[box] Have you noticed that many small ponds and bodies of water are suddenly occupied by various types of waterfowl? This is because many species of birds are migrating back to their breeding grounds! Some of these stops may be made into permanent nesting areas for spring, and some may be just a point of rest for a few days.[/box]
Many birds such as various types of waterfowl and warblers pass through our area- making it one of the most popular birding places in the country. Crane Creek State Park, Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, & Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge are just some of these areas. People from all over the world come to visit these places in April and May to view and take pictures of the many different types of birds. In 2008, Magee Marsh was ranked as the most visited place by birders. On average, 90,000 birders visit Magee Marsh in the month of May.
There are many, many species of Ohio birds that migrate. All species of ducks migrate, which is why these guys are showing up in various small ponds this time of year. Many song birds also migrate, the most famous being the various types of warblers. Owls, shorebirds, and hawks are also migrating birds. Migration patterns can vary from the northern arctic tundra of Canada to the southern tip of warm South America. During their migration, many birds make impressive non-stop flights over large bodies of water such as Lake Erie and the Gulf of Mexico. Below are just three examples of Ohio migrating birds.
When many people think of migrating birds, they immediately think of the Canada goose. However, the actual migration of geese has been dropping. Many geese are choosing to over winter in their breeding areas or they simply do not go as far south as they used to. This is because of the availability of grain from farmering as well as a change in weather. For the most part, geese can be found in their nesting grounds of Canada during the summer and in southern parts of the U.S. and northern parts of Mexico during the winter. However, many geese stay year round in the northern half of the U.S.
For many, this little guy represents the idea of migrating warblers. Yellow warblers are one of the earliest warblers in their migration patterns- meaning they leave early in both the spring and the fall. Their summer breeding ground is in Alaska, Canada, and the northern parts of the U.S. Their wintering grounds are further south in Mexico and the northern tip of South America. Some yellow warblers will choose to fly over the Gulf of Mexico in a single trip. Others will take a further overland route through Mexico.
You may be thinking, “What’s that?” Well, this little bird has one of the longest migration patterns that passes through Ohio. Their journey starts in the southern parts of South America and migrates all the way up to it’s breeding grounds in the arctic tundra of northern Canada and Alaska. They can be seen resting in marshy areas like Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, and the surrounding wetlands like them.
[box] Did you read last week’s post about monarchs? If not, click here! You can also search the tags “your weekly schott of conservation” or “conservation” to view all of the “Your Weekly Schott of Conservation” posts![/box]