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Showing posts from July, 2019

Bald eagles aren't the only target birds at Sandy Ridge

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Birders venture to Lorain County for avian beauties

There’s a wonderful wetland habitat in Lorain County that is familiar to birders and hikers, but a mystery to many people outside of the North Ridgeville area.
The Sandy Ridge Reservation is a 310-acre wildlife preserve that’s been open to the public for 20 years, sitting like a hidden oasis of woodlands, ponds and meadows, surrounded by a burgeoning sea of new housing developments.
During the waning weeks of the summer doldrums, when other parks in Northeast Ohio are quiet and uninviting as the birds seek shelter from the blistering sun, Sandy Ridge remains active and one of the most rewarding destinations for birders and nature walkers in the Cleveland area.
The wetlands are easily navigable via a network of flat, gravel paths atop raised earthen dikes. The trails pass through wide expanses of marsh grasses, shrubs and wildflowers, primarily swamp and common milkweed, wild monarda, Joe Pye weed, ironweed, sunflowers, and button bush, m…

To beat the summer heat birders should learn the songs

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Summer heat, heavy foliage adds to birding difficulty; knowing the songs helps
Contrary to a widespread misconception, the summer months are NOT the best time for birding in Northeast Ohio.
Which is not to say there aren’t plenty of desirable species to see during the hot and humid span of late June, July and August. The conditions just require birders to make a few adjustments in their approach, and to work a little harder to locate and spot the birds.
Fortunately, the majority of summer birds are in the process of finding mates, defending territory, nesting and raising young, which inspires the males to sing. So it helps to know your songs.
Summer trees and shrubs are lush with foliage, providing sources of food and cover for the birds, but making sightings especially difficult for birders. Knowing the songs is beneficial in this pursuit.
All of these factors came into play during a few recent bird walks through some of the best local habitats. At each of the sites, the only realistic op…