OOS CELEBRATES 10 YEARS!
Join your fellow OOS members at Shawnee State Park near Portsmouth, Ohio, April 25 to 27 2014, for a celebration of our 10th anniversary!
Not only will this event give you a chance to head south to meet the first big wave of spring migration, you'll also get to enjoy excellent presentations, the charm of the Shawnee State Park lodge, and the wonderful fellowship of a bunch of fun, avid birders. Speakers include Brian Zwiebel (bird photography), Scott Albaugh (warblers), Matt Shumar (Ohio's breeding birds), Jim McCormac (birding in 2014), Cheryl Harner (flora of Shawnee), John Howard (butterflies of Shawnee and Adams County) and Jenny Richards ( passing it on for the future). Check out our fabulous field trip offerings - 14 to choose from - on the registration page! If you are interested in being a vendor, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't miss celebrating the OOS's 10th anniversary, register today!
We are proud to announce that the winner of the OOS Birding Selfie Photo Contest is Anna Wittmer! Congratulations Anna! We want to give a big thank you to all the birders who participated in our first contest. Stay tuned for more fun contests in the near future!
2014 CALENDAR OF EVENTSWe have an exciting line-up of field trips, speakers, conferences, and other state-wide birding and educational events scheduled in 2014. Some of these are still in the planning stages, so be sure to check back often for updates. Please check our calendar page for upcoming events. We hope to see you there!
Following OOS just got easier!OOS is utilizing a variety of e-tools to help you to learn more about birds, conservation, our birding partners, and OOS events. Check us out on the OOS Facebook page by searching for ' Ohio Ornithological Society'. This page has over 1,400 likes and continues to grow. There are daily updates posted about various events and other bird and nature related news. Did you know that OOS is on Twitter? Search ' OOS ' to follow us there. And, we have a brand new blog page called "Ohiobirds". This blog is great for posts on various topics with searchable titles for past blog posts. We welcome guest bloggers, and if you are interested in sharing with us, send us an email. We appreciate hearing from our birding partners!
Ohio Wildlife Diversity ConferenceSuperheroes Among Us-Registration is now open for the 2014 Wildlife Diversity Conference! Pre-register today for only $25.00 before February 26, 2014. The registration fee includes handout materials and a luncheon. There is a great speaker line-up and be the chance to purchase your Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp for only $12.00. All proceeds benefit Ohio's wildlife diversity!
Ohio Snowy Owl Invasion 2014, Jim McCormac
New Snowy Owl reports still emerge almost daily, and it's tough keeping track of them all. Reports come in via the Ohio Birds Listserv, various Facebook groups, and personal messages. To date, we're up to at least 135 owls in 46 counties. For the overly pedantic, there will always be some margin of error when trying to tally Snowy Owls, especially at certain Lake Erie locales where it is impossible to know with certainty if the same owl is being counted twice as they shift around. But I stand ready to be corrected by those who know better.
As word of the Snowy Owl irruption has spread through both traditional media and social media, an increased number of reports have come in from nonbirders. Prior to seeing a story or post about the owls, these observers didn't know if anyone would be interested or where to go to report their finds. Most of these reports have either had photos attached, or good descriptions.
This is certainly the largest irruption to hit Ohio in decades. The last invasion to rival this one was in the winter of 1949-50 when at least 41 birds were tallied in northeast Ohio, and an unspecified "Sizable numbers... along western Lake Erie and south to Cincinnati" (from Peterjohn, Birds of Ohio 2001). One must go back further, such as the winters of 1941-42, when perhaps 150 birds appeared in the Cleveland area alone, to find larger irruptions.
It is reasonable to assume that many more owls dot our landscape that haven't come to light. Keep your eyes open for large white objects in fields, on fence posts, telephone poles or other prominent perches in open landscapes. A few observers found their owl when it flew right in front of their vehicle. Alas, vehicles are one of the snowies' biggest downfalls, and many get Buick'ed during these irruptions. I know of at least four roadkills so far in Ohio.
Post courtesy Jim McCormac from: Ohio Birds and Biodiversity
Success! Here are two nestlings inside Kestrel box number 19. As of June 20, 2013, there were two occupied boxes with 9 nestlings, making OOS proud parents and partners in the American Kestrel Partnership. You can help to support this effort by visiting the donation page.
OBCI (Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative), Ohio Ornithological Society, the Ohio Division of Wildlife, and Ohio Department of Transportation are working together to construct and install about 25 nest boxes for American Kestrels on the backs of highway road signs. This project was sponsored by the American Kestrel Partnership that provided funds for nest boxes.This type of program has been highly successful in other states including New York, Iowa, and Tennessee. OBCI and its partners hope to reverse the recent declines in the populations of North America's smallest falcon. On December 11th and 12th, the partnership installed 21 nest boxes on highway road signs. The boxes were installed at least 1/2 mile apart on signs with access to open, grassy areas. Starting this spring the boxes will be monitored by volunteers to measure occupancy rates and reproductive success. Monitoring results will be used to guide selection of signs for future installation of kestrel boxes in other parts of the state. Picture courtesy Amanda Conover.