Winter Family Activities: Winter Bird Count & Photograph Wildlife

The excitement of Christmas presents and gatherings is slowing down, but there is still time to make memories this season. Enjoy Ohio’s nature with these Winter Family Activities.

Winter Bird Count

The leaves have fallen, familiar birds like the house wren, chipping sparrow, and gray catbird have flown south for the winter, but songs and calls can still be heard in the fields and woods of Ohio. Many bird species stay through the long, cold winter and stick it out with us. There are even birds that are only found in Ohio during the wintertime. The pine siskin, dark-eyed junco, and American tree sparrow are just a few examples of some interesting Ohio winter visitors.

A nationwide bird survey called the Christmas Bird Count helps to keep track of the movements and ranges of birds in the winter. Audubon’s 119th Christmas Bird Count will be conducted between the dates of Friday, December 14, 2018 through Saturday, January 5, 2019.This is a great family activity to enjoy with your family this weekend!

Join the Christmas Bird Count today!

Photograph Wildlife in Your Backyard

Another great activity over Christmas break is to photograph wildlife in your backyard. One of the foremost challenges to wildlife photography is the difficulty in locating wild animals to photograph, but our own backyards can be prime locations for attracting and photographing wildlife.

No matter where you live your area is likely to be busy with bird life that you aren’t aware of yet.

Five tips for backyard photography be found at wildohio.gov

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Jamey Emmert
Jamey Emmert, a native of southeast Ohio, serves as a Wildlife Communications Specialist for the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s NE Ohio district and is stationed in Akron. After graduating from Hocking College with an Associate Degree in Wildlife Management, she began her career with the Division in 2003. Jamey’s responsibilities vary greatly and include serving as a liaison between the Division and the news media, conducting informational workshops and programs connecting Ohioans with the outdoors, creating educational exhibits at various events, and partnering with educators who want to provide educational experiences to others regarding conservation of our natural resources. In her spare time, Jamey enjoys traveling, deer hunting, fishing for anything with gills, searching fields for ancient artifacts, gardening, and birding all in between coats of pink nail polish. You’ll likely find her outdoors and at any given moment next to her husband, Greg, and canine companion, Sophie.
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