Saturday, January 11, 2003


Volunteers hitting trails early for park's bird count


WAYNESVILLE - A bird count held today at Caesar Creek State Park in Warren County brings to mind the centennial of the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Although only one such refuge system is located in our area, the rest of the region has its share of wildlife habitats worth protecting.

One of them is Caesar Creek, where volunteers will gather at 6 a.m. and again at 8:30 a.m. at the visitor center, 4020 N. Clarksville Road, three miles east of Waynesville. After the bird count is conducted, the Friends of the Park will serve a hot lunch.

Beginners and experts are encouraged to participate. You don't need binoculars, but they would be helpful. In fact, you don't have to know anything about birds to count them.

"You don't typically think of Ohio as a destination for migratory birds, but we get them from as far away as the Arctic," said Jim O'Boyle, a ranger who will help lead the bird-count walk.

At Caesar Creek in winter, 40 to 60 different types of birds can be found. Taking a count will enable rangers to "get a handle on population trends," he said.

"The walk will be fun but chilly. We will play an owl tape and get a territorial call back. We'll try to talk with the owls."

The centennial of the National Wildlife Refuge System will begin March 14. It commemorates the formation of the agency that started in 1903 when President Theodore Roosevelt set aside a small island off the east coast of Florida to protect pelicans and other species from hunters.

The nearest such site is Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge, a 50,000-acre preserve located five miles north of Madison, Ind., on U.S. 421. The site contains more than 30,000 acres of forest, 120 breeding bird species, and 46 rare and endangered plants.

Big Oaks is a good example of recycling: It used to be a military site before it was opened in 2000.

Refuge objectives include providing resting, nesting and feeding habitat for migratory birds, habitat for resident wildlife, recreation and protection for endangered species.

For more information on the Caesar Creek bird count, call the park at 897-1050.


HAMILTON - Ray McNiece, poet, singer and actor, will perform at 7 p.m. Jan. 14 at the Fitton Center Theatre.

It is a part of the Riverbank Poetry Project at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts, 101 S. Monument Ave., in this Butler County city.

Information: Web site.


ANDERSON TWP. - The Cincinnati Dulcimer Society will perform at 3 p.m. Sunday in the Seasongood Nature Center, 203 Woodland Mound Drive in Woodland Mound Park in Hamilton County.

The group's first concert of 2003 is free and open to the public. If you can't attend, don't fret. The society will perform there again Feb. 9.

Information: 521-PARK, or Web site.


COLERAIN TWP. - The world of the wild canine is a fascinating place. I learned a little about it last summer at Wolf Hollow in Ipswich, Mass.

You can learn about the wild ones when a Hamilton County Park District naturalist presents the program "Wild Canines, from Fox to Coyote," at the Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve.

The program will be at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Ellenwood Nature Barn.

Information: 521-PARK, or Web site.


MILFORD - A parent and child yoga class will be held at the Milford-Miami Township Branch of the Clermont County Public Library at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 15.

Renee Groenemann will lead it.

The library asks that you preregister by calling 248-0700. Wear loose, comfortable clothes and bring a mat on which to stretch with your young partner. The free class is for ages 4-8, with an adult.

Randy McNutt's community column appears on Saturday. Contact him at the Enquirer, 7700 Service Center Drive, West Chester, OH 45069. Telephone: 755-4158. Fax: 755-4150. E-mail:

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