On Saturday, May 10, the trail head of the boardwalk at Magee Marsh was even busier than usual for the Biggest Week in American Birding. Senator Randy Gardner, Representative Chris Redfern, and representatives from the offices of Senator Sherrod Brown and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur made remarks regarding the first annual Bird Ohio Day. The following letter from Governor Kasich was also part of the ceremony:
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the senate of the 130th General Assembly of the State of Ohio, the House of Representatives concurring herein, that we designate the second Saturday of May as Bird Ohio Day in the State of Ohio and, during the month of May: encourage school districts, schools, teachers, and nature educators in this State to offer lessons and activities to teach students and citizens about birds, bird habitat and the conservation of same; the citizens of and visitors to Ohio to spend time outdoors enjoying the sights and sounds of birds and sharing that experience with the young people of Ohio; and all citizens of Ohio to be engaged stewards of the wildlife habitat that migratory and resident birds depend on for their survival.
The resolution was initiated and drafted by Black Swamp Bird Observatory and sponsored by Senator Randy Gardner.
“The passage of the Bird Ohio Day resolution is a milestone for birding, habitat conservation and economic development. This resolution and the celebration of Bird Ohio Day each year will do much to raise awareness of the importance of birding to the economy. It will also highlight the value of conserving the habitat that this economic engine is built upon,” said Executive Director of Black Swamp Bird Observatory Kim Kaufman. Kaufman also offered thanks to Senator Gardner for his tremendous support. “We are incredibly honored that Senator Gardner was willing to sponsor the resolution, and we offer our sincere appreciation to him and to his wonderful and supportive staff for helping to make our vision for Bird Ohio Day a reality.”
The Biggest Week in American Birding is growing each year. “Close to 70,000 people have been through Magee Marsh to observe the bird migration this year,” said Kaufman. “We’ve even had someone from as far away as Israel travel to the event.”
Next year, the Biggest Week in American Birding is May 8-17. Kaufman said there are already people registering for the event.