The preserve boasts one of the best and largest ridge-top heath barrens in Pennsylvania. Color abounds in spring and fall. Look for painted trillium (Trillium undulatum) in late spring on the forested ridges. This low plant has a small white flower with a crimson heart nestled in the center of three dark-green leaves.
Moosic Mountain also harbors an array of birds, butterflies and moths—including the globally-rare sallow moth and barrens buckmoth (Hemileuca maia maia). You'll see the moth with its distinctive black bands only when it emerges from underground pupae in the fall. Throughout the spring and early summer, its showy larvae, a spiny black and yellow caterpillar with irritating spines that look like neon anemones, feed almost exclusively on scrub oaks.
Visit the preserve during spring to witness songbird migration. Documented breeding birds at Eales include prairie warbler, black-and-white warbler, chestnut-sided warbler, hermit thrush, northern harrier and broad-winged hawk.
The small, zebra-striped songbird black and white warbler (Mniotilta varia) breeds in Pennsylvania's forests each summer and spends its winters as far south as Colombia and Venezuela. You may see it creeping along branches searching for insects, but are more likely to hear its very high-pitched twonote song, which some describe as a squeaky wheel.
With its flute-like song, the hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) has been lauded by Walt Whitman and is, to many, the voice of Moosic Mountain. The hermit thrush breeds and forages for insects and berries in northeast Pennsylvania's forests after a long journey from its wintering grounds in the southern United States and south to Central America.
The northern harrier hawk (Circus cyaneus) can often be seen gliding on the thermals, currents that flow across the mountain ridges. Its feathers are streaky brown, but this low-flying hunter is most recognizable by its long tail, white rump and slightly rounded wings.
Game species such as white tail deer, black bear, turkey, ruffed grouse, snowshoe hare and coyote can also be found at the preserve.
Ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) is Pennsylvania's state bird. At the peak of the spring mating season, at dawn, you might see a male fanning his tail and drumming-beating the air with his wings to attract a female. Some say it sounds like a car engine starting up.
Whether wearing its tawny summer coat or pure white winter fur, the snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus) can be recognized by the black tips of its ears. The Central Appalachians mark the southern end of the hare's range, so its large, furry feet equip it well for the snowiest of Pocono winters.
Contact TNC’s Hauser Nature Center in Long Pond for information about hunting on or near the preserve.