The Lake Erie marsh region east of Toledo is what remains of the Great Black Swamp that used to stretch from Sandusky to Chicago. Over the last 200 years or so, the swamp has been mostly drained and transformed into farmland, subdivisions, and cities. Only 10% remains, and that portion is a vital resting point for over 300 species of birds that migrate through the Great Lakes region each spring and fall.
I hiked through Magee Marsh and stopped in at the headquarters of the Black Swamp Bird Observatory to speak with Kim Kaufman (shown in photo in front of map) the executive director there. Kim told me about the important work that happens in the area and how local, state, and federal agencies cooperate to maintain, improve, and expand the nature preserve.
The biggest event there is coming up May 4-11: The Biggest Week In American Birding.
Tens of thousands of people "flock" to northwest Ohio in May to watch the migrating birds rest here on their way north for the summer. Warblers (many species) are especially plentiful.
When I asked Kim what the most important thing she'd like me to pass on to people, she said, "Tell them to buy the duck stamp if they care about birds." did you know that 99 cents of every dollar spent on the duck stamp goes to acquire habitat for birds? Yep. And later that day I passed several acres that had been set aside due to this program.
You can purchase yours at the gift shop there or online at:
Location:Oak Harbor, OH