Museum & Pollinator Habitats
Hamilton County Park District Bird Program (recommended)
The purpose of this program will be to make visits to the parks more rewarding for many visitors, and to help raise awareness about the birds and wildlife that reside in our parks. Any opportunity to instill a love, interest, and/or passion for wildlife in our youth is more than worth investing in, in a significant way.
Btw, I am really excited about the fifth idea on this list, which along with number four would support birds while substantially strengthening ties with the community.
- Birding Walks - These regularly occurring guided birding excursions could rotate from park to park each week. This would allow for each park to be birded at least twice per year. The walks could be led by local volunteers who are avid birders.
- Bird Photos - There should be albums posted online, that are readily available to the public, where people can see images of the birds that can be observed in each of the parks.
- Bird Feeding Stations - Every single park in the district should have at the very least one bird feeding station. My recommendation would be to use the "feeder log" method which I developed while managing a nature preserve in South Carolina. It is more natural than the plastic feeders, very easy to maintain, and makes for unobstructed viewing.
- Bird Feed Sales - An annual or biannual sale of bird seed could be an excellent fund raiser for the park district, even if the funds were only used to cover the entire cost of keeping the districts bird feeding stations stocked year round. Park district sponsored bird feed sales could encourage many more people to feed birds, and help develop an interest in birds and wildlife. It is especially crucial to develop those interests in our youth.
- Community Building - The HCPD should be involved in encouraging local daycares, schools/school districts, nursing homes, libraries, hospitals, churches, and businesses to be involved in setting up bird feeding stations on their properties. The HCPD could also support the schools by working with local tree trimmers to provide feeder logs, and possibly by supplying bird seed. Of course if the bird feeding programs were promoted for local schools, many parents of students would purchase bird seed for their children's school.
- Recording Bird Sightings - Local residents, local teachers, and even local business owners/managers could be encouraged to sign up on eBird, and record the various bird species they see at their feeders and on their properties.
- Expansion - A solid, well founded Bird Program in the district could go a long way in helping to establish similar programs in support for pollinators, butterflies, native wildflowers, and other flora and fauna.
- Bird Counts - Along with the districts current ongoing participation with the Christmas Bird Count, and Great Backyard Bird Count, the district should be organizing annual or bi-annual bird counts at each of the districts 22 parks.
Feeder Log Birds - (East Fork Lake Ohio) Somebody takes the time to scatter seed on this downed White Ash tree that is on the side of a road along the lake, but nowhere near a parking lot or building.
Feeder Log Videos - (Roxbury Park South Carolina)
Video 1 - A fast-motion collection of a large variety of birds to visit the feeder logs in the parking lot in one afternoon. Video 2 - Who would have ever thought that a Pileated Woodpecker would drop by the feeder logs, while we sat ten feet away? Video 3 - Red-headed Woodpeckers are always cool to see, especially at your feeders! Video 4 - Look at all of those Chipping Sparrows on the hay field feeder logs!
I have a list of ideas and recommendations for making significant positive change in the district. Here's one (below), and I will be adding more over then next few days.