LOOK UP … the birds are coming
By Bob Trace
Last year over 100,000 visitors traveled from around the world to observe the arrival of songbirds at Magee Marsh and the Ottawa Wildlife Refuge in Oak Harbor. Point Place folks are lucky, they need go no further than Cullen Park and the Nautical Village pathway to witness the same arrival. All you need is an inexpensive pair of binoculars a decent field guide and a natural curiosity of one of nature’s most amazing phenomena.
Point Place sits squarely in the middle of one of North America’s largest bird migration routes, the Great Mississippi Flyway. Fully one-half of all of North America’s songbird species and over forty percent of all water birds use this great migration pathway. Running from as far south as Patagonia at the southern tip of South America to as far north as the Artic Circle, this age-old corridor is once again prepared to accommodate the millions upon millions of seasonal travelers that will pass through the area over the next couple of months. The largest concentration of songbirds (Northwest Ohio is known as the Warbler Capital of the World) is expected locally during the period of May 3-12 although these dates may change due to weather conditions. Waterfowl and raptors begin their northern migrations through the area around late February (ice permitting) and continue through April. Because of our mild winter, the area has already seen the arrival of swans, common loons, egrets, herons and many species of ducks including the beautiful Hooded Mergansers and Wood Ducks.
So set aside a couple of hours, put on some comfortable shoes and a light jacket and enjoy one of Point Place’s best kept secrets … after all, we are the Best Place Anyplace.