The Mentor Public Library is hosting a program about the team that’s making Northeast Ohio safer for migrating birds. Every spring and fall, millions of birds migrate through Ohio on the way to their breeding and overwintering grounds. Most species migrate at night, so the lights on tall buildings can disorient them and even cause them to crash and die.
Like moths to a flame, migrating birds looking to rest and refuel are drawn to the bright lights of downtown Cleveland. For many it will be their last stop. Each year, thousands of birds heading to and from Canada and the tropics plow into downtown buildings, leaving many of the tiny, feathered visitors dead or wounded on sidewalks and windowsills.
Once upon a time, a boy looked up and saw the sky. Out in the lands of Geauga County, where trees bled gold and alpacas roamed, he saw the stars.
A migrating Wood Thrush injured in a downtown window collision was rescued by Lights Out volunteers April 27 and later fitted with a nanotag to track its journey to summer habitats. The Wood Thrush was only the second bird rescued in several years of Lights Out monitoring to have a nanotag placed before being released back to its migration pathway.
Building coalitions for migratory bird conservation in urban centers and the importance of monitoring, recovery and rehabilitation in those efforts.
Matthew Shumar is the Program Coordinator for the Ohio Bird Conservation Institute (OBCI), a collaboration of non-profit groups, businesses, state and federal government
agencies, and citizens working to advance bird conservation efforts. The OBCI and its large network of conservation organizations has developed a Lights Out program to work within communities to address light and glass issues in urban areas. Regional Lights Out programs are now running in most of Ohio’s major cities and are supported by a wide variety of conservation organizations, businesses, and individuals. In addition to his work with OBCI, Matt is in charge of web communications for the Association of Field Ornithologists and is the co-editor of The Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in Ohio.
Grant Sizemore of the American Bird Conservancy details how house cats can coexist with garden birds, and Matthew Shumar of the Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative describes how to make your yard more bird safe
Forty-four percent of bird/window collisions happen with low-rise and residential buildings. Birds just don’t understand glass and fly into windows at incredible speed. Biologist Matt Shumar has some easy ways to make your home safer for birds. First, reduce lighting, which attracts birds. Turn outdoor lights off during spring and fall. Second, make windows visible to birds by applying special stickers (not the fake hawk and falcon type — the goal is to break up the image). There’s more, too.
In this episode I sit down with Tim Jasinski who is a Wildlife Rehab Specialist at the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center in Bay Village, Ohio. Tim has been a life long birder and loves animals more than you know. Join us as he details a lot about the Cleveland Lights Out program and what they’re doing to help save birds from window strikes in an urban downtown.
As we enjoy the beauty of fall in Ohio, bird migration is well underway in our state. Ohio is blessed as one of the best places to witness one of nature’s greatest spectacles. Warblers, shorebirds, hawks, and waterfowl are moving through our state in vast numbers, following age-old routes from northern nesting grounds to warmer winter hideaways. There are countless places to enjoy this phenomenon, from your own backyard, to the local park, and to our great state parks, national wildlife refuges, and national park sites.