Lecture to address threats along Lake Erie’s bird migration pathway

May 13, 2014 | Events, Research, UToday, Natural Sciences and Mathematics
By Lindsay Mahaney

Each May, bird watchers flock to northwest Ohio to view the bird migration along the Lake Erie shoreline, but this remarkable phenomenon is threatened by the installation of wind turbines and other man-made structures near the lakefront.

BiggestWeek_Logo-480The University of Toledo’s Lake Erie Center will host a lecture by Mark Shieldcastle, director of research for the Black Swamp Bird Observatory, titled “Lake Erie’s Globally Significant Bird Migration Pathway: Threats and Our Responsibilities” Thursday, May 15, at 7 p.m. in room 155 of the center, located at 6200 Bayshore Road in Oregon.

Shieldcastle will discuss the dangers of wind turbines and other tall buildings along the shoreline and their effects on the birds’ migration patterns.

“We have been working to build our connection with the birding community because even though we do not conduct ornithological research at the Lake Erie Center, there are many environmental and ecosystem matters and concerns we share in common, and birds are a major feature of the nature of our region,” said Meredith Gray, communication and technology specialist for the center.

The talk is being held in conjunction with the Biggest Week in American Birding, a 10-day festival that started May 6 and continues through Thursday, May 15, when thousands of people visit the Toledo area to watch birds migrate along the Lake Erie shoreline.

“We imagine that it would be interesting for a birder to have the opportunity to learn about other aspects of the Lake Erie ecosystem — including the research we do here — so inviting them to our center is a good way to begin that conversation,” Gray said.

The free, public lecture is part of the Lake Erie Center’s Summer Naturalist Series.

For more information, go to utoledo.edu/nsm/lec.

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