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Biggest Week in American Birding is here

By Alyssa Wieber • May 10, 2019 at 10:34 AM

OAK HARBOR — The Biggest Week in American Birding is going on now and there are plenty of fun events planned for today through Sunday.

Whether it's a Neotropical migrant Yellow-bird Cuckoo, a tundra-born Greater Yellowleg or Ruby-throated Hummingbird from Central America, there’s a chance you’ll see colorful birds migrate through the Lake Erie region this week.

Over 234 species of birds have been spotted in Ohio. The reason? Food sources and the abundance of preserved ecosystems and habitats found along the marshy coast and woodlands are ideal. 

Birdwatchers from around the world flock to this area May 3 to 12, during the Biggest Week in American Birding, to listen for woodpeckers drumming, owls hooting, songbirds singing and intimate views of some of the most colorful and astonishing fauna.

The annual event spans across Erie and Ottawa counties and is popular among tourists. The Black Swamp Bird Observatory estimates the Biggest Week generates up to $42 million for the regional economy, according to Jill Bauer of Lake Erie Shores & Islands, the region’s tourism bureau.  

Ideal habitats for birding at Lake Erie Shores and Islands include Black Swamp Bird Observatory, Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, Kelleys Island, Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve and Sheldon Marsh State Nature Preserve. 

U.S. Rep. Bob Latta, R-Bluffton, toured the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge and Crane Creek State Park this week during the annual birding festival in northwest Ohio.

“This event was impressive, both for the number of people who traveled to northwest Ohio and for the birds the visitors were able to see,” Latta said in a news release. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to take part and to learn more about what birding means for watchers and our local economies. This visit was a good reminder of how important conservation and public recreation are so we can enjoy these incredible moments in nature for generations to come.”

Below is a list of birding events taking place Thursday–Sunday.

TODAY

• Sheldon’s Guided Walk: 8-11 a.m. at Sheldon Marsh State Nature Preserve, 2715 Cleveland Road W., Huron.

• Magee Marsh Guided Walk: 8-10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Magee Marsh West End, 13229 W. Ohio 2, Oak Harbor.

• Workshop: Shorebirds by impression: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, 4000 W. Ohio 2, Oak Harbor.

Workshop: Thrushes and their look-alikes: 1-2 p.m. at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, 4000 W. Ohio 2, Oak Harbor.

• Spring Hike: 1 p.m. at Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve, 2514 Cleveland Road, Huron.

• Birding by kayak: 8-10 a.m. at The Coupling MetroPark, 11618 Ohio 13, Milan.

SATURDAY

• Tom Bartlett’s Big Sit: 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Magee Marsh West End, 13229 W. Ohio 2, Oak Harbor.

• Magee Marsh Guided Walk: 8-10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Magee Marsh West End, 13229 W. Ohio 2, Oak Harbor.

• East Harbor Guided Walk: 8-11 a.m. at East Harbor 

• Ohio Young Birder Walk: Birding the famous Magee Marsh: 9 a.m. to noon at Magee Marsh East End, 13229 W. Ohio 2, Oak Harbor.

• Workshop: Electromagnetic eyes in the sky: Radar Ornithology: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, 4000 W. Ohio 2, Oak Harbor.

• Workshop: Learning to appreciate flycatchers: 1-2 p.m. at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, 4000 W. Ohio 2, Oak Harbor.

Ottawa Tram Tour: 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m. at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, 4000 W. Ohio 2, Oak Harbor.

SUNDAY

• Magee Marsh Guided Walk: 8-10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Magee Marsh West End, 13229 W. Ohio 2, Oak Harbor.

• Ottawa Tram Tour: 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m. at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, 4000 W. Ohio 2, Oak Harbor. 

Reach reporter Alyssa Wieber at [email protected] Follow us on Twitter @SanduskyRegistr and at Facebook.com/sanduskyregister

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