Nature & Environment

Community invited to learn about proper tree care

The “Branching Out Together” community event on Tuesday, March 12, will present a panel of ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) arborists and industry professionals sharing the correct steps for tree care and preservation.

Guest speakers include Nick Dios, Bay Village Tree Commission Chairperson, explaining how to choose a tree care company that is right for your property. Chadwick Clink from Bartlett Tree Experts will present best practices regarding oak wilt and general tree care. James Lassiter from Cleveland Metroparks will discuss community forestry.

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Volume 16, Issue 3, Posted 9:19 AM, 03.05.2024

Do good by doing less

It’s spring, a time of renewal, and perhaps a time to re-think traditional lawn practices here in the suburbs.

While many folks seem committed to continuing the “tradition” of turf-grass lawns, a growing number of homeowners are taking a different path.

Turf-grass lawns in America – often chemically enhanced and empty of native plants or insects – cover more than 40 million acres. That’s more land than is devoted to any food crop, and nearly equal to the 52 million acres contained in all of America’s national parks.

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Volume 16, Issue 3, Posted 9:20 AM, 03.05.2024

Guide to saving birds while keeping cats happy

Some say there’s nothing to do in Ohio. I couldn’t disagree more. Did you know we live in a world-renowned birding paradise, home to 450 bird species?

Just take OH-2 West to Magee Marsh, Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, Maumee Bay State Park – really any park, shore or island – and you’ll find yourself in the Warbler Capital of the World. Bring binoculars for the Biggest Week in American Birding, a birding festival held in Oak Harbor in mid-May.

In these parks, you can find rare warblers as well as bald eagles, sandhill cranes and common terns in active restoration programs. Even our backyard bird feeders are chock full of gorgeous native birds. In Westlake, I see red-bellied, downy, hairy and pileated woodpeckers from my window daily. We Ohioans are lucky, to say the least.

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Volume 16, Issue 3, Posted 9:20 AM, 03.05.2024

Birding in Bay Village

Judy Brody captured these shots of a young barred owl in her Bay Village yard in June 2022. She was able to identify them as juveniles because they couldn't hoot; young owls make a squeaky/hissing sound. And being younger and curious they are sometimes more visible – not yet realizing they should keep a lower profile! – so they can be easier to spot.

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Volume 16, Issue 3, Posted 9:19 AM, 03.05.2024

Bay Sea Scouts seek national recognition with innovative project

How often have you been out and about and found your cell phone battery dying? Or, in our case, as Bay Sea Scouts, out on a sailboat in the middle of Lake Erie. We have found a solution for you.

Our research has led us to develop an innovative, wind-driven phone charger. In our experiments, we found that a regular propeller in combination with our micro-generator did not provide, with a 10 mph wind, the voltage and amps needed to charge a phone.

Seeking answers online, we found that an Archimedes screw propeller is more efficient by anywhere from 10-20%. To obtain an Archimedes screw, we used the software CAD program Tinkercad, and 3D printed the screws at the Bay Village Library with Jean Cottrill.

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Volume 16, Issue 1, Posted 9:45 AM, 01.16.2024

Winter doesn't slow us down

Bay Village Garden Club members don’t twiddle their thumbs over winter. Oh no. We keep busy planning the hanging baskets, bridge planters, welcome signs, and City Hall flower beds that beautify Bay Village.

And when not busy planning and planting flowers, Garden Club members continue to sow seeds of goodwill in our neighborhood. Each month we collect unopened toiletries, paper products, and cleaning supplies to donate to local food banks.

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Volume 16, Issue 1, Posted 9:46 AM, 01.16.2024

What to look for in the winter sky

The winter solstice will occur on Thursday, Dec. 21, when the sun reaches its southernmost position in the sky. The least amount of sunlight will reach Earth, marking the first astronomical day of winter and the shortest day of the year. Here are some of the constellations and planets to observe during the long winter nights this season.


One of the biggest and brightest constellations in the night sky is Orion the Hunter. First, look southeast for 3 equally bright stars in a straight line which form “Orion’s belt.” Serving as his right shoulder is the supergiant star Betelgeuse which shines brightly with a reddish tint.

At Orion’s left foot lies the slightly brighter star, Rigel. Hanging below the center star in Orion’s belt is his sword which features the Orion Nebula, or Messier 42. Visible as a dim fuzzy object to the naked eye, this nebula appears as a large gas cloud when viewed with binoculars or a small telescope.

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Volume 15, Issue 23, Posted 9:40 AM, 12.19.2023

Coexisting with your wild neighbors

You have new neighbors. They are messing up your lawn, raiding your garden and knocking over your trash cans. You wish you could ask them to stop, but you’re not sure they will listen.

It’s (hopefully!) not your human neighbors pulling these pranks, but wild ones. Wildlife can seem like a nuisance when they reside in your yard. While it may be tempting to evict the animals by trapping and moving them elsewhere, it is a bad option for several reasons.

1. It’s illegal to trap and relocate some species

Not only is relocation detrimental to animals, it may also be illegal. Ohio law states that it is illegal to relocate rabies-vector species, including raccoons, skunks, coyotes, foxes and bats. Other species can legally be relocated, but you must have the property owner’s permission to release an animal on their land. It is always illegal to relocate animals to a metro park, state park or any public land without permission.

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Volume 15, Issue 16, Posted 9:11 AM, 09.06.2023

Summer Stargazing

The Summer Solstice on June 21 was the longest day of the year with over 15 hours of daylight. As the days gradually become shorter throughout the warm summer months, there is plenty of time to enjoy summer stargazing.

Visible Planets

Low in the west, just after sunset, is the bright planet Venus. The hottest planet in our Solar System, with a dense, harsh, poisonous atmosphere, makes a beautiful sight in our evening skies.

Not sure if what you are seeing is a planet? See if it twinkles. Stars twinkle because of the effects of temperature and density variations in our atmosphere – planets do not.

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Volume 15, Issue 14, Posted 8:51 AM, 08.01.2023

Sally Knurek wins garden award

Sally Knurek, a former president of the Westlake Garden Club and a resident of Fairview Park, has been presented with an award for her Pollinator Garden by the Fairview Park Garden Club.

Knurek loves to garden and it has taken her three years of work and planning to develop this garden. "The strip (of land) along my driveway was covered with myrtle. As I was pulling it out it seemed like it was rooted in China," Knurek said. "It took all summer it get it under control."

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Volume 15, Issue 14, Posted 8:48 AM, 08.01.2023

Sea Scouts win STEM awards

During the winter when the Sea Scouts cannot be in the water, we focus on STEM projects. This year Bay Sea Scout Inc. sponsored winners in the eCyberMission STEM competition. Altogether our students took home $63,500 in awards and many trophies.

The competition is part of the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) for students in the sixth through ninth grades. This year 7,320 students participated on teams located in 45 states and territories. U.S. Army scientists and engineers judge each team's STEM project write-up and presentation. Among the winners were:

Our sixth-grade team of Liam, Amy and Danica were Ohio State Runners-up with their project evaluating the health of Porter Creek and correlating rainfall in the creek with beach closure at the Huntington Metroparks.

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Volume 15, Issue 13, Posted 8:38 AM, 07.18.2023

Westlake in Bloom competition now open

Westlake residents, businesses and institutions are invited to celebrate the beautiful gardens and landscapes of Westlake by entering the Westlake in Bloom competition. Entry forms may be downloaded from the City’s website at or picked up at the Westlake City Hall, Recreation Center,  Community Services Center, Porter Library, or these Westlake garden centers: Cahoon Nursery, Dean’s Greenhouse, and Gale’s Westlake Garden Center. 

Completed entry forms may be dropped off at the reception desk at City Hall, emailed to or mailed to: City of Westlake, Westlake in Bloom, 27700 Hilliard Blvd., Westlake, OH 44145.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 8:26 AM, 06.20.2023

Solar Eclipses: What to expect and how to safely observe them

Northeast Ohio will be treated to not one, but two solar eclipse events over the next year: a partial solar eclipse on Oct. 14, 2023 and a total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.

What is a solar eclipse? Well, the moon orbits Earth approximately every 27 days. A solar eclipse is the cosmic coincidence when the moon passes exactly between the Earth and the sun, thereby casting a shadow onto Earth and blocking our view of the sun.

For the partial annular eclipse this October, we will see about 33% of the sun covered by the moon. In April 2024, the path of totality will cross North America, passing over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. In Northeast Ohio, we will see the moon completely cover the sun, revealing the Sun’s outer atmosphere otherwise known as the solar corona.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 9:52 AM, 05.16.2023

'Arbor Day in Bay' event to celebrate trees

In observance of Arbor Day 2023, the city of Bay Village is celebrating 25 years of its designation as a Tree City USA, which has been awarded to the city continuously since 1998.

To qualify as a Tree City USA community, a city must meet standards established by the Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters. In addition to the Tree City USA designation, Bay Village has also received four Tree City USA Growth Awards (in 2016, 2017, 2019, 2021) and is on track to receive another award for 2023. The Tree City USA Growth Award is presented by the Arbor Day Foundation to participating Tree City USA communities that demonstrate higher levels of tree care and community engagement.

The Arbor Day in Bay event will take place on Saturday, April 29, at Bradley Road Park from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Rain or shine. A Bay Village city official will deliver an Arbor Day proclamation. Tree planting demonstrations are scheduled at 12 p.m., 1 p.m., and 2 p.m. Food will be available for purchase (cash or credit) from the Smokin’ Rock n’ Roll food truck from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

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Volume 15, Issue 7, Posted 8:16 AM, 04.18.2023

How to help our local nesting birds

Spring has sprung and the baby birds are about to as well. This is the season for most of the birds in Ohio to start nesting and growing their family. Here in Cuyahoga County, we have several types of nesting birds. Common ones include cavity nesters, ground/scrape nesters and cup nesters. So, what can you do to help? Read below to see how each type of nester can use your help.

Cavity-nesting birds are birds that use a hole or cavity to build and shelter their nests. We have both primary and secondary cavity nesters here in Ohio. A primary cavity-nester, such as a woodpecker, is one who excavates their own cavity by digging or drilling into a tree or river bank. Leaving up dead trees in your yard is a big help for these birds, as it is easier to make holes in.

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Volume 15, Issue 6, Posted 9:23 AM, 04.04.2023

The doís and doníts of baby wildlife

Spring is here, which means baby season for our local wildlife. As wildlife rehabilitators prepare for their busiest time of the year, here are some do’s and don’ts for helping baby wildlife.

DO: Allow wildlife to grow up in their natural environment

Baby animals are vulnerable, but resilient. Predators and other threats are a natural part of their environment. While it can be tempting to take and care for babies to try to protect them from danger, they cannot learn necessary survival skills in captivity. The only way to prepare baby animals for life in the wild is to let them grow up there.

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 10:17 AM, 03.21.2023

Canals into the Great Lakes

There are two canals in the Great Lakes system.

The Welland Canal is an important waterway in the Great Lakes region. It is a man-made canal that connects Lake Ontario to Lake Erie, allowing ships to bypass Niagara Falls. The canal is an important part of the St. Lawrence Seaway, which is a system of locks, canals, and channels that connect the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean.

The Welland Canal helps to improve shipping in the Great Lakes region by giving ships to access to valuable cargo in the Midwest. However, the major canal is in the St. Lawrence Seaway that is managed by The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) that was established in 1959 as a joint venture between the governments of Canada and the United States. The system supports thousands of jobs and generates billions of dollars in economic activity. This cargo includes iron ore, coal, grain, limestone, cement, salt, sand, steel, petroleum products, and other commodities.

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 10:13 AM, 03.21.2023

Planting seeds of promise

It's been a long winter and now it's finally time to enjoy the promise of warmer weather and pack away that shovel and winter coat. For many folks, starting seeds indoors is an annual ritual that signals spring has arrived.

The Westlake Garden Club is waking up from its winter slumber and starting the year with a special program on starting seeds indoors. The speaker for the event is a certified master gardener and even experienced gardeners may learn a new trick or two. The Wednesday, March 15, event starts with a club meeting at 10:30 a.m. at the Westlake Community Center at 28975 Hilliard Road. It's in the same development as the Westlake Recreation Center. The talk will begin at 11 a.m.

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Volume 15, Issue 4, Posted 9:54 AM, 03.07.2023

Feeling small in the universe

If you had the opportunity in late February and early March to view two of our solar system’s planets in close conjunction, it was a special astronomical event. 

A conjunction is when two astronomical objects appear close to each other in the sky, as seen from our view on Earth. 

Venus and Jupiter could be seen together after sunset above the west-southwest horizon from Feb. 20 to March 3, with the closest approach of about the width of a pinky finger on March 1.

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Volume 15, Issue 4, Posted 4:51 PM, 03.07.2023

Looking and listening for owls in Northeast Ohio

Owls are some of the most fascinating creatures in Ohio. Their mysterious nature, charismatic expressions and recognizable calls have sparked interest for centuries. Many people will claim to have never seen an owl in the wild, but chances are they have been near one without knowing it.

Eight owl species reside in Northeast Ohio throughout the year. Three of the most common include the Great Horned Owl, the Barred Owl and the Eastern Screech-Owl.

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Volume 15, Issue 3, Posted 8:57 AM, 02.21.2023

Sea Scouts fight toxic algae blooms

The coast of Lake Erie is an idyllic place to live. We are fortunate to have an abundance of drinking water and a plethora of leisure activities that the lake affords us. We use the lake for swimming, boating, fishing, and a host of other activities. It's also a beautiful view.

Unfortunately, those activities and even our drinking water can sometimes be shut down or interrupted because of pollution or harmful algal blooms. In August 2014, the city of Toledo had to stop providing drinking water for three days because of a harmful algal bloom on Lake Erie. Every summer, there are water quality alerts for dangerous bacteria levels at Huntington Beach.

What's causing this, and is there anything that we can do about it so that we can enjoy the lake more? These are some of the questions that a group of seventh-grade Bay Sea Scouts hopes to answer with research and a scientific experiment.

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Volume 15, Issue 3, Posted 8:57 AM, 02.21.2023

Nature has a friend in 5-year-old boy

Wade is the son of Jeff and Jenny Battershell. Wade is also the grandson of Jill and Phil Battershell, residents of Bay Village for over 40 years. Fortunate to live on Porter Creek for over 30 of those years, Jill and Phil recently moved to the Bay Creek Development along Cahoon Creek. This is where this story begins.

Wade is soon to be 6 years old. He is an avid outdoors young man. Wade enjoys hiking, camping, fishing, boating, biking, swimming and literally any activity that takes him outside. He is also in the Cub Scouts and enjoys playing soccer. 

Since Wade could walk, he enjoyed his “creek walks” with his family at his grandparents' home along Porter Creek. At age 4, he had the change of scenery to Cahoon Creek where upon his first hike with his granddad in December 2021, he realized and remarked that there was a fair amount of trash behind their home and along the creek. 

With this observation, Wade suggested to his granddad that they should begin picking up and removing the trash they find.

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Volume 15, Issue 1, Posted 9:52 AM, 01.17.2023

Our drinking water

Our team, the Flocculators, did our STEM project this year on the chemistry of our drinking water. Studies have shown that Lake Erie microplastics, those tiny pieces of broken-up plastic debris, absorb pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and metals on their surface.

Fortunately, our source of drinking water from Lake Erie is far out in the lake and at a depth such that very few micro or nano plastics reach us.

To quote Scott Moegling, the Chief Water Quality Manager at Cleveland Water, “There is not much in the raw; very, very little in the finished water we drink. In fact, we have fewer microplastics than bottled water does.”

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Volume 15, Issue 1, Posted 9:52 AM, 01.17.2023

Where do animals go in the winter?

Many types of birds (including retiree snowbirds!) migrate south for the winter. While most of us would prefer to spend the cold months in a tropical climate, many Ohio residents, human and animal, ride out the snowy season at home.

Non-migratory animals have developed numerous adaptations to survive through chilly weather. Some, like deer and eastern cottontail rabbits, continue their business as usual, grazing for food but growing thicker coats and finding sheltered places to stay warm. Many of the animals you see during the summer, such as snakes, chipmunks and woodchucks, are conspicuously absent in winter. Where do they go, if they are not heading for warmer climates?

Since snakes are cold-blooded, their body temperature depends on the temperature of their environment – which means bad news for snakes when the snow starts falling. To stay warm, snakes hunker down in dens called hibernacula. Snakes create hibernacula in holes in the ground, burrows of other animals or even a warm niche in your garage or basement.

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Volume 14, Issue 24, Posted 11:24 AM, 12.20.2022

Backyard visitor

A mature white-tailed deer enjoys a day of napping and snacking in a Bay Village backyard.

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Volume 14, Issue 20, Posted 10:51 AM, 10.18.2022

Bay scouts work to protect migrating monarchs

As the fall migration of monarch butterflies comes to a close you may have heard that monarch butterflies have been placed on the endangered species list by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The Union has placed it on their Red List of Threatened Species as they found the population of the monarchs east of the Rockies shrunk by 84% between 1996 and 2014 and continues to decline.

“It is difficult to watch monarch butterflies and their extraordinary migration teeter on the edge of collapse,” said Anna Walker, Species Survival Officer at the New Mexico BioPark Society, who led the monarch butterfly assessment. The Greater Cleveland area is a crucial point in the monarchs' migration path from Canada to Mexico in late summer. After traveling close to 30 miles over the open waters of Lake Erie, our community is the first chance the monarchs get to rest, recuperate, mate, and lay eggs.

We are a team of sixth-graders who are planning strategies to impact monarch conservation locally. First, we educated ourselves on the monarch's lifecycle and care by raising 25 butterflies from eggs, testing them for disease, and releasing them.

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Volume 14, Issue 19, Posted 11:25 AM, 10.04.2022

Drivers be alert, deer breeding season is here

Deer breeding season occurs from mid-October through December. Below, Lake Erie Nature & Science Center shares information about deer mating habits and tips for drivers this fall.

Male deer (or bucks) travel together in “bachelor groups” during late winter, spring and summer. In early fall they begin marking their territory by scraping the ground or rubbing their antlers on trees. They will playfully fight with each other, known as sparring. Eventually, increased testosterone and aggressiveness will force the bucks to separate and begin chasing does (female deer).

White-tailed deer are active around the clock, most often at dawn and dusk. Their unpredictable behavior during breeding season can prove hazardous to humans and result in serious accidents.

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Volume 14, Issue 19, Posted 11:25 AM, 10.04.2022

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center's Women's Board presents 'Fly Me to the Moon' on Oct. 9

The Women’s Board of Lake Erie Nature & Science Center will host "Fly Me to the Moon," a benefit event, on Sunday, Oct. 9, at 2 p.m. in Schuele Planetarium (28728 Wolf Road).

Planetarium and Program Coordinator Katy Downing will present a timely program honoring the past and future of human space flight. Learn about NASA’s 21st-century Artemis program as the next step in our mission of exploring the universe. Following the program, the Women’s Board will host a social with refreshments.

Tickets cost $25 per person. For information about purchasing tickets, please call 440-871-2900. Proceeds will benefit the astronomy internship program at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center.

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Volume 14, Issue 18, Posted 9:30 AM, 09.20.2022

Keep migratory birds safe this fall

Every spring and fall, millions of birds migrate through Ohio on their way between their breeding and overwintering grounds. During migration birds can travel hundreds of miles in one night, even hummingbirds weighing an average of 3.5 grams. Most birds migrating to Central America will fly the 500 miles across the Gulf of Mexico nonstop, leaving at dusk, which takes between 18 and 22 hours.

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center is the only wildlife rehabilitation facility in Cuyahoga County and commonly treats songbird injuries during migration. “A large percentage of the bird species we treat each year are due to window collisions,” says Tim Jasinski, Wildlife Rehabilitation Coordinator at the Center. “As an Ohio Lights Out partner, we aim to reduce collision-related deaths through wildlife education and rehabilitation.”

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Volume 14, Issue 16, Posted 9:52 AM, 08.16.2022

Observe the Perseid Meteor Shower at its peak, Aug. 11-12

The Perseid Meteor Shower, typically one of the most popular and impressive meteor showers of the year, will reach its peak Aug. 11 and 12. For this event, which is visible throughout Northeast Ohio, Planetarium Specialist Bill Reed of Lake Erie Nature & Science Center explains what a meteor shower is and provide tips for seeing “shooting stars” this summer.

What is a meteor shower and what causes them to occur?

Meteor showers are caused by comets. Comets are large, icy objects which orbit the sun on regular, although eccentric orbits. As a comet approached the inner solar system and passes closer to the sun, its ice warms and begins to release particles of dust and rock into space, which can result in a glowing trail of vapor we see as a “tail.”

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Volume 14, Issue 15, Posted 10:07 AM, 08.02.2022

Youíre the bee's knees

On a whim, my husband and I bought a mason bee house that was on sale at a big box store. I am so glad we did! The more I read up on mason bees, the more fascinated I become. They’re some of the world’s best pollinators. 

There are over 200 mason bee species globally and 140 species throughout North America. Mason bees are related to honeybees, but do not produce honey or live in colonies. Mason bees acquired their name from their habit of building their nests out of mud that looks like bricks. They are solitary bees, which means that they don’t have workers or queens either. These ladies are small but mighty and completely independent! Female mason bees are responsible for building their own nests, scouting and foraging for their own food and defending themselves.

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Volume 14, Issue 10, Posted 9:49 AM, 05.17.2022

The Biggest Week in American Birding

Spring has finally sprung. And it brings not only warmer weather and flowering trees but migrating songbirds.

In fact, The Biggest Week in American Birding is coming up May 6-15. It's a birding festival held every year during peak songbird migration at Magee Marsh, a 2,202-acre marshland managed by the Ohio Division of Wildlife about 90 miles west on the shore of Lake Erie. The festival features guided birding fieldtrips, talks on birding and bird identification, and fun activities like the birder’s marketplace, bird tattoo contest and birder prom. Visit to learn more.

But the big draw is the birds! Spring migrations bring thousands of brightly colored, gregarious songbirds to the terminal woodlands along the shore of Lake Erie, where they rest and feed up before making the long flight across the lake. The big spring songbird prize is warblers, and Magee Marsh is known as the warbler capital of the world. It has a 1.2-mile-long handicap accessible boardwalk to which birders from all over the world come during the biggest week. It can be crowded and sound a bit like the United Nations during the biggest week. But there are other excellent birding sites nearby, such as the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, Metzger Marsh and Howard Marsh Metropark, if you want to avoid the crowds.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 10:45 AM, 05.03.2022

Your springtime guide to baby wildlife

As the weather warms and people spend more time outdoors, you may notice young animals that seem to be alone or in distress.

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center is the only wildlife rehabilitation facility in Cuyahoga County and offers free wildlife education and rehabilitation services seven days a week. Especially in spring, the Center receives several calls each day from concerned community members about birds, rabbits, squirrels, fawns and other wild babies.

“Sadly, well-meaning individuals sometimes assume wild babies are abandoned and, as a result, take them from their parents,” says wildlife rehabilitation specialist Tim Jasinski. “We encourage the community to call us before intervening, as baby wildlife is rarely abandoned in nature.”

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Volume 14, Issue 6, Posted 10:38 AM, 03.15.2022

BAYarts sculpture has a story

This is the story of how an abandoned tree trunk turned into the awe-inspiring sculpture installed on the BAYarts campus.

Once upon a time, Bay High art instructor Tom Schemrich, who would pass through the campus with his students to draw, noted that a particular campus garden was in need of a sculpture. The garden in question sits in front of the iconic red caboose in a circular lavender bed sponsored by Bay residents Ralph and Ginny Cascarilla. Now, anyone who knows "Mr. Schemrich" knows he took this as a serious creative challenge, a challenge his students would have an integral part in: conceiving, creating, installing and maintaining the work.

Under his direction, the students submitted several ideas to BAYarts in the form of small clay models. After selecting the design of winding hands reaching upward, the students got to work.

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Volume 14, Issue 5, Posted 10:30 AM, 03.01.2022

Great Backyard Bird Count

Looking for something to do during the February doldrums? Consider joining in the 25th annual Great Backyard Bird Count, coming up on Friday, Feb. 18, through Sunday, Feb. 21.

What is the Great Backyard Bird Count? It’s citizen science. A few days when ordinary people around the world come together to watch and count birds and report their observations to the greater birding community. The bird counts made by these citizen scientists are entered into eBird, one of the world’s largest nature databases. And used by the Audubon Society, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and Birds Canada to learn about bird populations and determine how best to protect birds and their habitats, like the beaches and woodlands along the shore of Lake Erie here in Northeast Ohio.

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Volume 14, Issue 4, Posted 9:57 AM, 02.15.2022

Nature thrives at Concord Reserve

A sprawling tomato plant lives in the Concord Reserve greenhouse. Its spread dominates one entire wall. Imagine Audrey from “Little Shop of Horrors” – only this plant doesn’t eat people, it feeds them.  Here’s the backstory for the extraordinary plant that Concord Reserve resident Bob Thompson decided to name Cecile.

When Bob and his wife, Della, moved to Concord Reserve Independent Living back in 2020, it didn’t take Bob long to spot the greenhouse. With a little attention and some new shelves, the greenhouse was opened for residents to house and protect their delicate plants over the winter.

Working on this success, Bob, along with the help of Events & Programs Coordinator Karen, came up with another plan for the greenhouse. A committee was formed to attempt fundraising for the Concord Reserve Foundation by raising and selling seedlings from scratch.

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 10:14 AM, 01.18.2022

Greyhound of the air

The Northern Pintail Duck is an elegant traveler that visits Ohio between its breeding grounds in Canada and the upper plains states and its wintering grounds in our southern states. It is a fast and swift flyer that well deserves the nickname "greyhound of the air."

The male "drake" is easily recognizable by its white breast, long neck and distinctive long pintail. Pintail ducks can sometimes be found mixed in with other ducks on local ponds and lakes such as this one spotted at the Clague Park duck pond in Westlake on Jan. 10.

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 10:13 AM, 01.18.2022

Protect Lake Erie this winter!

Just beyond our backyards lies one of the world's greatest resources, Lake Erie! With such an abundance of fresh water in Northeast Ohio we sometimes take our rivers and Great Lake for granted. But don’t forget, everything we do on the land affects our waterways. This winter here are some tips to protect your local streams and our Great Lake!

  1. Don’t dump leaves and yard debris near the lake, a stream, natural area, or storm drain.
  2. Leaves and yard debris should be composted or mulched into smaller pieces to decompose over the winter. This adds organic material to your lawn and gardens.
  3. If you use salt on your driveway/sidewalks, salt sensibly! One coffee cup of salt is enough for 10 sidewalk squares.
  4. Purchase deicer products that are lower in ammonia. Check the ingredients!

Take the Sensible Salting pledge to learn more here: Remember: Only rain down the drain!

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 10:14 AM, 01.18.2022

Donít need snow to see 'snowies'

"Snowies" – snowy owls, that is – are snow white owls like Hedwig of Harry Potter fame. Their stark white color is good camouflage in the region north of the Arctic Circle they call home. But that, along with their large size (up to 27 inches tall with a 49- to 51-inch wingspan), makes them easy to see here in Northeast Ohio, especially if there is no snow on the ground.

Snowy owls move south from their arctic breeding grounds in winter. But they rarely venture as far south as the United States and then only into the most northern reaches along the U.S.-Canada border, including Northeast Ohio. This year is one of those years, called an irruption, when snowy owls are moving south and have been seen in our area.

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Volume 13, Issue 24, Posted 9:49 AM, 12.21.2021