Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Northern Harrier roost at Magee Marsh

Last year, Rita Schneider was the first to draw attention to the fact that numbers of Northern Harriers were roosting communally at Magee Marsh, gathering in the evening along the causeway out to the beach at Magee. Rita has just passed along word that the roost has formed again this year; she and Laura Alldridge saw at least 16 harriers together, just east of the causeway, late in the evening on December 29th. If you happen to be birding the area (where at least one Northern Shrike has been seen repeatedly in the last few weeks), it's worth waiting for dusk to watch the harriers come in. We're accustomed to seeing harriers widely dispersed in the daytime, so to see one of these evening gatherings is quite a sight.

For those who aren't familiar with the area, the road in to Magee Marsh Wildlife Area is well marked from Ohio Route 2, between Rt. 19 and Rt. 590, north and west of Oak Harbor.

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