Black and White Warbler. Photo by Kathy Noblet.

Saturday, May 7th - in spite of the damp, chilly conditions, a friendly group of people met at the Brown Family Environmental Center for a bird walk led by Kenyon Professor Emeritus Ray Heithaus.

 As we started the walk, we watched pair of Downy Woodpeckers and a Hairy Woodpecker in the trees next to the BFEC bird feeding station. It was a great opportunity for Dr. Heithaus to point out several field marks that help separate these two similar-looking species. There were also White-crowned Sparrows feeding on the ground. Baltimore Orioles were spotted in the tree tops as we walked across the property toward the nearby Kokosing Gap Trail. Eastern Bluebirds were seen around the nest boxes in the field behind the Center. Red-winged Blackbirds called as we walked by the frog pond toward the wildflower gardens. Turkey Vultures soared in the distance as we strolled along Gap Trail. We were able to get nice looks at a Common Yellowthroat and heard it's "witcha-witcha-witcha" song. This species is one of the few Wood Warblers that is a common summer resident and breeding bird in our area. 
Some of the other species the group observed included Cardinals, Robins, Warbling Vireos, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Song Sparrows, Tree and Barn Swallows and Goldfinches. The highlight of the walk occurred when a Black and White Warbler buzzed over the heads of several people and then landed where we had a chance to see this interesting little warbler who behaved like a nuthatch as it worked it's way up and down the tree trunks.
Article by Kathy Noblet, Owl Creek Conservancy member