In February of 2017, I was fascinated with birds in Cleveland soon after coming to the U.S. and decided to jump into one of Spring Bird Walks.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." ~ Margaret Mead
Two international ambassadors have been recognized for their stellar leadership qualities by Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society Board members as lifelong representatives of the chapter and to share the Audubon mission: Kaoru Tsubone, Ambassador to Japan, and David Lindo, Global Ambassador.
Our spring was cold and long, we had a late hard frost on 16 May, but after that it slowly warmed up. Migrants began to dribble in and soon the warblers, tanagers, orioles, and beautiful Indigo Buntings were flitting through the meadow, the trees, and visiting our feeders.
Adventures in Construction of a Chimney Swift Tower by Amanda Sebrosky, Founder, Northeast Chimney Swift Conservation Society
Visiting Royal Oaks, Lorain County Metro Parks garage construction site of the new Chimney Swift Tower. In collaboration with Becah Troutman, Natural Resource Land Steward and Amanda Sebrosky, Founder, NEO Chimney Swift Conservation Society. Photos by Betsey O'Hagan.
Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society partnered with Northeast Ohio Chimney Swift Conservation Society to help fund a Chimney Swift tower being built by Justin Duricky for his Eagle Scout project.
The Scarlet Tanager is widespread during the summer in most of the eastern U.S. and lower parts of Canada. Spending winters in northern South America it migrates through southern states to breed in deciduous and mixed deciduous-coniferous forests.
When I retired from the Federal Government and prepared to return to Ohio from the DC area in 2013, I honed in on finding a location with green space where I could garden and watch the birds. I found the ideal spot, a condo near the Cuyahoga Valley National Park that had a steep bank in the back yard that was in dire need of beautification.
While many North American bird species are in decline, few groups are in as steep a drop as the grassland species. Further reading on the topic can help provide focus on the scary details and the steps being taken to help.
When I learned about Honey Run Highlands, I kept this place in mind as it is much closer to home for me. Some bird species are easier to come by in the southern parts of Ohio. Honey Run Highlands is not way south but south enough. In the earlier part of May I took a day off work and made the trip specifically to see a Prairie Warbler. I did get to see that and more.
I love trillium in spring as many wildflower enthusiasts do. Over the last few years I've learned of the several species found in Ohio, some more common than others. In Ohio Painted Trillium (Trillium undulatum) is rare. I had never seen it although I understand it is quite common just east of Ohio. So when I got a tip that a small population of Painted Trillium exists in Ashtabula County on property managed by The Nature Conservancy I got excited.
Expanding the use of native plants in our landscapes allows us to shrink the monoculture of a lawn, eliminate the use of pesticides, and eliminate invasive plants in our gardens. All good things to do if we want to attract birds, pollinators, and beneficial insects to our backyard retreats.
"I recorded the voice of the Japanese Bush Warbler under a Japanese maple tree while standing on a trail wrapping around a pond next to the ancient tombs of an empress."
This mid-spring flower’s occurrence coincides with the arrival of another of Nature’s most beloved flying jewels: the ruby-throated hummingbird.
On World Migratory Bird Day 2020, I look out my window at falling snow. Ohio residents are limiting travel due to pandemic restrictions and getting outdoors as much as possible while safely practicing social distancing. WCAS is doing its part to keep the celebration alive through their media. I've compiled seasonal bird photos from my years as an Ohio resident. I hope you enjoy them and get to see these celebrities outdoors soon for yourself!
Wildflowers do so much more than beautify our landscapes. They are essential components of life: food for insects, birds and other animals, soil builders for healthy forests, medicines for humans, and even predecessors for our familiar garden flowers. Their beauty and utility has been written about for millennia, and with good reason.
On Saturday, April 4, 2020 WCAS Board members wowed 10 Ohio Audubon chapters at the Council of Ohio Audubon Chapters (COAC) Spring Gathering. The gathering was to take place in Columbus, but with the COVID-19 outbreak was hosted virtually. Participating chapters found that videoconferencing may be one of the ways to keep in touch with certain audiences.
Make A Donation to Northeast Ohio Chimney Swift Conservation Society to Help Build One More Tower. Chimney Swift populations have declined by 70% since 1966. There are many factors contributing to this decline but one big reason is lack of habitat. Make a donation to WCAS to grow Northeast Ohio Chimney Swift Conservation Society efforts to build swift towers. Use our safe and secure PayPal payment button below to make a donation in any amount.
The COVID-19 pandemic will pass and, yes, things will be different in all our lives. This has given us the chance to look more closely at the natural world right in our backyard, our neighborhood or nearby green space. It has given many of us time to slow down and stay put for a while, a little like meditation. It has given us time to look around and maybe some introspection. There will be an 88th year of Spring Bird Walks. We want to see you there.
Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society featured as chapter success story’s at Council of Ohio Audubon Society-COAC’s "Building Up by Reaching Out: Growing Membership and Leadership" on Saturday, April 4, 2020.
“The park will be quintessentially Cleveland,” says Isaac Robb, Director of Urban Projects for WRLC, “because the surrounding neighborhood is densely populated.” It will feature a system of trails that Lizzie Sords, Manager of Urban Forestry for WRLC, calls “multi-modal.” That means that hikers, bicyclists, and birders can use them.
If you ask what I’m passionate about, I would say stewardship. I would say that we, that people, have a critical responsibility for preserving and protecting our natural resources. Not just for the protection of the environment, for the plants and animals that live there, but also for the ecosystem services that ecosystems used to support humans.
American Robins in the winter seem so much more deeply hued - a charcoal colored head which makes the white markings on the throat and around the eye more noticeable, the gray of the back and wings, and the rusty red breast and belly. The feathers are crisp and fresh. As the wings fold, I admire how the feathers align and overlap. Perfect.
Imagine a park in the city where there has been a dump site for 30 years. That’s what’s coming this year on the near west side of Cleveland!
Towers for Chimney Swift Nesting by Amanda Sebrosky, Founder, Northeast Ohio Chimney Swift Conservation Society
Chimney swifts are unique birds. They cannot stand or perch but are adapted to grasping the inside of old hollow trees and masonry chimneys and they catch all their food while in flight. They can eat a third of their body weight in mosquito-sized insects daily, which makes them a great friend to humans.
The Feathered Flyer blog publishes human interest stories about birding and habitat conservation.
After watching, ‘My Painted Trillium Quest' by Tom Fishburn, Kim Langley, WCAS Member said, “Wonderful! It was a lift just knowing that such a site exists and is being protected!”
Visit the Western Cuyahoga Audubon Virtual Conference Center for a listing of chapter events.
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WCAS is a proud member of The Council of Ohio Audubon Chapters (COAC) and promotes chapter development by sharing the best practices, brainstorming solutions to common problems, and building relationships in workshops and retreats. Subscribe
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Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society
4310 Bush Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44109
Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your donation is tax-deductible. The tax ID number is: 34-1522665. If you prefer to mail your donation, please send your check to: Nancy Howell, Western Cuyahoga Audubon Treasurer, 19340 Fowles Rd, Middleburg Hts, OH 44130. © 2020 Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society. All rights reserved. Website by Betsey O'Hagan.