Birds of the Lake Erie Region
Carolyn V Platt
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
This photographic collection explores Lake Erie and its effects on the birds that make this region their home. It observes a year of weather changes and avian migrations - from the wintertime convergence of ducks and othe waterbirds to the raptors and shorebird migrations in the fall.
may float and feed serenely on the water. The main Canada goose migration sweeps out of the north during this month. Because the Lake Erie marshes lie at a crossroads of the Atlantic and Mississippi flyways, and because birds pause to rest there before and after the Lake Erie crossing, migrations of many kinds of birds—waterfowl, warblers and other songbirds, shorebirds, and birds of prey—are often spectacular. This is especially true on a day after a strong north wind, though migration’s pace is
to capture slippery fish, which are their main food, along with other small aquatic creatures. Relentless agricultural, population, and development pressures threaten the Lake Erie marshes, as they do most natural areas in the United States. Agriculture alone has destroyed more than three-quarters of the United States’ wetlands over the past two hundred years. On Ohio’s lakeshore, marinas and condos spring up like mushrooms, preempting farmland and wetland alike, causing land prices to soar, and
species such as phragmites and canary grass have invaded the marsh creating an environment undesirable for bird life. One questions the logic of this decision. This adult little gull belongs to a Eurasian species much sought after by North American birders. It now breeds irregularly on this continent from the Great Lakes to Hudson Bay, and a few birds winter in our area. The Niagara River Gorge is a great place to see this “specialty bird” of the Lake Erie region in autumn. If it leaves this
store seeds, acorns, and other foods in tree crevices and in the ground. Many of their stashes are filched by hungry squirrels. A common feeder visitor, the dark-eyed junco is our most abundant wintering sparrow species, at home in open as well as in forested areas. A few pairs breed here in deep ravines, especially on the Ohio side of the lake. The beautiful little American kestrel is our smallest falcon. Males like this one are more common in the north during winter than are females. These
warblers in this area. Note this male’s yellow face, black throat, and dull green crown. Females have a less impressive black cravat. Nesters are more common in Pennsylvania, the Adirondacks in northern New York, and Ontario east of Georgian Bay than right around Lake Erie. This is because they prefer coniferous or mixed coniferous and deciduous forests in their summer range. A small bird is not a windup toy that leaves its wintering ground and motors on to its nesting range on automatic pilot.