How many times have you walked, biked, or driven through Presque Isle State Park and wondered what kinds of wildlife are hiding beyond the main road?  Well, the animals may think they are hiding but they are not. Naturalists at the park have been using various types of cameras to keep track of the creatures and they're very excited to share the pictures and the video.

Ray Bierbower and Brian Gula are environmental education specialists at the state park.  They were provided with trail cameras, camcorders, and still cameras during the early days of COVID to share scenes from the park during the pandemic.  They're still doing that today.

"We've been collecting this for almost two years now and we've got a lot of great stuff on camera that we can share some stories with…and our experiences,” says Ray.

"We're now trying to record everything that we do.  Kind of to give you a little peek, I guess, through the eyes of a naturalist of what we may be involved with here,” adds Brian.

Ray and Brian host a video podcast every month to showcase some of the wildlife they captured with the cameras. This month they shared a photograph of a dove-sized raptor called a Merlin.  They also shared photos of some nice sized bucks.  The podcasts are a big hit.

"Not everybody is local that we get.  We've reached people across the country and Canada through our virtual programming. So we have a little following in that sense,” says Ray.

There were many highlights from this month's show including a magnificent Tundra Swan seen near the Presque Isle Marina.  It migrated from the frozen waters of Canada and found some open water at Presque Isle.    You never know what kind of wildlife you can see at Presque Isle or where you will see it.  A mink was caught on camera at the front door of the Tom Ridge Center.  The naturalists love to share those kind of pictures with the public along with all their stories.

"I've seen fishermen, and a mink would actually come up behind them and steal a minnow out of their minnow bucket,” said Brian with a laugh. 

Coyotes and turkeys were the stars of this month’s podcast, along with the Merlin, the Tundra Swan, the deer, and the mink.

The monthly video podcast is available only by registering in advance.  The next broadcast is Wednesday, January 25 at 10 a.m. To register, visit  Scroll down until you see the desired program then click the orange “Register” button.