Birding at the Biggest Week


Clockwise from left: magnolia warbler, Nashville warbler, American redstart, chestnut-sided warbler. These birds were spotted at the Magee Marsh boardwalk and taken by Deb Neidert.

You know how we’ve told you time and time again about how Northwest Ohio is the “warbler capital of the world?” Well, in case you didn’t believe it before, believe me now. This place is AMAZING. Some say it is “raining warblers” during this migration timeframe, and they are right! Put this festival on your bucket list. Right now. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Now let me tell you about the birds. Birds & Blooms editor Stacy Tornio and I kept a running list of all the bird species we saw throughout our 3.5 days at The Biggest Week in American Birding. We were very strict about this list, too. One of us had to have gotten a good look at it or it didn’t make the cut. We spent a full day birding some of the private properties in the area. The owners were gracious enough to let us walk their properties where we saw cool things like bobolinks, grasshopper sparrows and an eastern kingbird.

Palm warbler taken by Deb Neidert.

Are you ready to hear our final number? Drumroll, please! 101! We saw 101 different species of birds. We’re well aware that birding pros saw many more species than that, but we’re happy with our 101 and we’re pretty proud of it (it did take a little bit of last-minute birding before we hit the road to head back to Wisconsin, though). I think my favorite sighting was the indigo bunting. Or the chestnut-sided warbler. Or the northern parula. Or the eastern meadowlark. Shoot. I guess I can’t pick a favorite.

The red-headed woodpecker was our 100th bird.

It was hard to say good-bye to our bird friends and all of the readers and fellow birders we met on this trip. But we’ll be back to see the warblers again next year. See you in 2014, Biggest Week! And to all of our readers: We hope you’ll be able to join us next year.

Look closely and you’ll see Kenn and Kim Kaufman and Don and Lillian Stokes! We were lucky enough to bird with them.

  1. Theresa Heinsler says

    Share your enthusiasm over the Magnolia Warbler. This year was my first year at seeing one up close enough to study for an extended period of time. I took a myriad of pictures as they fed. That and a Black-throat Blue Warbler were feeding in the same tree and just about the last warblers able to see on this outing, and for this year. I reveled in the experience, particularly in the beauty of the Magnolia.

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