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OOS ANNUAL MEETING NOVEMBER 7

We will hold our annual meeting at Gorman Nature Center in Mansfield,OH. Join us during the day for field trips in the Mansfield-Mohican area, followed by dinner, guest speaker Steve McKee and our annual elections.   Steve will give a lively and engaging presentation!  He has served his community for over 30 years as the former director of the Richland County Park District. He still considers all of the Mohican area his own backyard, and would like to share it with you. Steve's specialties are botany and birds. More details and registration coming soon. Be sure to save the date!
 

Blendon Woods Field Trip

Join OOS president Julie Davis and central director, Bill Heck on a search for fall warblers and other migrants. We will meet in the parking lot of the nature center of the Blendon Woods Metro Park (all the way at the back of the park). Our search will start as the sun hits the treetops. We will then walk some of Blendon's trails searching for warblers and more. Meet at 7:30 a.m. in the parking lot; plan for light walking. We will not leave the parking lot until 8 am for late arrivals. We will be out two to three hours, depending on the birds! Contact Julie Davis at greenheron58@insight.rr.com with questions.

Chimney Swift Conservation


Chimney Swifts have declined by over 50% in just the last 40 years. Chimney Swifts can be helped by making chimneys accessible for the birds or by building Chimney Swift Towers -- specially designed nesting/roosting towers. 

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP

Plant native trees, shrubs, flowers and grasses that attract more insects than non-native plants. Chimney Swifts feed exclusively on flying insects which are crucial during the breeding season.
Investigate an alternative venting system if you are converting a furnace or hot water heater to gas, leaving the chimney unlined and uncapped for the swifts.
Work with an experienced chimney sweep company that can speak to the issue of Chimney Swift conservation and chimney maintenance.
Encourage your neighborhood parks, schools, and businesses to build chimney swift towers.
Work with local conservation groups to raise awareness of the need for uncapped chimneys for Chimney Swift conservation.

Learn More »

American Birding Expo 2015

The American Birding Expo (often referred to as the Birding Expo, or simply the Expo, or by the acronym ABE) is a retail-sales-oriented showcase of products for birders and nature enthusiasts. Vendors representing all aspects of the birding and nature market will display their products, goods, and services at the Expo. The American Birding Expo is the largest and most diverse shopping experience available to North American bird watchers. The Expo is free and open to the public, though attendees who pre-register will be entered into a special VIP raffle. A portion of the proceeds from the ABE, generated by sponsorships, raffles and games, and voluntary contributions, will be earmarked for three distinct conservation projects at the local, national, and international level. The first annual American Birding Expo is scheduled for October 2 to 4, 2015, at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center in Columbus, Ohio

Partners for the American Birding Expo include the American Birding Association and the Grange Insurance Audubon Center. Major sponsorship support comes from Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, Rockjumper Birding Tours, and Wild Birds Unlimited. - See more at: http://www.americanbirdingexpo.com/about-the-expo/overview/#sthash.EJ6ob90n.dpuf

VOLUNTEER WITH US!

Volunteers are the lifeblood of this organization. If you are interested in lending your time, talents, or treasures to our Society, please send an e-mail to Jason Larson, Volunteer Chair. Tell us a little about yourself and we'll help you find a suitable match for your time and interests. You can also complete a Volunteer Registration Form online. We will get in touch with you either way!

Help OOS When you Shop on Amazon!

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support OOS every time you shop, at not cost to you. Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. How do I shop at AmazonSmile? On your first visit, you will need to select OOS as your charitable organization before you begin shopping. Amazon will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at smile.amazon.com will result in a donation to OOS. Go here to be directed to the OOS page and start shopping for a good cause. We thank you for supporting Ohio birds!

Pesticide Use and Grassland Bird Decline

First Bees, Now Birds
From Pesticide Action Network North America

Prairie bird populations are falling in many Midwestern states, from ring-necked pheasants to horned larks to sparrows. Scientists now say insecticides are a primary culprit.

Minnesota birds are hardest hit with 12 species in decline, followed by Wisconsin with 11, and Illinois, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska and New York with nine affected species each.

The recent study looked at a range of possible causes of the population declines, including habitat loss which has long been considered a key driver of the problem.

Bird conservationists are “still concerned” about range management, urban development and loss of habitat, but are now focusing additional attention on the harmful impacts of pesticides. According to Cynthia Palmer, Manager of the Pesticides Program at American Bird Conservancy:

[This study] suggests that we also need to rein in the use of lethal pesticides in agriculture, and that we need to be especially careful about any new pesticides we introduce into these ecosystems such as the neonicotinoid insecticides.

Neonicotinoid use has increased dramatically in recent years, and as we've reported here before, many studies link this class of systemic pesticides with dramatic honey bee declines. American Bird Conservancy is expected to release a toxicological assessment of neonicotinoid impacts on birds and other organisms soon.

The current study was conducted by Dr. Pierre Mineau, a scientist recently retired from Environment Canada, along with Mélanie Whiteside of Health Canada. Using pesticide-use data from the 1980s and 1990s, the study focused on organophosphate insecticides such as diazinon and chlorpyrifos, as well as carbamates. According to Dr. Mineau:

What this study suggests is that we need to start paying a lot more attention to the use of pesticides if we want to reverse, halt or simply slow the very significant downward trend in grassland bird populations.

Monarch Watch: Monarch Waystation Program

The Monarch Watch Waystation Program is an excellent way to help create, protect and conserve habitat for the Monarch Butterfly. As a lesson learned with Martha, the Passenger Pigeon, citizen science projects are quite valuable in playing a part in the conservation of species. YOU can make a difference right in your own backyard! 


Chip Taylor of Monarch Watch tells us that "Monarch Butterfly populations are declining due to loss of habitat. To assure a future for Monarchs, conservation and restoration of milkweed needs to become a national priority". Changing farming practices, roadside mowing and spraying along our roads and highways have eliminated much of the larval source of the Monarch Caterpillar-the Milkweed. Milkweed is easy to propagate and grown, and many varieties provide a nice specimen plant in a sunny or semi-sunny location. The entire family can enjoy looking for Monarch eggs and caterpillars. For more information on Monarch biology, where to purchase milkweed, how to certify your site to become a "Monarch Waystation", visit Monarch Watch:www.monarchwatch.org.

Blogs from Ohio Birders and Naturalists

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