Friday, May 8, 2015

Get Out and Go Birding!

Refuge Manager Jason Lewis shows Regional Chief of Refuges Charlie Blair and Deputy Regional Director Charlie Wooley some choice birding at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Eddy Pausch/USFWS.
International Migratory Bird Day is coming up this Saturday and Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge is one of the best places to watch spring migration. Known as the warbler capital of the world, northwest Ohio is a destination for birders from around the world.
Staff at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge look forward to this time of year and are always excited to join with local conservation partners in welcoming birders from beginner to expert. A full schedule of birding events is currently in progress. Call our visitor center (419-898-0014) or visit us online for details: http://www.fws.gov/refuge/ottawa/

Yellow-rumped warbler. Photo by Alex Galt/USFWS.
Our educators and biologists across the Midwest have been big supporters of International Migratory Bird Day for years. We are proud to support this long-running educational program which reaches across the borders of Canada, the United States, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. This year’s Bird Day theme is “Restore Habitat, Restore Birds,” which is a central part of our mission in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
During migration the refuge may host as many as 38 different species of warbler including, the yellow-rumped warbler. This warbler is the most versatile forager of the group, so you may find it in a variety of feeding locations at the refuge. The best time to view these birds is late April through late May, as they head north to the coniferous forests to nest. The shrubs along the boardwalk and trails directly behind the visitor center provide excellent views of a variety of warblers and other migratory birds.

This Friday also kicks off “The Biggest Week in American Birding” in the wider birding community in and around the refuge and we are proud supporters. Learn more about this huge birding festival: http://www.biggestweekinamericanbirding.com/