Popularity of birding at Magee Marsh highlights need for new bo - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Popularity of birding at Magee Marsh highlights need for new boardwalk

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OAK HARBOR, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Thousands of bird watchers, otherwise known as birders, are migrating to the area to watch the annual spring migration of birds.

The event is called 'The Biggest Week in American Birding' and continues until Thursday along Lake Erie in Northwest Ohio.

Eight thousand birders from 44 states and thirteen countries are here.

They're being asked to help replace the birders boardwalk.

The prime spot for watching and photographing the birds is the Magee Marsh Boardwalk.

It's just under a mile long, but every day during this part of the year it is crammed with birders.

"Lots of different species I've never seen before. We got into it a year ago," said John Boyer.

Nobody seems to be complaining about the boardwalk's condition because the birds here are the stars.

"You need good binoculars and a bird book. It's a treasure hunt every day. You never know what you're going to find," said Lois Terdeen.

Still, the boardwalk is creaky and needs to be replaced, even though it is still considered safe.

Monday night from 5 PM – 7PM, a fundraiser for the new boardwalk will be held at Maumee Bay State Park.

Organizers are hoping to raise $300,000.

$25,000 has already been donated.

Birders are being asked to make contributions so their trek to McGee Marsh is even more enjoyable.

"The boardwalk is 25 years old. Hundreds of thousands of people have traversed the boardwalk. It's old. The lumber is aging and it needs to be replaced," said Kimberly Kaufman of the Black Swamp Bird Observatory.

If you can't make it to the fundraiser you can make a donation at www.friendsofmcgeemarsh.org.

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