I live and breathe naturalist. I search for and find the ultimate in nature. From hawks to meadowhawks, I will patiently find the findable. Why? Because I need to see it through my senses before I can share its steward-worthy story. When I’m not biologizing in the field, my unshakable duty is to share with family and friends the wonderful world of wildlife. You see my professional and personal targets focus one another. I began 2015 with aspirations to seek and see the biggest number of birds one could find in-county and in-state. It’s called a Big Year (see Big Years & Big Birds
post). I love wildflowers, love mammals, and love to teach of both their collective value. This year went to the birds though! My sights were set at 150 species for Cuyahoga County and 200 for State of Ohio; all in 2015. Did I hit my target?
|The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is a national emblem with a local success story. With a record Ohio low of 4 breeding pairs in 1979 to a record high of 200 breeding pairs in 2015, the bald eagle escaped total elimination from the state. My sighting: January 1, East 55th St. Marina in Cleveland, OH at 1:45 PM. [photo by Chuck Slusarczyk, Jr.] |
|The red-throated loon (Gavia stellata), close relative to the more familiar common loon (Gavia immer) is an unpredictable migrant to the southern corridors of Lake Erie. Careful eyes can spot them far off shore bobbing in choppy waters. My sighting: December 6, Sims Park in Euclid, OH at 10:30 AM. [photo by Chuck Slusarczyk, Jr.] |
I exceeded my goals. By December, I had hit 200 bird species in Cuyahoga County and 225 in the State of Ohio. I was flying high with success when I realized just why I started this whole mission: perspective on wildlife in nature and incidentally, in urban environments too! Spreading stewardship is best served with background experience; your
story. What can you find beyond your doors? You have a whole year and it begins January 1st.