Friday, May 28, 2010

Memorial Day weekend outdoor notes (This and that)

Oh, great, just what Ohio's sidewalks, parking lots and school grounds need: More geese.

In its annual survey of resident Canada goose production, the Ohio Division of Wildlife notes a 3-percent increase in the specie's population this year over last year.

Estimates are that Ohio now has 102,441 resident nesting Canada geese. Last year that figure was 99,652 resident nesting geese.

Actually, Ohio's resident Canada goose population has remained fairly stable over the past few years, seeing minor declines in 2003 and again in 2006. The peak came in 2001 with an estimated population of around 140,000 resident nesting Canada geese.

For lovers of peregrine falcons, the nest on the side of FirstEnergy's Eastlake coal-fired power plant contains three eggs. Their mother sports a leg band but officials have been unable to identify whether it is Starbright, the female falcon which has used the nest in the past.

Last year Starbright and her mate, Jerry, raised three chicks also. These chicks were fitted with their own leg bands and then returned to their nest.

The Eastlake falcons typically are the last in the state to nest, likely the product of setting up a home along Lake Erie. Such a setting keeps the near-shore area much colder than other nests located further inland, Wildlife Division officials say.

At some point after the eggs hatch the young falcon chicks will be fitted with their own metal leg bands.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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