Warm weather is perfect for early bird spotters

Warm weather is perfect for early bird spotters

OTTAWA COUNTY, OH (WTOL) - With the recent weather being unseasonably warm, there is little reason for people to stay indoors. And the Black Swamp Bird Observatory is trying to help those struggling to find something to do.

Bird migration season does not start for a few more weeks. But with the warmer weather this week, there are still plenty of bird spotting opportunities.

Every May, thousands of bird enthusiast flock to northwest Ohio as songbirds rest in Magee Marsh in Ottawa County before crossing Lake Erie.

It is a not-so-hidden gem of our area that Kimberly Kaufman, the executive Director of the Black Swamp bird Observatory, says everyone living in northwest Ohio should get out and enjoy.

"To see the spring migration of songbirds, there is no better place on the entire continent to see birds. And that sounds like hyperbole, but it is absolutely true." said Kaufman. "People will come from all over the globe to see our birds as they're visiting us in northwest Ohio. So, why not get out and take advantage of that ourselves."

Already, hundreds have begun visiting the lake shore as geese, ducks and other waterfowl have begun their trek back north.

"You're able to get a really good view of a lot of the birds in their natural environment. And the birds are so close up, especially in May in Warbler migration, that you barely even have to have binoculars to enjoy it," said Scott Watkins, a visitor of Magee Marsh from Canton.

But the real feature this week are the rare Northern Saw-Whet Owls who spend winter in Ohio.

The few spotted in Ottawa County have brought thousands of visitors this weekend in from as far away as Canada.

"These owls, I promise you, there are at least a few of these in the Toledo Metroparks somewhere, we just have to get out and look," said Kaufman.

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