The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Entertainment

Dr. Peter Marra is more than just a scientist and Director of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center in Washington, D.C. 

He’s also an ultimate Frisbee player, a foodie, a fisherman and an avid birder.

Marra grew up birding the beaches, marshes and rolling hills of Connecticut with the likes of Noble Proctor and Fred Sibley. After leaving Southern Connecticut State University with his bachelor of science, he went right to LSU and to Peru where he studied habitat selection in understory tropical birds for his Master’s degree. From there he headed north to Dartmouth College for a Ph.D. and began working on the ecology of migratory birds throughout the annual cycle, research he continues to this day, 25 years later.

Each spring, the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and the Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO) and other local groups work to prepare for “The Biggest Week in American Birding,” which brings people from all over the world to Northwest Ohio for 10 days.

The festival, being held May 5-14, attracts novice and experienced birders to observe migrating birds stopping in Oak Harbor, Oregon and the surrounding area that’s known as the “Warbler Capital of the World.”

Though there’s a lot going on for visitors to see and do at the Ottawa NWR located at 14000 W. SR 2, Oak Harbor, during the Biggest Week festival, it doesn’t stop there, says Aimee Arent, the association manager for Friends of Ottawa NWR, a 501(c)3 non-profit established to preserve and promote the Refuge.

It’s been a long time since wolves roamed the wilds of Northwest Ohio. It’s a safe bet that, barring a drastic change, they won’t be roaming wild here ever again.

Even if you travel to wolf country – the North Woods of Ontario, northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula – they’re there but the odds are against seeing them.

As much time as I’ve spent in the wilderness, I’ve only been blessed to see them twice. I’ve known they’re around. We’ve found scent posts, tracks, even heard their spine-tingling howls carrying over glass-calm lakes in the Canadian wilderness. But sightings are tough to come by; good photo opportunities much harder.

Seeing them in captivity, though, is as close as our own Toledo Zoo, which features a well-designed wolf enclosure where you can enjoy close-up looks at these animals that embody the very spirit of the wild. If you want more, consider a visit to Wolf Park, in Battle Ground, Indiana, near West Lafayette.

Memorial Day

Do you plan on attending any events to honor fallen soldiers on Memorial Day?
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