SHREVE -- Birders of all backgrounds will flock to the Killbuck Wildlife Area on March 18 for the 17th annual Shreve Spring Migration Sensation.
The peak spring bird migration event will offer self-guided tours, family-friendly activities and workshops hosted by well-known experts in their fields from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m throughout the Shreve area.
Individual admission costs $15, or $20 per family, and includes all events and six workshops. Registration is available at Shreve Elementary School or Whispering Hills Jellystone Park. Each participant will get a passport that can be stamped at the numerous stops.
"All the money brought in goes back into the event for speakers, spotters and more," said event organizer Heidi Garst.
Shreve Elementary will house the Birder's Marketplace, which will offer a number of vendor booths and exhibits from Greater Mohican Audubon Society, the Division of Wildlife, the Medina Raptor Center and other nature groups.
Kids and their families can learn more about small reptiles, amphibians and mammals found in the Killbuck Marsh from Wilderness Center naturalist Lynda Price or head over to the Shreve Library to enjoy hands-on crafts, games, activities and coloring.
Speakers will include Judy Semrock on the natural history and behavior of chimney swifts, Jason Larson about turtles of the Killbuck region, Jim McCormac with the biggest winners and losers of Ohio's birdlife; and Cheryl Harner offering tips on selecting the perfect tree to create a home habitat for Ohio's birds to stop at.
Dick Stoffer, a professor of biology at Ashland University, will lead short, guided hikes around Brown's Lake Bog to identify native plants and explain how and why the bog exists.
Children can enjoy Songs and Tails from the Woods with Sam Sapp and Sarah Matheny from 8:30 to 9:15 a.m. The Akron Zoo will also present a live animal program from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Both programs will be held at the school.
Heading out to the wilderness, birders can peer through the scopes at Funk Bottoms Wildlife Observation Deck, Shreve Lake Observation Area and Wright Marsh Observation Area. They may catch a glance of a bald eagle at the observation area off Force Road.
Spotters from the Greater Mohican Audubon Society will be on hand at all help stations to assist participants with spotting and identifying birds throughout the marsh.
The Passport to Fishing Program at Whispering Hills Jellystone Park, will provide information for beginner fishermen, no matter what their age. From 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., they can learn more about casting, fishing knots, rigging, fish habitat and handling and local information.
They can also strap on their rubber boots and head up Willow Road to dip their nets in the marsh. Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalists will help marsh explorers dip-net for aquatic invertebrates and will have tables set up with microscopes to help identify the creatures lurking beneath the surface.
Reporter Emily Morgan can be reached at 330-287-1632 or firstname.lastname@example.org.