CURTICE — Practically every year, there are stories about birds nesting in northwest Ohio, extending out of their normal territory. Often though, the birds don’t nest in a new territory two years straight.

One bird that appears to be defying those odds, though, is the Black-Necked Stilt. For the second consecutive year, the Black-Necked Stilt has successfully nested in Howard Marsh, of Northwest Ohio. But this bird appears to be well outside of its normal range.

While the Stilt nests in 13 different states east of the Mississippi River, it normally nests in just four states east of the Mississippi, nesting in Florida and along the east coast of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

Howard Marsh is a brand new metro park that just opened last year. Howard is located on Howard Road, just six miles northwest of Ottawa Wildlife Refuge.

The Black-Necked Stilt is an elegant looking, medium-sized shorebird. The bird is 15 inches tall, with a fairly long wingspan of 29 inches. The Black-Necked Stilt is equipped with a long, needle-like bill and is white in the front. The bird has a black back, along with a long, black neck and black head, with a white spot above the eye. The most interesting part of the bird is its long, spindly, pink/red legs. describes it well: “The Black-Necked Stilt walks gracefully on bright, pink chopsticks.”

Peak nesting time for the Stilt is June, with an average of four eggs in each nest. Last year, there were two successful nests at Howard Marsh, with at least two chicks in each nest. Reportedly, one nest has already hatched two chicks.

Family Fun Day at Magee Marsh: Families looking for outdoor fun are invited to come out to Magee Marsh Wildlife Area on Friday, July 5.

Activities include a bird banding demonstration, fishing and archery at the Sportsmen’s Migratory Bird Center, 13229 West State Route 2.

Purple Martin nestlings will be banded at 11 a.m. Archery and fishing will be available from noon to 3 p.m.

For more information, call 419-424-5000.

Urged to avoid high water: Because of the steady rains and rising waters over the past several weeks, the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) urges boaters, swimmers, paddlers and anglers to be mindful of the waters that remain higher than normal. These conditions pose great danger.

According to an ODNR news release, the ODNR “advises visitors to properly wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket while boating and also wading and fishing in rivers, lakes and streams.”

Free Introduction to Hunting Program: A free informational program about hunting and public hunting opportunities in northwest Ohio will be held on Monday, July 15, at 6:30 p.m., at the Sandusky County Sportsman’s Club. The club is located at 3950 State Route 600, in Gibsonburg.

Attendees should bring a notepad and pen or pencil, to take notes.

For any child interested in joining, shooting sports advisor MaryAnn Miller will be on hand to answer questions. For more information, contact Kelly Schott, Division of Wildlife at 419-898-0960, ext. 21 or Jaron Beck, Division of Wildlife, 419-429-8324.

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