I have been a birder for decades. Sadly, if the measure of skill in birding is correctly identifying species when they are sighted in the wild, I’m at best mediocre. Even so, I love observing birds and learning about them. Pro tip: the library has resources which, no matter your level of expertise, can help you to improve your birding skills.
If you are a resident of Lucas County, you live under the flyway of a truly astonishing bird migration, so you really should consider learning about migratory birds. In the spring, warblers, a tiny, colorful classification of songbirds, fly through our area on their journey of thousands of miles between Central and South America, and the Caribbean, on their way to Northern North America. These tiny travelers can weigh in at less than an ounce. I know! Right?
These travelers arrive in the marsh lands along Lake Erie like clockwork in late spring. Thanks to the banding of birds at locations like our neighbor, the Black Swamp Bird Observatory, you can actually watch the waves of arriving birds from radar images through tools like the BirdCast website maintained by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. You can see birds in aggregate from space from the comfort of your home using your smartphone! In our area parks and wildlife preserves, like Magee Marsh, you can see individual birds, and if you time it well, a good variety of warblers.
Birders flock to the shores of Lake Erie for the opportunity to see the wide variety of species assembling there as the birds build up strength for the next leg of their journey or settle into their breeding home. Though The Biggest Week in American Birding will be virtual this year due to the pandemic conditions, you can still get outside and look for the birds in the trees in your yard and neighboring parks.
We have many resources to help you learn how to identify and explore the nature of birds.