By now you know we are always trying to learn more about animals and nature here at Learning with Boys. We’re fortunate to live near Lake Erie, which happens to provide us some fabulous birding opportunities. I’ve never been a birder, but the boys are curious about all types of animals.
This week we visited Magee Marsh and Old Woman Creek Estuary. We were thrilled to see bald eagles at both locations, plus a bonus sighting along the highway before we even reached our first destination.
Magee Marsh is a hot spot for warblers this time of year. In fact, the local tourism boards and birder associations put on a big festival that draws people from all over the US.
If you don’t know anything about birding this is actually a great time to go. The board walk at Magee Marsh is filled with people who have some serious optics and considerable bird knowledge.
Most of the time we didn’t have to even ask what type of bird people were watching, because when they saw children, they asked, “Have you spotted the…..?”
Photographing the birds was exceptionally challenging. Many of them stay on a branch fractions of a second less than what it takes me to center and manually focus the camera. The black and white warblers are exceptionally cute, but they hop around branches so quickly I ended up with photos of empty branches.
In addition to warblers, we saw a rose-breasted grosbeak, a winter wren, and some thrushes. We also saw lots and lots of robins and red-winged blackbirds.
We’ve been learning about migratory flyways and the importance of marshes and estuaries, so the boys were delighted to get an entire day devoted to a field trip.
To top off our great week of bird watching we put out our hummingbird feeders and saw the first ruby throat of the season! Maybe this year I’ll succeed in getting a picture at our feeder. If you have a chance to visit Lake Hope, Ohio they have a wonderful hummingbird program where you can “hand-feed” hummingbirds starting in July.