Put-in-Bay School Monarch Butterfly Tag Appears in Mexico

Kate Hubner at work!

In super exciting news, one of Put-in-Bay School’s monarchs, tagged in September 2022, was recovered in El Rosario, Mexico.  This is roughly 1900 miles from South Bass Island.

Science teacher Melissa Kowalski reports this is the first time Put-in-Bay students have experienced a monarch tag recovery.  The one tagged by the school kids was from September 15, 2022, with tag number AGEL885.

Bird Banding Success on Middle Bass Island

Bird BandingTom and Paula Bartlett are set up for Bird banding at the Middle Bass Island East Point Preserve as of yesterday and will band weather permitting through Friday about noon. Thanks to Paula Bartlett, Ann and Ken Shelton, and Tina Larson for the photos.
tom Bartlett

Bird Banding Report–April 30, 2023

After a rain delay, we opened the nets (22) at 1100 and closed at 1630.  By the end of the day we  banded 80 individual birds of 24 species and had 5 recaps.
Banded Birds:
1 Mourning Dove
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Eastern Phoebe
1 White-eyed Vireo
4 Blue-headed Vireo
1 Yellow-throated Vireo
6 Red-breasted Nuthatch
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
3 House Wren (AND ONE ESCAPE !! Thank you Janet)
14 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
4 Hermit Thrush
6 American Robin
1 European Starling
1 American Goldfinch
2 Song Sparrow
3 Swamp Sparrow
4 White-throated Sparrow
7 Red-winged Blackbird
1 Brown-headed Cowbird
4 Common Grackle
1 Northern Waterthrush
3 Yellow Warbler
9 “Western” Palm Warbler
1 Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler
Recaptured Birds:
American Robin banded 4/28/2021 (3 years old)
2 Red-winged Blackbirds banded 4/26/2022 ( both 3 years old)
Brown-headed Cowbird banded 4/23/2017 (7 years old)
Northern Cardinal banded 9/25/2017 (6 years old)

Garlic Mustard Pull Challenge on May 6th

Click to enlarge!

Garlic Mustard Pull Challenge with Stark and Portage Parks is this Saturday, May 6, from 9:am-noon.  Bring gloves, if you have them, and a refillable water bottle.  EnviroScience will be here to provide the bags and do the weigh in to see who can pull the most invasive garlic mustard from the Cooper’s Woods Preserve. Prizes for those who participate!

Lisa Brohl, Chair
Lake Erie Islands Conservancy

April Full Moon Belies its Name

The April full moon, captured in an exquisite photo by Caryl Fox, is known as the pink moon.  Given its name as a nod to the bountiful array of flowers which spring delivers, it actually appears as a golden orb.  It is also recognized as the Paschal full moon since it is the first full moon after the equinox.  Easter is celebrated the first Sunday after this full moon.

Looking east from South Bass Island on Good Friday night.

Planting Native Brightens Future Environments

Planting Native for Our Future by Jill Kirby

As I enjoy the mid-70’s temperature on this mid-February day, I can’t help but experience mixed emotions. I love the relief of a warm Winter Day as much as anyone, yet I can’t shake the feeling of anxiety. I know in my heart that I should be cold right now! Since my son was born in 2019, my climate anxiety has been through the roof, and I worry constantly about how different his world may be from the one I grew up in. To combat this feeling, I decided to get my hands dirty (literally) and start growing native plants. As I continue to learn about native plants, their benefits and diversity I become more optimistic about the future.

Order Today via the Lake Erie Islands Conservancy

Native Plant Sale_2023

Native plants are those which grow in the region where they have evolved for thousands of years. This is so important because these are the plants that have also fed and sheltered the local insects and animals evolving alongside them during that time. These native plants and animals have come to depend on one another for survival. While exotic plants and alien species from outside of a region can be beautiful, they rarely support the local ecosystem and cannot nourish the many specialist pollinators that have evolved to rely on only one specific plant. This information is powerful. If we wish to restore declining insect populations that support the greater food web, selecting native plants is the way to achieve this goal. As the saying goes “If something isn’t eating your plants, then your garden isn’t a part of the ecosystem”.

The environmental benefits of using native plants go beyond increasing biodiversity. Because they are well adapted to the area, native plants are generally low-maintenance, conserve water, improve soil quality, and lead to the reduced use of herbicides and pesticides. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), there are about 1,800 native flowering plant species in Ohio. With this assortment, it is possible to include unique, rare, colorful, showy, edible, medicinal, and seasonally interesting plants in a native garden.

While I know I will always experience a level of climate anxiety, learning about and growing native plants over the past year has made it possible for me to keep moving forward and feel hope. To share and say everything I would like to in this article feels impossible so instead I will leave you with an invitation to follow the Lake Erie Islands Conservancy on Facebook and Instagram. I will be sharing additional thoughts, resources, and answering questions about native plants on these platforms and I would love to connect with you there.