On August 17, The Ohio Young Birders’ Club went to Lake Hope Sate Park in the Hocking Hills Area to bird around the Lake Hope and hand-feed Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. As tradition goes, we met in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant on the south side of town, this time it was McDonald’s, and headed off in a caravan to go hunting for birds. (This is meant in a figurative way only!)
After an hour and half of winding roads and sharp turns we arrived at the Lake Hope Furnace, which was used a hundred years ago to melt iron found in the area. Who knew we would get a mini history lesson while birding‽ From the furnace we followed a trail that went along the lake. We saw many Eastern Phoebes flying across the lake. Everyone was on the lookout for a Green Heron and we found one on the other side of the lake about ten minutes after we began our hike.
Later on the hike we heard a woodpecker and there was some debate between the advisors whether or not it was a Northern Flicker or a Pileated Woodpecker; I personally hoped it was a Pileated, but it never showed itself. Also along the trail we saw many species of moss and lichens that carpeted the sides of the trail and were very beautiful to look at, especially up close when one can see the different shapes of the plants and the beauty of the water beading off of them. (If you have not picked up yet, Bryophytes are my favourite kind of plants.)
Finally it was time for lunch which we all enjoyed outside near the new lodge that was built just a few years ago. There was plenty of food to go around as everyone decided to bring an extra snack for everyone else in the group. I got my own can of Diet Coke with Lime as Clare was not on the trip and I usually have to share some with her because Susan Setterlin always brings an extra for us. Thank you Susan!
After lunch it was time for the best part of the trip, hand-feeding the hummingbirds. The nature centre where the feeding took place gave us little plastic containers with a red pipe cleaner wrapped around it because humming birds are attracted to red above all other colours. Sariah was smart enough to wear a red shirt and was visited by the hummingbirds four times. It was a grueling task sitting still for such a long time waiting for the birds to come close enough to feed from the plastic tube. But the experience was totally worth it because you hear the quiet chirps that the female hummingbird makes as she flies away after filling her tummy with sweet sugar water and the signature hum of her wings as she darted in and sipped from the “flower.”
The trip was awesome and I cannot believe that the Ohio Young Birders’ Club had not come down to Lake Hope before. However, I can tell you right now, we will be back. In addition to all the cool birds and landscape that Lake Hope had to offer, we had fun meeting and birding with the newest advisor of the Ohio Young Birders’ Club, Nadya Bennett. Nadya had been with Ohio Young Birders’ Club in its infancy, but had to move to Texas for her job at the San Antonio Zoo. Now she is back in Columbus and it is great to have her back with the Ohio Young Birders’ Club!
The following lists of birds and non-avian fauna seen on the trip was compiled by Trevor Zook, also a student member of the Central Ohio Chapter of the Ohio Young Birders Club.
Great Blue Heron
Little Brown Bat (Bat)
Five-Lined Skink (Skink)
Gray Hairstreak (Butterfly)
Tiger Swallowtail (Butterfly)
Black Swallowtail (Butterfly)
A Skipper of Some Sort (Butterfly)
Long-Horned Beetle (Beetle)
Dotted Antaeotricha Moth (Moth)
Elegant Grass-Veneer (Moth)
Forage Looper (Moth)
Green Cloverworm (Moth)
Hemlock Looper (Moth)
White-Dotted Prominent (Moth)
Yellow-Based Tussok Moth (Moth)
Yellow-Spotted Webworm (Moth)
Zebra Swallowtail (Butterfly)
Decorated Owlet (Moth)
Common Gray (Moth)
** One other moth, still unidentified