Fall Migration: It’s NOT just for the birds!
October 5, 2019
Cold winds are a sure sign that fall has finally hit Northeast Ohio, but birds have already started migrating for the season. Whether you are new to birding or are a seasoned pro, bird watching, known as “birding,” is a wonderful way to spend time in nature, observe wildlife, hone your listening and observation skills, and meet new friends. Birding is also a wonderful stress reliever and more thrilling than fall football (atleast we think so)!
Birding isn’t just for the birds. From very young children to adults, birding is an activity that is accessible to people of all ages and abilities. We have compiled some of our favorite resources and local events to get your eyes on the sky this fall.
Yep! There’s an app for that! Download some of our favorite apps and start recognizing, listening to, keeping track of your backyard birds, and so much more!
- New to birding? Download a checklist to keep track of the birds you see!
American Birding Association (ABA) Checklist
- Merlin Bird ID app from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology
- Heard a bird you can’t identify? Download BirdGenie™ from Princeton University
- BirdCast: Watch and forecast bird migration in REAL time via satellite
CLEVELAND BIRDING EVENTS AND HOT SPOTS
THE BIG SIT
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13 | ALL DAY
On Sunday, October 13th, bird-watching teams from all corners of the world will enter 17-foot diameter circles and record every bird they see or hear from their circles during a 24 hour period, beginning at midnight. (This year we will only be counting from dawn to dusk). The official title for the event is “The Big Sit!, Bird-watching’s most Sedentary Event”. Others call it a “tailgate party for birders.” It was founded by the New Haven (CT) Bird Club, is hosted by Bird Watcher’s Digest, and is sponsored by Swarovski Optik. This is the 23rd year of this event. This will be the 15th year that the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes has been a Big Sit! site. This year due to the construction of the new All People’s Trail, we will be counting at the former Canoe Club location on the South shore of Lower Shaker Lake (near the mulch pile).
In addition to the challenge and fun of seeing how many birds we can see or hear during a 24 hour period, we also hope to raise some money to support the bird banding research and other bird-related projects and events at the Nature Center. Pledges can be based on an amount per species seen (e.g. $.25, $.50, $1.00) or a flat amount. Pledges can be made by e-mailing me (firstname.lastname@example.org), in person at the Nature Center, or by stopping by during the “Big Sit”!. All who make pledges or donations will receive a list of the bird species recorded during the event, if you provide an email or mailing address.
The results from all the sites, including the Nature Center, will be reported on the Bird Watcher’s Digest website (www.birdwatchersdigest.com). In addition, after all the results are tabulated, a bird species (called the “Golden Bird”) will be selected by random drawing from the total list of all species seen in North America. All of the circles that listed that bird will be put into another random drawing. The randomly selected winning circle wins the Golden Bird prize of $500 donated by Swarovski Optik. Of course, if we should be so lucky as to win, the $500 will go to the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes. Whether you stop by to help us add to our list of birds, make a pledge, or both, thanks for your support of this year’s “Big Sit!”
Free. For more information, contact Julie West at email@example.com.
GRAND OPENING: ALL PEOPLE’S TRAIL
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9
MEMBER PREVIEW 10AM-12PM
PUBLIC OPENING 12-3PM
Save the date for the NEW All People’s Trail Grand Opening! Visit the new and improved All People’s Trail, which has been designated as an “Important Bird Area” by the National Audubon Society. Be among the first to set foot on the new All People’s Trail boardwalk while we celebrate the future of your outdoor classroom! We are also excited to announce that The Urban Birder, David Lindo, will be joining us for a book signing and meet-and-greet thanks to the Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society. This event is free and open to all.
OPEN DAWN TO DUSK
NATURE CENTER AT SHAKER LAKES
If it’s migratory birds you’re looking for, visit Stearns Trail! Within a few minutes, you can visit a variety of habitats crucial to birds migrating from the boreal forests of Canada all the way down to Central and South America. Here, birds can seek refuge, water, and plentiful food sources. While hiking Stearns Trail, keep your eyes open for waterfowl, heron, and the occasional American Bittern around the Doan Brook stream corridor, crane your neck back for warblers in the tall oak trees of the upland forest, and listen for sparrows in the prairie habitat. No matter your birding experience, we guarantee that you will grow your birding life list!
BIRD SEED SALE
NOW THROUGH OCTOBER 31
The Nature Center is again partnering with Wild Birds Unlimited In Mayfield Heights to offer high quality bird seed for your backyard feeders. Order anything in the Wild Birds Unlimited Mayfield Heights store during the month of OCTOBER and mention the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes when placing your order. We will receive a percentage of each sale to support environmental education and programming. This includes FREE DELIVERY! Wondering what types of feed attract various birds? Visit our website to learn more about feeding our feathered friends this fall and winter.
To learn about more Northeast Ohio birding events, walks, and field trips, visit our friends at the Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society!