By Douglas Domedion
Medina Journal-Register — Every year at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge the Buffalo Audubon Society, in partnership with the U.S. Wildlife Service and the Friends of Iroquois NWR, provides nature programs at the Refuge. These programs usually take place on Saturdays and they are free and the public gets a chance to see and learn more about nature.
On April 27 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. the INWR and the Audubon Society have their annual “Spring into Nature” event at both the Head-quarters building on Casey Road and at the Cayuga Pool Overlook. There will be activities and fun for all ages. It is a family festival celebrating nature at the INWR. There will be nature related exhibits, activities for the kids, food vendors, a Bald Eagle Watch, live birds of prey and prizes. The admission and parking is free. A great event you don’t want to miss!
On May 4 at the Refuge Headquarters there will be a presentation on Birding Backyards of America from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.. From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. there will be a Marsh Walk to search for the elusive Bitterns, Soras and Rails. An easy walk starting at the Kanyoo Trail head on Route 77. Then starting at 8 p.m., meeting at the Refuge Headquarters, there will be an Owl Prowl. This program is limited to 50 people and requires pre-registation. Call 585-948-5445 to register and get more information.
On May 5 (Sunday) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. there is a Canoe Trip on the Oak Orchard Creek with Rick Allen. They will meet at at the Knowlesville Road bridge and you should contact Rick at 716-445-9685 for more information and requirements.
On June 22 from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. there is a Full Moon Walk by Marvin Jacob where you will learn about Native American Folklore and how they viewed nature. They will meet at the Kanyoo Trail head.
On July 1 (Monday) you will get a chance to observe the nest checks and banding of Purple Martins from10am to noon. Pre-registation is required buy calling the Refuge Headquarters.
In the fall, starting in September, there will be another series of programs also.
As mentioned in last week’s column the Ospreys are back and it is a great time to observe them bringing sticks back to the nest to repair them.
The one on the nesting platform pole on Sprout Marsh on the Tonawanda WMA is one of the best places to watch. Just park in the big overlook parking lot on the south side of Route 77 and look to the south-east about 300 yards.
Another good spot to observe them is from the Ringneck Overlook on the INWR just off the Oak Orchard Ridge Road. There are two islands out in front of the overlook and the one nest is on the west edge of the east island. Another nest is on a 10 foot snag about 400 yards out to the east of that island.
There is another osprey nest right on Route 77 across from the INWR Cayuga Pool Overlook. It is not safe to stop along the road there or legal but you can easily see it from the Cayuga Pool Overlook as the nesting platform is on top of a very high power pole just west of the overlook.
Ospreys were absent from this area for many years and then in the early 2000’s a reintroduction program was started and we now have around 12 nests in the area.
The official deer harvest report is in and there was a 6.4% increase in the total take this year over last year’s harvest. The total this year was 224,675 with 105,843 being adult bucks (an increase of 8.2% over 2011).
Orleans County had a total of 3,605 deer taken with 1,212 of them being bucks.
Since 1980 there has been a small decrease in the number of regular season gun hunters but the individual success rate has gone up. The bowhunter and especially muzzleloader hunter numbers have been increasing however with their success rate only slightly decreasing from the early 2000 era.
Turkey season opens next week on May 1 and it is a great time of the year to be out in the woods however it can be dangerous. Please be careful out there this season by being sure of your target and what is behind it. Turkeys have a way of really exciting a hunter and that is why you have to think safety at all times. Here is hoping you get a big old gobbler!
The Great Outdoors is an interactive forum for nature lovers of all kinds.
Local sportsmen and women can call to share their reports of trophies bagged, good hunting and fishing grounds, odd sightings and sportsman’s club activities. Photos are accepted.
To get sportsman’s news and info into The Great Outdoors, call Doug Domedion at (585) 798-4022 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.