Spring Migration is Special in Mentor

By Joel Throckmorton

When people assume of birding destinations, Lake County probably isn’t the 1st place that pops into anyone’s intellect. It is, having said that, 1 of the finest areas in the full state of Ohio for spring migration with 346 species noticed as of this producing. It is quick to see why a range of terrific preserves and parks serve as beautiful stopovers for migratory species to rest and refuel before continuing their journey above Lake Erie toward their Canadian breeding grounds.

Acquiring birded for about a ten years now, I can barely try to remember what birds I utilised to think of as the major migrants passing by way of Ohio. Were they American Robins…or Jap Bluebirds? Now I know there is an unbelievable variety of birds that migrate through which includes flycatchers, sparrows, grosbeaks, buntings, and woodpeckers. I’m nevertheless amazed at the thoughts-boggling passage that the birds that pour by way of Ohio in late-April via May make from as considerably as South America. Among the the most breathtaking, and my preferred, are “wood warblers” of the relatives Parulidae. I don’t forget viewing my incredibly to start with Magnolia Warbler and questioning how I had unsuccessful to detect this beautiful bird for 20 decades.

On a great working day, you can spot up to two dozen species of warblers at sites like the Mentor Lagoons Mother nature Protect, Headlands Dunes State Nature Protect, or on the Zimmerman Path by Shipman’s Pond.

With prevailing south winds, you can watch morning flights of northern sparkles, large flocks of blackbirds, swallows, and orioles…and, if you’re lucky, you’ll also spot Sandhill Cranes and American White Pelicans.

The birding treasure of Lake County occurs to also be just one of the biggest habitat restoration projects in the state – the Mentor Marsh Condition Mother nature Preserve. Managed by the Cleveland Museum of Pure Record, the maintain occupies 691-acres of wetland and adjacent forest habitat. It supports many migratory chook species during their migration and offers superb breeding habitat for wetland-dependent indigenous species such as Minimum Bittern, Virginia Rail, Sora, and American Bittern.

A good position to see these secretive marsh birds is on the Wake Robin boardwalk which sales opportunities suitable into the center of the marsh. This hotspot has manufactured some extraordinary rarities these as the reclusive Yellow Rail. One more wonderful vantage level is the Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve and Marina. From the parking ton, you are sure to hear the colony of Purple Martins, which nest in cavity gourds managed the City of Mentor. They are just one of my preferred species of migrants, not only due to the fact I get to band them, but simply because they vacation countless numbers of miles from the Amazon basin (consider jaguars and toucans) to breed here!

This location has also developed some terrific birds about the years such as the state’s initial file of Tropical Kingbird and a unusual wading bird, the Tiny Blue Heron. The upland forest inside the Lagoons can be loaded with warblers, flycatchers, vireos, and sparrows.

Lake County will proceed to develop exceptional birds, specially as phrase linked to the diversity of species and birding hotspots in just northeast Ohio continues to unfold. And, all are welcome. We’re very pleased to showcase our pure areas and our neighborhood. We’re effortless to get to and those heading into city will be shocked at the number of close by features which includes shopping, dining, lodging, and nearby attractions.

Joel Throckmorton has a decade of birding practical experience and has labored as a fowl bander and biologist looking into endangered species throughout Florida, Texas, California, and Louisiana. He enjoys staying a part of the birding communities in Lake and Cuyahoga county, as nicely as exploring new ecosystems both equally overseas and in the U.S.