Count being conducted
The Great Backyard Bird Count is currently being conducted on a national, state and local level through Monday.
The Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology together with the Audubon Society and Wild Birds Unlimited are urging everyone with an interest in birds to participate. Counts can be conducted in backyards, schoolyards, local parks, nature centers or even at your office or place of work.
The data collected will be combined with Christmas Bird Count and Project FeederWatch data to produce an immense picture of winter birds. Each year that these data are collected makes them more important and meaningful.
To participate simply count the highest number of each bird species seen at one time and keep track of the amount of time spent counting. Then log on to www.birdsource.com and click on the appropriate state for a checklist of most frequently reported birds in that region. More information is also available at this site.
In the five-years since the GBBC has been conducted, more than 100,000 people have participated helping to contribute a great deal of information for scientific understanding.
There is no fee or registration for participation. If you have no Internet access, you can contact your local Wild Birds Unlimited (Route 224 in Boardman) to submit reports.
Two pay heavy fines for illegal killing of a deer
AKRON - A pair of Stark County men paid more than a thousand dollars in fines for killing a deer in the Mosquito Creek Wildlife Refuge in January according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.
Anthony S. Dimarzio, 47 of Minerva and his 23 year old nephew Alex B. Dimarzio II, of North Canton were both convicted of trespassing on a wildlife refuge. In addition, Anthony Dimarzio was convicted of taking deer by an illegal method and illegal possession of a deer. He paid $565 in fines and his 300 magnum rifle was forfeited to the state. Alex Dimarzio II was also convicted of assisting in the illegal possession of a deer. He paid $435 in fines.
On Jan. 19 a division of wildlife employee was walking in the refuge when he heard a shot. After observing the two men with the dead deer the employee called a wildlife officer who made the arrest. It is illegal to hunt deer with a rifle in Ohio and it is illegal to hunt on a wildlife refuge.
The division of wildlife encourages anyone who is aware of a possible wildlife violation to call the confidential Turn In a Poacher (TIP) line at 1-800-POACHER .
Hares are released
An additional 28 snowshoe hares were released recently in Ashtabula County as part of a continuing effort by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to re-establish the species in the state.
ODNR Division of Wildlife biologists released the hares at an area along the Geauga-Ashtabula County line.
Snowshoe hares disappeared from Ohio some time in the early 1900s and several attempts to reintroduce the hares in the 1950s were unsuccessful. The ODNR Division of Wildlife began re-establishing snowshoe hares in Northeast Ohio by trapping and relocating in 2000. Last year 96 Michigan hares were released in Ohio.
The snowshoe hare's hind feet, up to 7 inches long, contain webbing between the toes. These features enable the hare to stay on top of deep snow, leap up to 10 feet and dart about at speeds up to 27 miles per hour. The snowshoe hare gets its name from its hind feet.
Although some of the transplanted hares have fallen victim to predators, Scott says he is encouraged by evidence the hares are reproducing. Toe tags on the hares help biologists track the animals' habitat uses and survival rates.
State wildlife biologists have observed tracks of snowshoe hares in this winter's snowfall. "That's a good sign that the hare is at least holding its own in its new territory," Scott said.
Due to their need for a specific habitat, the hares are only being released in the northeast corner of Ohio.