2 min

Tt post proposed - aug 5, 2016

I grew up in southeast Ohio too. Much of the forested land that my Dad and I hunted is gone, lost to strip mining. But years later after reclamation, some of those strip-mined lands now provide top-notch grassland habitat that hosts a wide variety of birds, including the uncommon Henslow's Sparrow, which is officially listed as "Near Threatened".

The birdwatching can be pretty good at landfills in the winter time when many gull species move into the area.

I've birdwatched at numerous city parks and scraps of land within Toledo city limits, and I think that people would be amazed at what can be found at different times of the year.

Even 6th_Floor knows about the Savannah Sparrows and Eastern Meadowlarks that nest or try to nest each year at the Marina District grassland. Those same species can be found at the grassland habitat, located on the UTMC grounds.

You can almost always find a Northern Mockingbird around the scruffy vegetation, located near the Great Lakes Museum and that Boyer ship in the Marina District. I've seen Northern Mockingbirds at several locations within Toledo. That southern bird continues to move northward.

Old city cemeteries are well-known birdwatching spots, such as Woodlawn Cemetery in Toledo. The cemetery promotes itself as a place to go to observe nature. If you want to see a red fox, Woodlawn is a good spot.

And northwest Ohio is an excellent spot to observe the bird migration. The northbound "spring" migration begins in our area in mid-February, and it ends in early to mid June. The start of the southbound "fall" migration can be observed around here in late June or early July, and it continues into early to mid December. Birds are migrating through the Toledo area for 9 to 10 months out of a year.

Once you start observing, you don't turn it off. You'll see and hear things everywhere at all times of the day and night. If you are strolling downtown Toledo at night in the summer, you will most likely hear the Common Nighthawk give its insect-like "peent" call as it flies around. You may even get a glimpse of this angular bird with the white patch on each wing.

You can hear songbirds migrate at night in the spring and fall. Most of my birdwatching for songbirds is done by ear.

Once you learn to identify the hundreds of birds that can be seen around Toledo by their plumage, then learn their songs, call notes, and flight calls. Once you get bored with that, then learn all the trees, shrubs, flowers, butterflies, dragonflies, moths, and other insects that can be found in the city.

"You can observe a lot by watching." - Yogi Berra

#nature

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