Thursday, December 1, 2005

Going Wilds

Thursday, December 1, 2005

Big day tomorrow. Headed up to Zanesville for the winter Ohio Ornithological Society board meeting and Saturday's Raptor Symposium, but en route I'll be scouting The Wilds with L'il Jim McCormac and Jen Sauter. Funsville, USA.

The Wilds is a giant "recovered" strip mine here in SE Ohio (see above). The vast expanse of open grassland is an island of unique habitat here in this hilly, wooded part of the state. It's the winter home to a nice variety of waterfowl, but the lure for birders is the winter congregations of rough-legged hawks, northern harriers, and short-eared owls. In recent years a couple of golden eagles and even a prairie falcon have wintered at The Wilds.

Because of this interesting birding opportunity, the OOS chose The Wilds as the focal point of a winter raptor symposium. We'll be convening for breakfast on Saturday morning at the Zanesville Holiday Inn, followed by several presentations on Ohio's raptors. Then all 200 of us will carpool to The Wilds for an afternoon of raptor rapture.

Bring your longjohns, Sodbuster. It's gonna be a cold one!