I’ve been working on a Naturalist Certificate from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.  We need to accumulate 150 hours total over a variety of discipline areas.  Most of my hours to date have been from taking classes at the museum.

Yesterday, I ventured out on a hike.  This took place at the Burkholder Preserve in Ashtabula County.  Did you know that the museum owns over 5,000 acres of land in Ohio?  It’s impressive.

This 24.9 acre property was purchased in 2009.  It’s draw was its location along part of the Grand River and some flora that isn’t found at other museum properties.

About 15 people participated in the hike.  I was really glad that it snowed!


All of the participants were dressed properly for the winter weather.


We had many awesome views.




We concluded our hike with a trek back to the road where we had left our cars.


Stanley Stine and Garrett Ormiston led the hike.  I can’t wait for the next one!


On Saturday, I went on a field trip with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.  I’m working on a naturalist certificate.  As part of my required hours, I can pick from a variety of classes and trips.  This trip was to the Medina Raptor Center.  Here’s their mission from their site:

The Medina Raptor Center is in its twentieth year of helping Ohio’s Wildlife.  We are a state and federally licensed facility dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of birds of prey.  Our mission and focus also include educational outreach programs that utilize live birds of prey to educate children and adults about raptors and their role in the ecosystem, and the need to preserve habitat.  We are a 501(c)(3) non profit organization and support of our programs is tax deductible.


Here are our fearless leaders for the day.  Laura on the left is in charge.  She has such a passion for helping the wildlife.  Stan is from the museum.  He leads many trips, but got to enjoy much of this tour.


While we waited for everyone to gather, we watched the trumpeter swans in the pond.  It was fun to watch them.  They like the ducks, but they chase the geese away!  At some point, people were dropping off cats to the center.  They’d just pull in and dump them.  Laura put up cameras to catch them and they were fined.  But, as a result she has 19 cats now.


Here, one of the volunteers (Everyone is a volutneer.  No one is paid.) shows us some of the food.  The entire top shelf is mice.  On the right, trays are prepped for the next feeding.


We got introduced to quite a few of the educational birds.  They were beautiful!




The center is a collection of buildings like these.  It looked a bit like you were going camping at Girl Scout cabins.  The center can hold about 50 birds at a time.  Since about 1/2 are permanent residents, that leaves around 25 that can be in rehabilitation at one time.  I enjoyed hearing about the process that the different birds can go through.  My favorite was when the birds go to mouse school.  They get trained to catch mice for food to make sure they will be able to find food when they are released.  They even have cameras to watch the birds from the office!


The trip could not end without a visit from Migisi, the resident, female, Bald Eagle!


What a beautiful bird!