TRUMBULL COUNTY, Ohio (WKBN) – People across the Valley found all sorts of ways to stay busy while staying at home for nearly two months. One local lake saw a surge in birdwatching during this time.
The Army Corps of Engineers saw more people taking part in birdwatching at Mosquito Lake than they’ve ever seen before.
They said birdwatching is something the whole family can do, including the kids. It can be fun and the children can learn a lot.
It’s a way for people to keep their distance, but the world of social media has helped birdwatchers still find a sense of community.
“There’s several apps for your smartphone that you can utilize to identify birds that you may be unfamiliar with, and then there’s platforms on social media such as Facebook groups that bring the community together and aid in your experience while you’re out there birdwatching,” said Bill Spring from the Army Corps of Engineers.
Now that stay at home orders are lifted, they hope people keep that interest in birdwatching.
Loyd Marshall, a local birdwatcher, said the variety of birds that you’ll find at Mosquito Lake is what keeps a lot of people coming back.
Marshall has been bird-watching for nearly a decade and now creates habitats for warbler birds. He uses jars, paints them, fills them and sets them up in the lake to attract more of them to the area.
Marshall said there’s a lot of ways for new birdwatchers to get involved, whether it’s photography, educational or finding and listing birds for sport.
“It’s kind of the thrill of the hunt to find a new one. Not necessarily a new one, but one you haven’t seen in a while because there’s quite a few birds in there… Over the year, there are different seasons for the birds,” Marshall said.
He said if you want to try birdwatching, have a pair of binoculars. It also helps to have a guide, which you can pick at the lake.
One bird that they’ve seen a large big in numbers is the bald eagle, which at one time was nearly lost in Ohio. They surveyed the lake in February and saw 27 of them, which was a record number.