Upcoming Program: Tuesday, January 27
The Timber Rattlesnake is Ohio's largest venomous snake, reaching a record length of 74 inches. Timber Rattlesnakes were historically found across much of Ohio, but their range has been reduced to three general areas – largely public forests and are listed as an endangered species in Ohio by the Ohio Division of Wildlife. At this time, their reproductive characteristics are insufficient for survival since they cannot keep up with the present levels of intentional killings, road mortality, commercial collecting, diseases, and habitat destruction. A realistic evaluation recognizes that controlling habitat destruction is the only practical solution to preventing the Ohio Timber Rattlesnake from extirpation. Present management plans by the Ohio Division of Forestry include an increase in logging and the use of controlled burning. Research published in scientific journals indicate that Ohio's forestry plans will likely be devastating to our Timber Rattlesnake.
Please join us as we welcome Doug Wynn, Herpetologist, who will ask the question: Ohio's Timber Rattlesnake: After Twenty-five years of Studies are we Documenting an Extirpation?
Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Franklin County
Our friend and noted Columbus birder Bill Whan has graciously shared his Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Franklin County. The checklist is in PDF format so that you can read it online; download it to your computer, tablet, or smartphone; or print part or all of it. You can download it here or, in the future, obtain the newest version anytime by clicking on Resources / Checklists and Indexes in the main menu above.
Birding by Ear Workshop: Date Change
The Birding by Ear Workshop originally scheduled for February 28 has been rescheduled for Saturday, March 7 due to a schedule conflict. Here's the information with the new date:
Please join us on March 7 for a Birding by Ear Workshop: What you Should Know about Birdsong. In a three-hour workshop, Angelika Nelson, Ph.D., Curator of the Borror Laboratory of Bioaccoustics at the OSU Museum of Biological Diversity, will give you an overview of what scientists have so far discovered about how birds acquire and use song. We will then look at how these findings may help you in the field when trying to identify birds by their sounds.
Hoover Boardwalk Closed for Repairs
As of November 28, the boardwalk at Area M in the Hoover Nature Preserve in Galena is closed for inspection and repairs. When the water draws down and the boardwalk supports dry out, City of Columbus employees inspect what the ice and water flow have done and replace damaged boards as needed. Progress on the repairs will depend on how the weather cooperates, but we hope that the boardwalk will reopen soon in good condition.
Save the Dates: Great Backyard Bird Count Feb 13 - 16
Save the dates for the next Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC): February 13-16, 2015. The GBBC is a great way to participate in citizen science from the comfort of your home. It's perfect for beginner birders and experts alike - and fun for the kids, too. We'll have more information later, so watch this page. Meanwhile, you can learn more at the GBBC Web site.
Summaries of 114th Christmas Bird Count
While you are getting ready for this year's Christmas Bird Count, you might want to take a look at the results of last year's CBC. The 2013 CBC was the 114th conducted. The count with the most species was at Matagorda County-Mad Island Marsh, TX, where 228 species were recorded. On the other end of the scale, the count at Rankin Inlet, Nunavut (Canada) recorded exactly one species – Common Raven.
When you join one of our central Ohio Christmas Bird Counts, you are participating in one of the largest citizen science projects ever. You will have lots of company: last year's count drew a record 71,659 observers! All those counters found a total of 66,243,371 birds. if you're wondering why we are just now finding out the results of last year's count, just consider how long it takes to put all those records together. You can find a complete summary on the national Audubon Web site.
Want to get in on the action? Check out our list of Central Ohio counts!
Abstracts from Ohio Avian Research Conference
Columbus Audubon was proud to be one of the sponsors for the Ohio Avian Research Conference held in October, 2014, at Denison University. Amanda Duren, Columbus Audubon board member, and Stephen Bischof, member of the Central Ohio Chapter of the Ohio Young Birders Club, were among the presenters.
Abstracts of conference presentations, along with a slideshow of photographs, are available at the Conference web site.