January Update

This just in: 99% of Ohioans are glad this January is over. I do know some people enjoy January for skiing and generally like the cold weather. But our January in Ohio was cloudy 24 days and dreary with fog 18 days and an extreme cold snap in the middle to top it off. So it was not just our imaginations; the weather sucked. But I will also say on the positive side, the length of daylight is increasing and as a result, bird activity is starting to increase slowly but surely.

Our local eagle couple, Annie and Apollo have been working on their nest and starting to mate, despite the weather. Apollo is seen here enjoying one of the seven sunnyish days to get his vitamin D and do some feather grooming.

Ohio’s state bird is a reliable bright spot in our winters here on the east coast. The Northern Cardinal is also the state bird of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia. Fun fact: the Blue Hen Chicken is one of two domestic poultry birds with the honor of being the state bird of Delaware.

Mute Swans are frequent visitors to Quarry Trails Metropark and look lovely to my eyes against the tans and browns of winter vegetation. As an introduced species, Mute Swans can be a concern to native populations, such as Trumpeter Swans. But in this park, the two swan types divvied up the lake areas and stay out of each others ways for the most part.

Mourning Doves are common and not Ohio’s most popular bird. However, many people enjoy their cooing which is about to start up in February and March, signaling the coming of spring. And this was again a rare sunny day photo that looks way better than the cloudy alternatives from this birding month.

And finally, my update as of 2/3 could not be complete without mention of the Groundhog’s forecast. Good old Punxsatawney Phil did NOT see his shadow which is a sure sign (!?) of an early spring. I hope you have a wonderful day and month.