Volunteers needed for bird count
Coordinators Jim Coffman and Tom Bartlett are seeking volunteers for the 113th annual Christmas Bird Count. The Tiffin count is to take place Dec. 15.
Coffman said there no longer is to be a participation fee in Seneca County. Instead, they will take contributions to help pay expenses.
"The publication will be offered on the computer and, by doing it that way, they'll save time and money," Coffman said.
As in the past counts, he said some volunteers plan to call owls early in the morning. Following that, the group is to meet at Cool Creations for breakfast, then split up for daytime birding. Participants are asked to keep track of miles driven and time spent in vehicles and on foot.
"Also note that the count day is 24 hours long, starting at midnight Friday and ending Saturday midnight," Coffman said.
During that time, any birds observed can be counted on the totals for the count day. Any birds observed three days before or three days after can be listed in the count week.
For more information or to volunteer, call Coffman at (419) 618-1835 or Bartlett at (419) 447-0005.
Park trails project gets $97,000 grant in Wood County
BOWLING GREEN - A trails project in Wood County's Black Swamp Preserve has received a $97,032 grant from the federal Recreational Trails Program, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Funds are to be used to construct visitor walking trails in an existing 65-acre preserve, which runs adjacent to the Slippery Elm Trail. A total of 3,988 linear feet of 8-foot-wide trails are planned at the new park, which are to tie into existing city bicycle transportation routes and the 13-mile-long Slippery Elm Trail.
The grant is part of more than $1.6 million granted to 14 recreational trails in Ohio. ODNR received 66 grant applications.
Rabbit, pheasant, quail hunting seasons to begin Nov. 2
COLUMBUS - Ring-necked pheasant, cottontail rabbit and bobwhite quail seasons begin Nov. 2, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.
The state's cottontail rabbit population has been good recently. However, Nathan Stricker, project leader with ODNR's Olentangy Wildlife Research Station, said rabbit populations tend to go through an up-and-down cycle every seven to 10 years.
"Rabbit numbers are lower this year, but this type of decline is expected with this cycle," Stricker said. "Regardless of these cyclical changes, cottontail rabbit populations are excellent throughout Ohio and provide plenty of opportunities for a family hunting outing."
Quail and pheasant populations may be lower than previous years, and Stricker said quail and pheasant are dependent upon quality habitats on private lands provided by the Conservation Reserve Program.
Williams and Defiance counties in northwest Ohio have strong pheasant populations because of the habitat contributions by local landowners.
Rabbit hunting continues through Feb. 28. Pheasant season is open through Jan. 6. Both seasons are closed during the statewide deer-gun hunting season Nov. 26-Dec. 2.
Additional hunting information is contained in the 2012-2013 Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations, which are available where hunting licenses are sold, online at www.wildohio.com or by calling (800) WILDLIFE.