"With the mystery of creation and evolution of species, how can any one of us find our place in it? Much may depend more on our own imaginations and our hearts, than our intellect."
Connecting with Nature and its Wonders through Birds
By Tom Fishburn
Nature is fascinating! And that may be an understatement. With all the mystery associated with the creation and evolution of an incredible number of species, how can any one of us find our place in it? Much may depend more on our own imaginations and our hearts, than our intellect. One key is how accessible nature is to us in our own community.
Ohio is fascinating! “What” you say? Yes, indeed. With Lake Erie to the north and the Appalachians in the south, and so much in between, Ohio is a wonderful state to experience nature. Especially, for birds.
Feathered fliers are one of the most accessible creatures through which we can connect and enjoy nature. Whether close to home or on more distant day trips, birds can be found in any season. The diversity of habitats in Ohio offers opportunity for many species of breeding birds. And with its mid-western location, Ohio is known to be in the path of many migratory species that breed in Canada and winter to the south.
Birding has become one of the most popular of hobbies. More and more people are finding interest in identifying and learning about the hundreds of avian species that can be found. Groups such as the Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society provide camaraderie along with information for learning about and where to find birds.
Do you remember learning the difference between a Bluebird and a Blue Jay? Have you learned that a Flicker is a woodpecker? Raptors vary - with differences in buteos, accipiters, falcons, eagles, osprey, and vultures. Do you know that for many species of songbirds, it is the male only that sings? The list can go on but we begin with first steps and build from there. Grab a field guide and get outdoors.
If you decide to invest in binoculars you will be amazed the difference those make. For an investment of $200 or more your eyes will be opened to numerous colors, shapes, and sizes of our feathered friends.
When we catch the excitement of birds, we may start first in our own neighborhood and local parks. If we wander further we learn about the different habitats in Ohio and the birds that prefer those habitats. Drives and hikes to farms, forests, wetlands, beaches, and even urban areas all give you and me a greater connection to nature. The State of Ohio, along with its counties, cities, and townships have provided numerous opportunities for us to explore nature. Ohio even has a national park in Cuyahoga County and a popular national refuge in Ottawa County, along with numerous state wildlife areas, parks
While birding, we can connect deeper with our inner selves. And we may begin exploring other elements of our natural world - such as butterflies and wildflowers - as our eyes are opened to the wonders, the mysteries, and the many thrills of the created world around us.
The more we get outdoors throughout the seasons we witness the annual changes. Not only do leaves fall and trees bud and regrow leaves, birds and butterflies come and go regularly. Nests are built and new generations of life renew our spirits with hope. And we connect.
As I live through seasons and watch the changes I have mixed emotions. I see much beauty but sigh when it fades. But the closer I look my eyes open wider in amazement with each new discovery. With the realization how interdependent nature is, I understand nothing is lost. So, I too take my place more comfortably. Outdoors I feel like a kid in a big playground and younger than I really am. And with gratitude I hope to live more balanced, kinder and less selfish, so that I can make a difference in any little way I can by contributing to others’ joy and to the sustainability of this earth.
Consider the effect of the ripples started by all of us. In comfort and kindness we can each make a small difference. And together we can make a big difference.
Note: Information on these species was obtained from the The Cornell Lab's website allabout birds.org
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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!”
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