Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Swan Confirmed As Endangered Trumpeter

A swan sighting prompted another inquiry to our Wildlife Department that’s worth sharing. The Conway family photographed this beautiful bird in Medina and they thought it could be a Trumpeter Swan but were unsure whether Ohio was home to this type of swan. The swan was banded which made the Conways ask if this large bird should be reported to someone? Lake Erie Nature & Science Center has been the Conway family’s wildlife resource for almost 40 years so they knew just who to call for answers.

Our wildlife staff confirmed that the bird in this photo is in fact a Trumpeter Swan which is an endangered species in Ohio. The state has participated in a reintroduction program since 1997 and in 2009 recorded an all-time high of 73 swans fledging.

Trumpeter Swans are often misidentified Mute Swans which are European birds that have been introduced into the U.S. Mute Swans have created a problem for Trumpeter Swans because they very aggressive and can take over territories of the native Trumpeters. Tundra Swans can also be seen migrating through Ohio and also can be confused for Trumpeter Swans.

If you spot an endangered species, it can be reported to the Ohio Division of Wildlife. You can read more about bird banding here, including links for reporting a bird band sighting.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mystery Owl - Who You Gonna Call?

By Brownstone Day School students - Lakewood
A class of students from the Brownstone Day School in Lakewood snapped this terrific photo outside their classroom and wondered if the pint-sized owl was a baby. Luckily, the class had the wildlife staff at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center to give them some insight and information about their backyard discovery.

We loved the photo so much, we asked if we could share it, along with the information our Wildlife Education & Rehabliation Coordinator, Amy LeMonds, had for them:
That is an adult Northern Saw-whet Owl. It is the smallest owl found in this state and in the Eastern U.S. There are a couple of smaller owl species found in the Western U.S.
Saw-whet Owls are found here all year and eat small mammals like mice. When there is tons of snow they will keep a cache of food which freezes and when they are ready to eat it they thaw it by incubating it like an egg. They hunt with their excellent night vision and specialized hearing. The owl's oval face (which creates a disc shape to gather sound waves - like when you see a cat's ears move to “capture” sounds) and asymmetrical ears give them such good hearing.
Below is a link to Ohio Division of Wildlife which has excellent native animal info.
Thanks and let me know if you ever have wildlife questions in the future. - Amy LeMonds

Wildlife is waking up for spring and increasingly active this time of year. There's a lot to see and discover in your own backyard. Enjoy the show!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Discount for The Ugly Duckling & More

Enjoy movies? Take advantage of Lake Erie Nature & Science Center's special discount for the 35th Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF). As a Community Sponsor for the family film, The Ugly Duckling, we are pleased to offer our friends $2 off per ticket for ANY show during the Festival, which runs from March 24 - April 3 at Tower City Cinemas.


To receive your discount, use the code: LENSC when purchasing tickets any of the following ways:
  • Online at (24 hours a day)
  • By Phone at 877-304-FILM (3456)
  • In the Ulmer & Berne Film Fest Box Office, lobby of Tower City Cinemas

Tickets went on sale to the general public today, Friday, March 11. Additional restrictions may apply. Enjoy the shows!