Spring migration will bring millions of birds to Ohio in the coming months, and the Lake Erie Birding Trail offers a great opportunity to view many rare and exciting species, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
The Lake Erie Birding Trail encompasses the Ohio shoreline and inland areas from Conneaut in the east to Toledo in the west. More than 80 primary birding sites are highlighted along the trail, which is divided into seven loops: Ashtabula, Cleveland, Huron and Lorain, Sandusky Bay, the Lake Erie Islands, the western Lake Erie marshes and the Oak Openings. The sites within each loop are similar in habitat and landscape. People can visit the entire trail in one trip or explore the trail loop by loop.
Many birds migrate north in the spring to reach their breeding grounds. Nearly 400 different species of birds have been spotted in these areas, and these sightings typically occur in spectacular numbers. A diverse group of migrant songbirds fill lakeside woodlands. Waterbirds pack marshes and the open lake waters, and secretive marsh birds breed in coastal wetlands.
Help protect wildlife and habitat when visiting the Lake Erie Birding Trail by following designated trails and respecting private property. Use binoculars or zoom lenses to get close to birds, and avoid chasing or flushing them.
Visit the Lake Erie Birding Trail website at lakeerieohiobirding.info for bird identification tips, checklists, events and facts on the Great Lakes. More birding resources are available at wildohio.com.
Birders and others who enjoy nature and want to help fund conservation in Ohio can now purchase the 2013 Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp. This year’s collectible stamp features a black-capped chickadee photographed by Sheffield Village resident Bruce DiVaccaro. The sale of the Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp benefits the Wildlife Diversity Fund, which is used to protect and manage wild animals and their habitats.
Image courtesy Ohio Department of Natural Resources