Friday, May 28, 2010

Striking Red Bird Fends Off Reflection

We had a perfect example of a bird protecting its territory from its own reflection right in the parking lot of Lake Erie Nature & Science Center today. A gorgeous Scarlet Tanager was battling itself in the reflected morning light on a front windshield.

If you're curious about the phenonmenon, head over to our website where Questions # 2 on our Wildlife FAQ's explains: Check our Facebook Page, too. We'll be posting some still photos of this striking black-winged red bird there, in addition to the LENSC-tube video clip.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

We Applaud Our Volunteers

We want to give one more "shout out" to our wonderful volunteers corps following our week of  Volunteer Appreciation Week activities and our weekend Volunteer Appreciation Brunch. At Saturday's event, we had a number of multiple award winners. Our 2009 Volunteer of the Year, Matt Grisnik, was also one of two recipients of the William and Shirley Snider Family Scholarship Award. Hillary Stradtman picked up the other scholarship. Our 2009 Adult Volunteers of the Year, Mike and Sue Clark were both givers and receivers of recognition since they  are the generous funders the Snider Family Scholarship. The group photo above shows the Clarks with Matt and Hillary.

2009 Special Recognition Volunteers included Trish Binder, Rob Catalano, Kathy Haas, Mary Haymond, Gary Houk, Karen Huhndorff, Jim Sparks, Jo Theis and Phyllis Wiggenhorn.
Another group of volunteers received our new Milestone Award, which tracks volunteers hours since 2007. One volunteer, Sean Waitkus, has already reached Gold Level status during that time, logging more than 1,000 hours! Matt Grisnik and George Moskwa achieved Silver Level status serving 500- 999 hours and 34 volunteers have given the Bronze Level of 150 - 499 hours.

For The President's Service Award, which is presented for annual volunteer thresholds, Sean Waitkus was singled out again for 2009 Gold Level status, with 8 volunteers giving Silver Level hours in '09 - Frank Colosimo, Matt Grisnik, Kathy Haas, Gary Houk, Madison Maher, George Moskwa, Michael Restifo and Hillary Stradtman - and 20 more wonderful volunteers achieving Bronze Level recognition.

Volunteer Coordinator Julie Mistur and Executive Director Catherine Timko were on hand to applaud the award winners. We appreciate ALL of our 200+ volunteers who are a key part of our making our mission happen. Thank you volunteers!

Want to join them? Check out the Volunteer pages of our Website.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Nests Pop Up In All Shapes, Sizes & Locations

Many of you are seeing nests of different shapes and sizes in all kinds of places around your house this time of year. We’re no different here at the Center, where we’ve observed a robin nesting on an exterior light and a flicker using a nearby hollow tree as a nest site.

Cavity, cup, platform, and mounds are among the many types of nests that birds build and we’ve seen two types under construction near the Center this spring. "Our" robin built a cup shaped nest out a variety of materials, including some shiny white gift bag stuffing that you can see in the photo.

The male flicker is responsible for picking the nest site and excavating a cavity nest. Wildlife Rehabilitation Coordinator Amy LeMonds observed a Flicker excavating the nest in a rotting tree near us for 10 - 14 days. Both the male and female incubate the eggs for about 14 days and both feed their babies for about 25 days before they fledge or leave the nest.

“Our” baby robins should be hatching any day. The normal cycle calls for the mom to incubate her sky blue eggs for about 14 days and then share the responsibility of feeding the nestlings with her male partner for 14 days before they fledge.

The photos of these two birds at their nesting sites were taken by Seasonal Wildlife Specialist Tim Jasinski.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Duck, Nest Projects Tackled By Cargill Volunteers

A big thank-you to a group of volunteers from Cargill who spent a day with us last week supporting our nonprofit work in a variety of ways. They helped us to get 1,000 rubber ducks ready for our upcoming Great Duck Race and painted new dates (Sunday, June 6!) on the colorful duck signs that advertise Family Fun Fest and The Great Duck Race.

The group also created a supply of artificial bird nests out of cardboard milk cartons and plastic jugs for use in our Wildlife Education & Rehabilitation Program.

According to the Cargill website, company-sponsored volunteer opportunities focus on nutrition and health, education and environmental stewardship.

It just so happens that the Cargill volunteer visit coincided with our celebration of Volunteer Appreciation Week, where we tip our hats to many, many wonderful people who power our organization with the gift of their time, talents and sweat! For more information about volunteering at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, you can visit the volunteer pages of our website.