Skip to main content

Green Lawn Cemetery beasts

Precious little time to blog of late. Getting ready to head off to Costa Rica on Tuesday, and trying to wrap up a number of odds and ends prior to that, provision for the trip, and STUDY!

Cheryl Harner and Jason Larson went around thestate the other day, bird-seeking. Jason is attempting to reach 100 species for January, and helping him reach that milestone was part of the mission.

They saw some interesting sights at Columbus's Green Lawn Cemetery, and Cheryl snapped some photos that she was good enough to pass along. Green Lawn (not Greenlawn) is a legendary Ohio birding locale, and has been for a long time. Founded in 1848, it is one of the oldest big cemeteries in the state, and the second largest at 360 acres. Only Cincinnati's Spring Grove Cemetery is larger.

A true urban oasis, the green grounds, huge trees, and miscellaneous brushy habitats of Green Lawn support a surprising array of wildlife, considering its location. Birders have been going there for many decades, and the cemetery sports a large bird list, including many rarities. I saw my only Ohio Swainson's Warbler there in 1985, as did many others. CeCe Johnston, in her first year of birding, found that one. Numerous Kirtland's Warblers have been found as well, and the migrant fallouts can be great.

So can winter birding. Numerous large conifers can host winter finches, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, and a Pine Warbler has been there lately - not unprecedented at Green Lawn in winter.

Star of the show the past two winters has been one, sometimes two, Merlins. These bullet-like falcons are always of interest, and the Green Lawn birds have been normally easy to spot and observe.



Cheryl managed this photo of Green Lawn's Merlin. Looks like it's sitting in the thick, gnarly branches of a Kentucky Coffe Tree. Often rather confiding, the bird doesn't seem to mind an audience. Merlins wintering in urban cemeteries in Ohio are on the upswing, and cemeteries in Cleveland and Cincinnati also host them. The species is becoming more frequent in general in Ohio. I will go out on a limb and predict that by the end of the ongoing Breeding Bird Atlas, they'll have been found nesting in Ohio, probably in a Cleveland-area cemetery or elsewhere in northeast Ohio. I know, not exactly rocket science, but nonetheless having these little falcons as a part of Ohio's breeding avifauna again would be very exciting.

Cherly and Jason also caught a fleeting glimpse of this large dog-like animal - a Coyote. We knew they were in there, as grounds workers report them from time to time and I've seen one or two other photos of Green Lawn Coyotes. Still, they're always exciting to see, and a bit of a surprise in a place like this. Coyotes also have expanded rapidly throughout Ohio in past decades and are now common in all 88 counties.

Thanks, Cheryl, for sharing your photos!

Comments

barb michelen said…
Hello I just entered before I have to leave to the airport, it's been very nice to meet you, if you want here is the site I told you about where I type some stuff and make good money (I work from home): here it is

Popular posts from this blog

The Pinching Beetle, a rather brutish looking bug

The world is awash in beetles, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Few of them can match the intimidation factor of a Pinching Beetle, Lucanus capreolus, though. Those formidable looking mandibles look like they could slice off a finger.

Today was one of those coolly diverse days. I started off down in Fayette County, visiting the farm of a friend. He has restored about 25 acres of wetlands, and the response by the animal community has been nothing short of phenomenal. Blizzards of dragonflies of many species, amphibians galore, and nesting Blue-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebe, and Sora. Among MANY other things. And all in a short two years. Add water and they will come.

Then, working my way home, I ducked into a Madison County cemetery that has a thriving population of Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrels, and shot images of our native prairie dog. Then, I stopped at a spot along Little Darby Creek, waded on in, and procured some pretty nice shots of various stream bluets and dancers. …

Calliope Hummingbird in central Ohio!

A hatch-year male Calliope Hummingbird strikes a pose. Small but tough, the hummingbird was feeding actively yesterday in 39 F temperatures. It frequents feeders and gardens at a home in Delaware County, Ohio, about a half-hour north of Columbus.

Fortunately, the wayward hummer appeared at the home of Tania and Corey Perry. Tania is a birder, and knew right away that the hummingbird was something special. For a while, the identification was up in the air, which isn't surprising. The Calliope Hummingbird used to be placed in its own genus, Stellula, but has recently been submerged into the genus Selasphorus, which includes Allen's, Broad-tailed, and Rufous hummingbirds. The latter two, especially, are quite similar to the Calliope in subadult plumage. Rufous is the default "vagrant" hummingbird here, with dozens of records and birds turning up annually. There is but one Ohio record of Allen's Hummingbird, from late fall/early winter 2009. Ditto the Calliope Hummi…

Ballooning spiders

Fear not, ye arachnophobes. The subject of this entry is indeed about spiders, but the star of the show is about as cute as a spider can get. And you'll want to know what we're about to learn...

On my recent West Virginia foray, we were strolling down a seldom-used lane, when a bright yellow object caught our eye. It was a goldenrod crab spider, Misumena vatia, on top of a post! Not only that, she - it is a girl - was acting extraordinarily goofy. The spider would stilt up as high as she could go on her legs, weave back and forth, jig side to side, and otherwise engage in what appeared to be spider break-dancing.

Click the pic for expansion, and you can see two columns of silk issuing from her spinnerets. This is an important point, as we set about determining what this non-web-making spider is doing.


So fixated was our spider on her task that she even rejected what would seem to me to be a perfectly scrumptious meal. This little caterpillar climbed rapidly up the post and dire…