Skip to main content

Props to Ned Keller!

Ned Keller, in a rare state of repose with three furry friends. The animals appear to be looking to Ned for guidance, as so many of us bipeds do.

A Big Congratulations are in order for Ned, who is the 2009 recipient of the Stewart Welsh Conservation Award. This honor is bestowed by the Hamilton County (Ohio) Park District, and goes to individuals who have made a profound difference in environmental protection in southwest Ohio. 2009 marks only the second year that the award has been given, and it is fitting that Ned would be one of its first recipients. Stewart Welsh was a longtime advocate for the environment and was instrumental in establishing the park district's land management program, ultimately helping to make Hamilton County Parks one of the finest park systems in Ohio.

Ned, an attorney by trade, touches lots of people in Ohio, whether they know it or not. Our Ohio Birds listserv, which carries thousands of posts annually and is one of the largest in the country, is aptly managed by Ned and has been for a long time. That's why it is so problem-free, and the listserv has evolved into an indispensable tool for Ohio birders to quickly share their sightings.

He is also secretary of the Ohio Bird Records Committee, a challenging task if there ever were one. Ned was also on board from Day One with the still relatively new Ohio Ornithological Society, serving on its board and helping in many ways. His guidance was, and is, vital to the organization.

Ned is also active in lots of ways in the Cincinnati area, helping to spearhead the massive Cinci Christmas Bird Count, oversee the wonderful Birding in Cincinnati website, help with the local Ohio Young Birders Club, and undoubtedly far more other things of which I've got no idea.

You get the point. This is a guy who volunteers a LOT of his time to help others. And in top of everything, he is just a great guy who is enthusiastic about birds and nature in general. Too bad he can't be cloned.

Congratulations, Ned!

Comments

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…