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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 dayís tally. We may even Arctic-like temperatures and steely blasts of frigid air donít 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.

Itís 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: 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.

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