The Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO) gives visitors of all ages opportunities to catch a glimpse of rare birds right here in our backyard, reports News 11 meteorologist James Canterbury.
"While we're all familiar with them, a lot of people don't get the chance to see them up close. And we're really excited to have the kids here today to be able to share the beauty of these birds up close, talk about migration and all the cool things that are happening in the Lake Erie marsh region," says Kim Kaufman who works with the BSBO.
Indeed, Magee Marsh and the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge are hot spots for tens of thousands of birds this time of year.
"The marsh region provides an amazing habitat for them to stop, rest, eat a ton of insects, store up a bunch of fat and then take off on migration to their wintering grounds and then on to their breeding grounds," Kaufman elaborates.
It's not just about seeing nature for Kaufman. The BSBO is about infecting people with a passion for wildlife.
"We've been doing all this research, we have all this knowledge about migration, about this rich resource, now we want to take it to the kids. We want to share it with them, inspire them, the next generation, to protect all of these valuable resources that we have," she says.
It's working. School kids from all over are showing up to learn more about how fascinating the migration really is.
"They go from down in South America all the way up to... they stop in Ohio and they go up into Canada to lay their babies," says fourth-grader Kaylee Smith.