Well, Spring has sprung at Lawrence Woods State Nature Preserve. Most of the migrating birds that nest here are dealing with territorial disputes with the local year rounders. The reptiles are coming out of hiding and starting to soak up the sun. And the mammals are out and about as well. Here are a few things that I have seen this Spring.
First a couple of the migrating through birds. These birds breed in Canada, and migrate through Ohio...some stop over, some continue on north. The Rusty Blackbird is one of those that is migrating from somewhere further north. It is listed as a Vulnerable species...meaning that at present, their population is on the decline. You can find out more about them and the work trying to understand their decline here: http://rustyblackbird.org/ .
Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are a woodpecker that poke holes in trees to get at the sap. When you see anywhere from 5 to 10 holes in a row on the side of a tree...a Sapsucker has been there. Sometimes they stay for winter...sometimes they continue south. This year two were seen in The Woods, below is a male.
One of the local birds is a Hairy Woodpecker. It looks similar to a Downy Woodpecker, but bigger in both body and bill.
Prothonatory Warblers are my personal favorite...their call is SWEET! SWEET! SWEET! they are listed as Least Concern, but here in Ohio, their breeding grounds are threatened. The nest in swampy/wet forested areas in old cavities left by other birds and bird houses that were designed for them. Lawrence Woods generally supports one pair a year. Below is a male.
The Warbling Vireo is a plain looking birds with a wonderfully melodious song. They are one if the birds that go south for the winter.
The Ovenbird is a Warbler that is rather large as warblers go. You usually see them on the ground eating spiders and other small bugs.
The Black-and-white Warbler gets its name because...well..it's black and white. :-D
And now my second favorite bird. The Cerulean Warbler is the bluest warbler. It is listed as Vulnerable as well. Lawrence Woods usually holds a couple of nesting pair. They love the high canopy trees and usually you have to look WAAAY up to see them. Without the high trees that Lawrence Woods is known for..they would have to look elsewhere. I bring this up because just today a person suggested that they needed to come in and log the place...I gently explained to him that the reason why the trees aren't turned into furniture is because of this beautiful bird...hopefully he and his family got the point. :-D
Every once and a while you are just walking down the boardwalk and you see movement out of the corner of your eye. Sometimes its deer, sometimes another bird...This time it was a Mink! MinkCan you see me?
Share the boardwalk with the wildlife. :-D
And finally, possibly one of my favorite snakes a Common Watersnake will crawl up on the button bush and take in the sun. Similar to the Lake Erie Watersnake, they are not poisonous...but they do bite when picked up...so no touching. :-D
EXTREEAM closeup. :-D
Well, that's it for now...except to remember most of our State Nature Preserves are just that; preserves. Lawrence Woods is one of the only places in Ohio where Heart Leaf Plantain grows, Many birds and animals can be found in it's confines. So please be respectful to the park, and others visiting the park by taking out whatever you take in and if you find someone else's trash please pick it up if you can...within the rules of the preserve of course. so far this year, I'v picked up bottles, cans, fast food bags...and a CAKE! Who throws away a WHOLE CAKE!
Anyhew, have a great Spring.
Sola Deo Gloria
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