The Pelicans of Lake Erie. Lake Erie?

In the past sixty-years many things have changed about Ohio’s wildlife scene. Growing up in the 40s and 50s I have no memory of ever seeing a local deer, wild turkey, black bear, osprey, bald eagle, or sea-gull. Today, to a degree, these things are fairly common in our state.


The first Ohio deer I saw was in the fall of 1970 driving along Lower-Twin Rd running my morning school bus route. As I came around a curve there was a huge buck standing in the road and as soon as it saw the bus it bounded over a wire fence and headed for the nearest woods. I stopped the bus and sat there in awe.

Today we have deer grazing in the clearing in front of our home, nearby coyotes baying at the moon, turkey gobbling in the woods, several unconfirmed reports of roaming black bear, and on one occasion a bob cat walked across our clearing while my wife sat drinking a cup of coffee and watching with a stare of disbelief. .

Also, the sight of various species of sea birds at both Rocky Fork and Paint Creek are common as are the increased sightings of nesting osprey and bald eagles. With no-till farming so common today you don’t see this as much, but when a farmer does turn the soil the sea birds spread the word and a large flock will gather behind the plow to scarf up the worms and insects exposed by the plow shares. Not much different from all the gulls and pelicans feasting behind every successful North Carolina shrimp boat as it culls the day’s catch.

Pelicans are a bird that I’ve yet to see gliding across the waters of our local lakes. But, up where Sally Turner Kennedy lives, near the shores of Lake Erie, such is no longer the case. Sally’s North Coast Muse reports that indeed, pelicans are beginning to take up residence along Erie’s shores. That’s what she is serving on her blog today and what prompted this little blurb on CGS. Give Sally a read, she’s always got something worth knowing.

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