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. My yard list for the year was growing steadily. Not a spectacular spring season, and a bit disappointing, since I had high expectations because of being home every day, hoping for days of old when fallouts of warblers were so phenomenal.
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.
Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society (WCAS) Conservation Project Lab Update By Kurt Miske, Chair, Conservation Committee
The Conservation Project Lab is a forum to generate and bring to fruition projects that promote the well-being of birds (and, therefore, plants and animals including humans) by means of conservation and education. Projects are generally expected to be self-sustainable, although they may need seed money. Now in its second year, the Lab is currently engaged in several projects.
Royal Oaks, Lorain County Metro Parks Chimney Swift Tower Project by Amanda Sebrosky, Founder, Northeast Ohio Chimney Swift Conservation Society
"My vision is to make Northeast Ohio a chimney swift haven by building hundreds of towers in every park and school in Northeast Ohio as well as in backyards of private residences where open spaces exist. Additionally, I hope to engage citizens to help with monitoring activity at towers helping me keep a database of locations and possibly population counts." - Amanda Sebrosky
During the first week of November, Western Cuyahoga Audubon and David Lindo engaged with not only our valued Audubon chapter members, but also with youth birders and naturalists, including the children of the Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland, East Clark Middle School Bird Nerds, and Ohio Young Birders Club.
It’s Beginning to The Gift of Helping Birds this Holiday Season - Christmas Bird Count Participation
Nearly Three Billion Birds Gone. How Can We Help? By Michelle Brosius, Western Cuyahoga Audubon Board Member
What is the culprit of plummeting bird populations? The usual suspects: habitat loss, pesticides, and climate change. However, a few other offenders are now in the spotlight: outdoor cats, light pollution, and building/window collisions. It seems bird population decline is a complex problem that will require more than one solution. Fortunately, there are many ways in which we can help.
The Feathered Flyer blog publishes human interest stories about birding and habitat conservation.
Visit the Western Cuyahoga Audubon Virtual Conference Center for a listing of chapter events.
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Christmas Bird Count-Lakewood Circle
Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society
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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.