For example, the hard to find Henslow's sparrow returns each year around May 1st, to old farm fields that look as if they have not been mowed in a few years. To find them you would have to listen for their quick song in the fields which sounds like someone is saying "SLIP" real fast.
|Henslow's sparrow, Ammodramus henslowii|
|Palm warbler, Setophaga palmarum|
|Black-throated green warbler, Setophaga virens|
In April, the sweet whistling song of the rose-breasted grosbeak can be heard deep in the woods, and in yards with feeders. Although not until discovered recently, this now is one of the preserves breeding migratory birds. Not a common breeder in southern Ohio, it can be found in some local populations. Most of them heard or seen in Ohio during April and May are moving north.
|Rose-breasted grosbeak, Pheucticus ludovicianus|
|Common yellowthroat, Geothlypis trichas|
|Prairie warbler, Setophaga discolor|
|Scarlet tanager, Piranga olivacea|
|Eastern bluebird, Sialia sialis|
Since it is not a common breeding warbler on the preserve, the prothonotary warbler is an exciting find because it only nests in the floodplain forests along Ohio Brush Creek. Only a few breeding territories are found each year on the preserve. A fun way to survey them is by canoe.
|Prothonotary warbler, Protonotaria citrea|
Some of the non-breeders that pass through the preserve can best be found by listening for their songs. Once you know their song, you know which part of which tall tree to search. The black-throated blue warbler gives itself away by singing it's buzzy song which sounds like its saying "ZHHee, Zhhee, Zhee??" The third part sounds as if its asking a question.
Also along Ohio Brush Creek, or along roadside creeks, you might find a solitary sandpiper standing in the mud or rocks near the water. If it doesn't fly away as soon as you see it, it might teeter-totter in place quickly.
Every year, the preserve staff hunts and counts as many species as they can in a 24 hour period. Up to 145 (averaging about 130) bird species have been counted in and around the Edge of Appalachia Preserve properties in a one day bird-a-thon. That is a pretty good number considering almost 200 species have been recorded on or above the preserve, and at least 110 species breed here. This preserve is rich in diverse habitats suitable for many bird species, including forest species that have declined across their ranges. For a taste of a diverse birding experience, drive, look and listen along Waggoner Riffle Rd. and you might be surprised with what you find.
Posted by: Mark Zloba
|Black-throated blue warbler, Stenophaga caerulescens|
|Solitary sandpiper, Tringa solitaria|
Posted by: Mark Zloba