Today concludes the Biggest Week in American Birding with the active spring migration through Northwest Ohio – The Warbler Capital of the World. If you missed birdwatching this week, it’s ok – birds will not look at a calendar and stop their annual migration! The schedule of festival events lasted from May 8-17, boosting the local economy. Maumee Bay State Park reported visitors from all over the world, even from New Zealand! Spring migration through our area flies from mid-Feb to mid-June.
Northwest Ohio is a major corridor for migrating birds. They will rest in our metroparks, Maumee Bay State Park, and Magee Marsh before their flight over Lake Erie. Since our backyards are refuge for these birds too, creating a friendly habitat in our own backyards matters. Follow these tips:
-Keep cats indoors (they prey on birds)
-Break up the illusion that windows are an entrance to habitat (use window decals or pull down your shades so birds don’t thunk into them)
-Pick up trash (birds can get tangled in fishing line, 6-pk rings, and other junk)
-Create habitat components (bird baths and bird feeders). Check out how my friend, Mrs. Navarre, transformed her classroom window into a certified habitat: http://ohioschools.org/news/wea-successfully-creates-certified-wildlife-habitat
With the local hype over this special ecological week, I naturally filled my bird feeders for those beautiful migrating birds. The apple doesn’t fall from the tree. When I visited my parents today, they too had filled their feeders. My dad had even used his own recipe with venison fat to fill his suet feeders!
Kids learn from adults to care for the earth. I learned that care from my parents. Mrs. Navarre is teaching her students environmental stewardship through her certified habitat. Her lessons are often paused with the excitement of bird sightings at her classroom window. I was lucky enough to help plan and attend the kindergarten field trip to Oak Openings Metropark, where Mrs. Navarre’s and Mrs. Russell’s kindergarten students wowed the park staff with their bird i.d. skills – clearly inspired from their teachers. A little encouragement to pay attention to the environment goes a long way. These five year-olds were awe-struck by the migrating birds through Northwest Ohio (as seen in the picture below).