Conservation News

Conservation News

Conservation News

Here's a quick guide resource of the latest news and happenings in the world of conservation. 

Old-Growth Forest Network

In April of 2023, Rowe Woods was officially inducted into the Old-Growth Forest Network for having some of the last remaining acres of old-growth forest in the nation. The forests that are part of the Old-Growth Forest Network are chosen because they’re among the oldest known forests in their county and have a formal protection in place to ensure the trees and ecosystem are protected from commercial logging.

This induction not only proves that we have this ecologically important habitat on our property, but that our conservation team has been managing this land in a manner that’s helped to keep it healthy.

A Winter Wren sits on a log.
Winter wren at Rowe Woods photo by Kelly Volz

Christmas Bird Count Results

On Monday, December 26, we took part in the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count. Nineteen participants walked a combined 11 miles of trails and recorded all of the bird species they identified by sight or sound. We managed to count 34 different bird species, including a flyover of 60 sandhill cranes! The full list of species and numbers spotted is below.

Special thanks go out to Tim Nabors, Jake Sberna, Kelly Volz, Andy Fix, Cathy Corsmeier, and Paul Korn for coming out early Monday morning to help count. And a big shout-out to our Project Feeder Watch groups for counting the birds at our feeders to round out the count.

Species and Total Individuals Spotted

American crow: 5

American goldfinch: 47

American robin: 22

American tree sparrow: 14

Blue jay: 110

Brown creeper: 1

Carolina chickadee: 61

Carolina wren: 20

Cooper's hawk: 4

Dark-eyed junco: 111

Downy woodpecker: 44

Eastern bluebird: 13

Eastern towhee: 49

Field sparrow: 4

Fox sparrow: 1

Golden-crowned kinglet: 8

Hairy woodpecker: 25

House finch:12

Mourning dove: 4

Northern cardinal: 289

Northern flicker: 1

Pileated woodpecker: 4

Red-bellied woodpecker: 60

Red-headed woodpecker: 14

Red-shouldered hawk: 2

Red-tailed hawk: 1

Sandhill crane: 60

Song sparrow: 37

Tufted titmouse: 160

White-breasted nuthatch: 33

White-crowned sparrow: 2

White-throated sparrow: 88

Winter wren: 2

Yellow-bellied sapsucker: 1

An adult Blue Jay sits on a branch in the foreground. In the background is a sapling trunk and green leaves.

Mysterious Bird Disease 

UPDATED September 8, 2021: Many of you have reached out to ask about feeding the birds and we're thrilled to say that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources released an update today saying that it is relatively safe to put feeders back out.
Here is the full statement by our Director of Conservation, Cory: "The Ohio Department of Natural Resources just posted an update about the ongoing bird disease. The good news is that we can now begin feeding birds again! The bad news is that they still do not have a definitive cause for the disease. That being said, ODNR is strict and cautious, so I am confident they are basing this decision on good data.
To reduce the likelihood that the disease reappears or begins to spread again, all feeders must be washed at least weekly with a 10% bleach solution. The suggestions as to how long to soak the feeders varies, but is anywhere from 1 minute to 10 minutes. The same applies to hummingbird feeders and bird baths. It is also not advised to use wooden feeders, as they are really difficult to clean thoroughly.
This is a good time to purchase new feeders if yours are very old, and to deep clean feeders that are still in good condition.
Background Information
In July, reports of rapidly spreading, often fatal, disease in birds appeared in Ohio. Blue Jays, Grackles, and European Starlings were the first birds reported with the infection, but it has now been seen in several different species. Birds who have been affected have seizures, loss of balance, crusty eyes, and blindness.
Experts recommended that all bird feeders and bird baths be taken down to encourage "social distancing" in birds. Feeders and baths should also be cleaned with a 10% bleach solution.
We removed our feeders and bird baths at the Nature Center to keep our feathered friends healthy and temporarily halted sale of bird seed at our Nature Shop.
We also recommended that homeowners take down their feeders and bird baths temporarily.
If you find a sick or dead bird, please DO NOT handle it. Please report your finding to your state Wildlife Agency (listed below). Please be sure to let them know the species of the bird and when/how/where you found it.
Once we know it's safe to do so, we'll put out our feeders again and resume selling seed. Together, we can all help keep our feathered friends safe and healthy!
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