CENTERBURG — Centerburg Joint Recreation District is sponsoring an opportunity to observe an amazing sight in the spring skies this weekend. On Saturday at 7 p.m., CJRD is sponsoring a “Woodcock Watch” to observe courtship flights of a very unusual bird. Participants can meet at the Centerburg Memorial Park at the intersection of U.S. 36 and Ohio 314 for a short drive to a nearby farm in Milford Township where the birds have already been observed performing flights.
“Like most people, I was not even aware of these fascinating flights that occur each spring, but after viewing them it has become a spring tradition not to be missed. To begin with, this bird is a real hoot just to look at with a three-inch beak, eyes near the top of its head and a squat camouflage appearance,” said Gary Moore, program consultant for CJRD. “The sounds made by these pint-sized birds include buzzing sounds on the ground, twittering sounds during the flight that spirals up to 300 feet in the air and a melodious high chirp made by feathers only as it swoops in diving flight back to the ground.”
Participants are encouraged to dress for the weather to enjoy this family-friendly learning event that involves a short walk. Boots for mud are recommended.
“If binoculars are available it would be helpful but not necessary for observation,” said Moore. “Children especially enjoy the adventure of listening for and spotting the birds once they become airborne against the twilight sky. It’s fun to build the adventure which almost sounds like a ‘snipe hunt’ from camp experiences, although this activity actually has a ‘snipe’ that is real.”
“As an added bonus, screech owls are sometimes heard in the evening,” added CJRD Chairman John Morgan, owner of the program site, Pheasant Run Farm on Wall Street, “and we have had some success in calling them into view.”
The program is part of a recently initiated series by CJRD to introduce local residents to the natural and cultural treasures and recreational opportunities of the Centerburg area. The Centerburg Joint Recreation District was created to provide Centerburg residents greater recreation opportunity and variety. The mission of the CJRD is to physically and financially assist in the enhancement of recreational facilities and programs, and also to expand and develop additional recreational facilities and programs in the Centerburg School District.
For more information contact CJRD Administrator Dave Beck at 740-625-5123.
Published on March 23, 2011