These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

Raindrops on roses and… Wait. That's some 1960's movie. But Biggest Week in American Birding is almost here. And really these little gems called warblers decorate the trees and fill the air with song. In short, they make me happy. Here are a few birds I got photos of in 2013. Enjoy! Continue reading

The Birds Migrating Through NW Ohio Need Your Help

Bay-breasted Warbler - Magee Marsh - Lucas County OH - 2013-05-05

Bay-breasted Warbler - Magee Marsh - Lucas County OH - 2013-05-05. Photo by Greg Miller. Nearly 1 out of every 5 sightings of this species in North America in May 2013 was recorded in NW Ohio (18.9%). eBird as of 11/29/2013.

Each year, birders from across the U.S. and around the World come to northwest Ohio to go birding. Spring in particular is a great time when visitors come by the tens of thousands and spend millions of dollars in the area. I do not have the exact numbers, but I am sure others do.

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A Birder’s Guide To The Biggest Week

Kirtland's Warbler. Biggest Week 2012. Photo by Greg Miller

Northwest Ohio in May is…for the birds. No really. It is a very birdy place. It has been my favorite place to visit on the North American continent in May for more than 30 years. And I cannot wait to go back there again this May. It is home to one of the most amazing displays of bird migration. There are many migration hot spots in the East. Your home state probably has a few good areas. And maybe you have ticked all 37 species of eastern wood warblers that occur here in Northwest Ohio, seen all the thrushes, tanagers, buntings, and orioles (and many, many more species). So why visit Biggest Week? Aren't there huge crowds of people? Isn't it hard to find lodging and places to eat? Can't I see all those birds somewhere else? Even if you have all these birds, you should visit this area of Northwest Ohio at least once in your life and experience it for yourself. Yes. There are huge crowds. But with a little planning and patience, your experience should still be unforgettable–even if you don't enjoy big crowds. For lodging and food you should also plan ahead or you will find yourself 30 minutes (or more) away from the comforts and conveniences “civilization”.

Scarlet Tanager. Biggest Week 2012. Photo by Greg Miller

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Back to Western Lake Erie

Friday and most of Saturday I got a chance to bird with fellow birder Nathan Madison.  We had a great time birding starting on Kelley’s Island Friday morning, birding Western Lake Erie Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, and then finishing up at Mohican State Park Saturday afternoon.  The weather was very pleasant and birding was good.  Although the largest numbers of peak migration had already passed, we still had a decent variety of species with a total of 108 for our trip list.

It was Nathan’s first Spring trip to the famed Magee Marsh Bird Trail.  Many birds were up close and personal affording “Miller Views” (a Miller View is a crippling good look at a bird) of birds normally far harder to see in the tree tops.  Some birding highlights included Mourning Warbler, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, and Gray-cheeked Thrush.  And below, I’ve included some pics from our trip.

Nathan Madison 1st trip to Magee Marsh 2011-05-21

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Biggest Week update

I’ve been here in Northwest Ohio for the Biggest Week In American Birding event since May 5.  Birding has been exciting and meeting so many wonderful birders has been quite amazing.  It has been a real pleasure meeting so many of you who’ve read the book and cheered me on. (I read the book and cheered me on hoping that I would win–it didn’t work.  Shucks)

It is late tonight and I have an early departure to Kelley’s Island tomorrow.  After six days of birding here I have seen 170 species (most days hovering around 100 species).  So here are some pictures from the start of this event through today.  Enjoy!

Blue-headed Vireo Pt Pelee 2011-05-05

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