USA Today is conducting a reader poll to determine the best birding sites in the country. The nominations is a list of prime locations sure to make any life-lister’s heart beat faster just thinking about all the birds one might see: Big Bend, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, the Platte River, Point Reyes National Seashore, Magee Marsh.
Magee Marsh. In Ohio.
I’ve been to Magee, several times. In the Spring to see warblers migrating north; in Autumn to watch trumpeter swans fuel up for their journey south. And just this past September, to see pairs of Sand Hill Cranes resting in shallow water before undertaking another leg of the journey to winter roosts.
Why should we care if Magee Marsh makes the USA Today list of the top ten birding sites? Because birding is big business in Ohio. By the latest estimates, avitourists spent a whopping $30,000,000 in the Magee Marsh region during the April-May warbler migration. Birders support jobs in hotels, gas stations, restaurants, and countless other retail outlets. Some of that revenue flows back to preserve historic sites. Located on the northern edge of the Great Black Swamp, the region around Magee Marsh is defined by water and settlement stories. The residents know their history and cherish it.
My journeys up to Magee Marsh are among the best trips I take each year, because the folks around Magee Marsh get it – I’m there to see birds, spend money, and support the place that shelters all those little warblers and big cranes.
Join me in making sure Magee Marsh is recognized as a great place – to bird, to explore Ohio’s heritage. You can vote for Magee Marsh on the USA Today website every day until November 10. Just follow this link — http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-birdwatching/magee-marsh-ohio/