Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Division of Wildlife
Sportsmans Migratory Bird Center
13229 W. State Route 2
Oak Harbor, OH 43449
April 24, 2002
Contact: Mary Warren: (419) 898-0960, ext. 31
Visitors Flocking to Lake Erie for Colorful Bird Migration
Events Planned for International Migratory Bird Day
OAK HARBOR, OH - Thousands of birders and other wildlife enthusiasts
are beginning an annual pilgrimage to Ohio's western Lake Erie shores to
witness one of nature's most colorful displays - the annual spring bird
migration. Several areas along the lakeshore are hosting events to
commemorate the tenth International Migratory Bird Day Saturday, May 11,
according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife.
"We are beginning to see a variety of songbirds as they stop at Lake
Erie wetlands to feed and rest during long migration journeys," said Mary
Warren, naturalist at the Division's Magee Marsh Wildlife Area.
"International Migratory Bird Day is annually celebrated during what is
traditionally the peak migration weekend for this region of the country.
This is the best time for area visitors to observe the largest
concentrations and the most variety of warblers and other colorful songbirds
in one location."
Magee Marsh Wildlife Area will host an event-filled day of
activities from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Activities will take place throughout the
day at the Sportsmans Migratory Bird Center and the Magee Marsh boardwalk
located on the wildlife area. The .6 mile-long wheelchair accessible
boardwalk provides some of the most spectacular bird watching in the nation.
Birding specialist will be on hand to offer bird identification and other
assistance. Other activities include decoy carving, live raptor display and
presentation, songbird banding demonstrations, optics demonstration tent,
free drawings for t-shirts, and free bird tatoos for the kids. A food tent
will also be available.
A new warbler display will be dedicated at the west end of the
boardwalk at 11 a.m. Funding for the warbler identification display was
donated by the Wolf family of Toledo in memory of Betty Wolf. The display
artist will be on hand to sign warbler prints available for purchase.
Magee Marsh is located on State Route 2, between State Routes 19 and
590, 17 miles west of Toledo. For more information on events at Magee Marsh
Wildlife Area, call (419) 898-0960, extension 31.
International Bird Day activities will also take place on the Ottawa
National Wildlife Refuge, adjacent to Magee Marsh. Activities include a
refuge auto tour, Maumee Valley Volksporters 5K and 10K Walk, family nature
activities, live raptors and other displays, and "Muddy the Mudhen," and
"Puddles the Blue Goose." Adam Grimm, 2000 Federal Duck Stamp artist, will
be signing prints of his painting Great Lakes Marshes, commemorating the
national refuge system's centennial anniversary. For more information on
events at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, call Rebecca Hinkle at (419)
The Milton B. Trautman Nature Center at Maumee Bay State Park will
also host activities including a bird banding demonstration, boardwalk bird
hike at noon, and a slide presentation entitled about spring migration. The
entrance to Maumee Bay State Park is located at the end of North Curtice
Road, off State Route 2.
Annual International Migratory Bird Day events are held across the
continent to provide fun and educational activities to learn about migratory
birds. Events are also held to encourage habitat conservation and public
awareness of the decreasing breeding, wintering, and migration habitat and
other factors that may contribute to declines in bird populations.