Bird Watching at Garden Gate Get-A-Way
Bird watching in Ohio is exciting and rewarding for both visitors and residents. The state has many beautiful wild birds that keep bird watchers on their toes. Holmes County is no exception. Guests at Garden Gate Get-A-Way B&B need never leave our property to see some beautiful birds and hear a symphony of their songs.
A bird watching vacation at Garden Gate Get-A-Way also may include day trips to the Holmes County Rails to Trails path or The Wilderness Center to go hiking and birding. Below are just some of the birds that we have spotted at our B&B: (Bird information from Ohio DNR Web site)
Be sure to visit us during March for the annual Shreve Migration Sensation . This is the time of year that the birds migrate from South to North and you are sure to spot some rare birds. Naturalists are on hand at several locations to enhance your experience.
Black-capped Chickadee Black-capped chickadees occur north of the Carolina's range. The song of the black-capped chickadee is a two-parted whistled fee-bee, and their chik-a-dee-dee calls are much huskier and slower in tempo than the Carolina's.
Blue Jay The blue jay is part of the crow family, which is a group of larger, aggressive birds. Their bills are large and stout; the feet and legs are heavy, enabling them to spend much time on the ground. Both the wings and the tail are rounded. The family is omnivorous (they eat both plant and animal material) and their songs are loud, raucous calls.
Brown-headed Cowbird The brown-headed cowbird is part of the Blackbird family which contains more individuals than any other bird family in Ohio, but includes only a few species. This group of medium-sized walking birds has very diverse coloration and habits. The bill is long and pointed; the tail is usually rounded.They are known for stealing other birds nests.
Downy Woodpecker Woodpeckers are small to medium-sized, mostly black-and-white birds, with strong, sharply pointed bills for chiseling and digging into trees. They drill in search of food (insects and larvae) and to excavate nesting cavaties. As they climb up tree trunks they use their stiff tails as a brace.
Eastern Bluebird Bluebirds were once common across Ohio when the countryside was composed of a mixture of small fields of hay, oats, corn, pastures, and orchards. As farming changed to a more monoculture approach -- extensive fields of corn and soybeans -- away from pastures and orchards, bluebird habitat declined in Ohio.
Eastern Screech Owl Eastern screech-owls are dichromatic, meaning they come in two distinct color morphs. They are either uniformly gray or uniformly rufous, with darker streaking on the body. Both color morphs allow for camouflage against the bark of trees.
House Finch Finches are at the top of the evolutionary line of Ohio's birds. This is a family of small to medium-sized hopping birds. The bill is usually short, conical and stout, allowing them to easily crack the seeds that form the bulk of their diet. These birds are found in every land habitat in Ohio. The group is the largest bird family in the world and includes grosbeaks, finches, buntings and sparrows.
House Sparrow The house sparrow, originally from Eurasia, was introduced to North America in 1851. They have since prospered in areas associated with humans.
House Wren The Wren family is a group of small, restless, brownish birds with finely barred wings and tails. Wrens have long, slender bills which are slightly decurved. The best field mark is the way the tail is usually cocked straight-up. Their favorite food is insects.
Mourning Dove Mourning doves rank among the most familiar breeding birds in Ohio. They are one of the few native species that thrive in close association with humans. The ability to adapt to Ohio's changing landscape has allowed mourning doves to become common summer residents in every county.
Northern Cardinal The cardinal is the state bird of Ohio. It is well known for its rich, distinctive call. The cardinal's song is usually a repetition of short whistled phrases with some notes run together; for instance: What-cheer-cheer-cheer, or Who-it, who-it, who-it, or Birdy, birdy, birdy. There is also a sharp clink sound the bird makes as a call note. Cardinals can usually be found singing near the top of the tallest tree in their territory.
Purple Martin Few birds are as intimately associated with people as the purple martin. Historically, they would have nested in large tree hollows, but humans have been enticing them to nest close at hand since early Native Americans began placing hollowed out gourds near their villages.
Red-bellied Woodpecker Woodpeckers are small to medium-sized, mostly black-and-white birds, with strong, sharply pointed bills for chiseling and digging into trees. They drill in search of food (insects and larvae) and to excavate nesting cavaties. As they climb up tree trunks they use their stiff tails as a brace. Their flight is undulating, with the wings folded against the body after each series of flaps.
Red-winged Blackbird The Blackbird family probably contains more individuals than any other bird family in Ohio, but includes only a few species. This group of medium-sized walking birds has very diverse coloration and habits. The bill is long and pointed; the tail is usually rounded.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak The grosbeak's song sounds like a robin, but they have a sweet, slurred quality to their voice that is very distinct. Sometimes, their song is said to sound like a "drunken robin." Rose-breasted grosbeaks frequently intersperse their call note with the song, and its easily recognized chink sound mimics that of two trees rubbing together in the wind.
Ruby-throated Hummingbird The ruby-throat is among the smallest of birds, weighing less than an ounce. They are astounding flyers that can move forward and backward as well as hover in flight. They have been clocked flying up to 60 mph. The sound produced by its rapid wingbeats led to its name.
Tufted Titmouse The largest titmouse, it has gray upperparts, pale gray underparts, rust-brown flanks. Head has dark gray cap and crest, pale gray face, and white eye-ring. Bill is black. Wings and tail are gray. Legs and feet are gray. Most spend their entire lives not far from their birthplace.