Program areas at Black Swamp Bird Observatory
Education: annually bsbo's education and outreach programs interact directly with more than 25,000 people. These programs have received national accolades. We focus on youth education through wetland investigation network (win) program, which offers students grades k-12 a day-long exploration of the local marsh ecosystem. Through our Ohio young birders club for ages 12-18 we encourage, educate, and empower future conservation leaders. The club is used as a model program for many other youth birding clubs across the us. Bsbo business alliance helps build strong support for conservation of natural resources and for future conservation-land acquisition.
Conservation: habitat conservation and restoration is promoted in nw Ohio and other areas of the world where the birds migrate to, from and through, by promoting responsible wind energy, specifically within 3 to 5 miles of the lake erie shoreline, a globally important stopover habitat. Until 2020, the biggest week in american birding 10-day festival attracted 90,000+ birdwatchers to nw Ohio annually, who spent an estimated $40 million in the area. Bsbo's work with local businesses, depts of tourism, chambers of commerce, and community leaders ensures this event builds support for migratory Bird habitat conservation. During the spring of 2020 and 2021, this event was held virtually due to covid-19 precautions and restrictions, yet still continuing to support the community and the organization's mission.
Research: bsbo has conducted avian research since 1992; including studies in the breeding and migration ecology of birds that utilize the local, globally important stopover habitat, monitoring populations, migration routes, and flight altitudes, on passerines, waterfowl, shorebirds, & raptors. Researchers investigate habitats spaning from oak openings in western lucas county Ohio, north into southern Michigan and the lake erie basin, and east to shaker lakes in cuyahoga county Ohio. On average, bsbo bands 12,000 birds annually, more than 700,000 in total. Based on birds per net hours figures, bsbo's navarre marsh banding station is the largest of its kind in the united states.