 2021, 9:00 am - 12:00 noon
Maryland’s Forests - Great for the Environment and the Economy
Rocky Gap State Park, Flintstone MD
Join the Maryland Forests Association at the western regional meeting to learn more about the state of Maryland forestry, market opportunities, and how conservation and utilization are equally important elements of sustainable forestry. The meeting is free; go here to register (required). See this website for the schedule of additional regional meetings.