One benefit of living right on the Maumee River is all the beautiful birds that come and go throughout the year. May is the best month for coming to Northwest Ohio to bird watch. This part of the state is the proud sponsor of The Biggest Week in American Birding. Even though we are about an hour from Magee Marsh, we still get many of the birds travel over the Maumee River.
Ron and I love not only watching for the birds but hearing their beautiful calls. We are trying to learn what each bird’s call sounds like. I’ve mastered the sounds of the gorgeous Orioles. We always know they are back in the area when we hear them sing. They make the sweetest little pouch like nests that hang in spindly branches.
The other fascinating bird I love is the Red Bellied Woodpecker. They seem to enjoy the Sweet Gum Tree outside my kitchen window, especially when I have corn in my squirrel feeder. When the squirrels drop the corn, the Red Bellied Woodpecker will back his way down the tree trunk, pick up a kernel, then travel back up the trunk where he lodges the treat and pecks at it. He has a loud and kind of ugly call, easy to distinguish.
Of course we get our friends the Robins. They are the first to be up in the morning and the last to quiet at night. They are like an alarm clock out my bedroom window. I’ve seen them as early in the year as February! If I were them I’d make my trip up north a little later in the year.
One of the most beautiful but aggressive birds we have year round is the Blue Jay. Most people are very familiar with this loud, aggressive, but deep blue fellow. Last year a Blue Jay couple had a nest in our White Pine Tree, I was able to watch the progress of the babies from our deck.
The Kingfisher is another river resident that reminds me of the Blue Jay. He is larger and I’ve seen them perched on lower branches of trees along the river.
Our Canada Geese friends may be the messiest, but I love them anyway. Each year I get excited to see my first family of geese in the tow path behind The Mill House. I love the fact that they mate for life and take such care of their little ones. You just have to be careful as you pass them on the tow path or they will hiss and charge you!
Great Blue Herons and White Egrets have to be the most patient birds I have ever seen. They stand so still in the water waiting for the perfect fish. With a quick dip of their long beaks, they spear a fish and swallow it whole.
The daddy Merganser is one of the prettiest birds in the river. His shiny green head and bright orange beak can’t be missed. I love to watch them fly. They flap their wings so fast.
The King of them all is the Bald Eagle. It just gives you chills when you see them soar above the water, land in a tree, or even soar over your windshield when you drive over the bridge. We get many eagles in the winter when the river is frozen. The rapids behind The Mill House keep the river from freezing allowing them to fish. We see lots of juvenile bald eagles too. They are more of a mottled brown and don’t have the white head or tail feathers.
The newest bird we have discovered is a Warbler. We kept hearing this new call. I told Ron it sounded like it was singing, “Herdy Gerdy..Herdy Gerdy..” over and over again. I was calling it the Herdy Gerdy Birdie! But a friend just told us it was a Warbler.
There are many more birds that travel through our area. We love our guests who can educate us about not only the local birds but the ones on the migratory path in our area. Come visit us anytime of the year and don’t forget your field glasses. If you do we have a pair you can borrow!
We are on the lookout for this new water fowl…If you see it on the river, let us know! Grace and Peace. Kathy