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IT'S OUR OOS ANNUAL "THANK YOU" TO OUR MEMBERS.  OOS will return to the Wilds on January 16, 2016 for this annual trip to find wintering raptors! Mark your calendars with an icicle and pull out your coziest fleece! The Wilds is a large reclaimed surface mine grassland area that has abundant wintering raptors and grassland nesting birds. While most of the region is rolling grassland, there are also areas of ponds, lakes, wetlands, spoils forest, and remnant hardwood forests. Wide-open vistas make this a great raptor-watching spot. 

The OOS and the Wilds again are hosting our annual mid-winter venture to this fabulous birding mecca in southeast Ohio.

Raptors converge at the Wilds during winter to soar as they stalk Meadow Voles scurrying through 10,000 hilly acres of reclaimed grassland. Northern Harriers, Rough-legged and Red-tailed Hawks, Short-eared Owls, along with a number of other predatory bird species are regular sights.

During previous years, Golden Eagles have over-wintered, a Prairie Falcon spent two winters, and a Northern Shrike is usually found. Plentiful Waterfowl, Woodpeckers, and Sparrows also will contribute to your day's tally. We may even Arctic-like temperatures and steely blasts of frigid air don't deter either the birds or birders. This fun-filled winter social event has been very popular with the hearty Ohio birders. In past years we have been awed by either the rhino families or the giraffes, and will see whichever are cooperating during the lunch break.

It's an open invitation to all of our members but we need to know how many mugs of hot cocoa to brew. Please send your RSVP to Jason Larson at: bairdstrogon@yahoo.com to reserve your space for the 2016 Winter Raptor Extravaganza. We have a limit of 150 and always fill up, so reserve your spot today! In order to defray the expenses to OOS from the use of The Wilds facilities, we will be asking for a $10 voluntary contribution per person. There will be a contribution bucket at the lunchroom. We appreciate your generosity.


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!

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.