Glen Helen
On a day with lots of wind, birding experts and watchers counting species for the third Make It Count for the Birds event in the Glen on Saturday, May 9, surpassed last year’s data by one. The group charted a total of 89 species of birds, including one Tennessee oven bird, a wilson, a barred owl, blue herons (immature shown, top right), and lots of magnolia warblers and Baltimore orioles everywhere. The 40 to 50 birders added several new bird species to this year’s list, including a black vulture (a piece of data that supports the northern movement that species has been making), a Canada warbler, a yellow breasted chat and a wild turkey that one birder from Illinois saw sitting on its nest. Perhaps it was the wind, or the clouds, or the fact that many migrants just decided to pass up the Glen in hopes of better weather in Canada, but Saturday was “a really tough year for finding birds out there,” according to Glen Director Nick Boutis, who added that almost every warbler and more than half the birds counted were single sightings. “In other words, if you’d looked the other direction or happened not to hear that chirp, you’d have missed it.”

Birders like these folks from the 2009 count are being sought for Glen Helen's annual Make It Count for the Birds event,

Gear up for the village’s own winged migration

The frequent showers and blooming of wildflowers heralds not just the true beginning of spring but also Glen Helen’s annual birdwatching marathon, otherwise known as Make it Count for the Birds. This year’s count of local and migratory birds will take place on Saturday, May 11, and the Glen is asking that volunteers, especially knowledgeable ones, sign up for a count area.   

In addition to birdwatching, the event is the Glen’s largest fundraiser for land stewardship projects. The preserve hopes to reach its goal of $15,000 in order to be able to continue the ongoing work of habitat restoration and invasive species removal.

The Glen is asking volunteers to:

• Sign up as a participant by contacting Ann Simonson at asimonson {at} glenhelen(.)org or 937-769-1902 ext.103

• Sign up as leaders (or at least designated skilled observers) on a few of the scheduled hikes. See the schedule below; starred hikes still need leaders.

 The schedule on May 11 will be as follows:

5:30 a.m. Dawn Chorus along the Little Miami Greet the dawn and hear the forest awaken with song. MEETING SPOT: Grinnell Mill, 3536 Bryan Park Rd.

8 a.m. Woodland Bird Walk We expect fifty species or more on this two-hour hike. MEETING SPOT:Trailside Museum

** 8 a.m. Pine Forest Walk Migratory songbirds, with occasional sightings of unusual finds like the colorful pine warbler. MEETING SPOT: Horace Mann Meadow, Bryan Park Rd., just south of John Bryan St Park entrance

** 11 a.m. The Homestead Walk The sparsely visited area of the South Glen is home to a recently restored wetland. MEETING SPOT: The far end of West Jacoby Rd. (Access from Rt. 68)

11 a.m. South Glen Wetlands The slope wetlands and cattail marsh of the South Glen present a wholly different habitat than that of the North Glen. MEETING SPOT: Greene County Boat Launch at the end of East Jacoby Rd. (Access from Clifton Rd.)

1 p.m. Tally Rally Birders share what they’ve found (and what they’ve missed). Nosh on complimentary sandwiches and coffee. LOCATION: Trailside Museum

** 2 p.m. Trailside Museum Sit Bird from the comfort of the Inman Terrace, as we find out how many species can we spot from one 17-foot circle. LOCATION: Trailside Museum

** 2:30 p.m. Prairie and River Walk We’ll walk through the South Glen along the Little Miami. Expect orioles, finches, swallows, and warblers. MEETING SPOT: The Little Miami Bridge on Grinnell Rd.

2:30 p.m. Cleanup Crew We’ll dispatch teams in search of known species missed during the morning hikes. MEETING SPOT: Trailside Museum

5 p.m. Evening Tally Rally Join our birders for the evening species count. LOCATION: Trailside Museum

10 p.m. Owling Hike with s’mores We hike through the Glen in search of nocturnal birds. MEETING SPOT: Trailside Museum

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