Two ‘Naturalist on Duty’ events remain at Ashland University; one is this weekend

Staff report -

ASHLAND — The fourth event in Ashland University’s Environmental Studies Center’s “Naturalist on Duty” series is Saturday, Sept. 7, at the AU Black Fork Wetlands, 2628 Ashland Road. This event is “Birds and Birds Banding.”

The series is being held on one Saturday morning each month through the summer and fall, ending on Oct. 5. All events are free and open to the public and each open-house style event will be held between 10 a.m. and noon. Those under 16 should be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

“With migration in full swing, the September ‘Naturalist on Duty’ program will focus on the vast array of birds that can be found in our Black Fork Wetlands,” said Dr. Patricia Saunders, associate professor of biology and director of the environmental science program. “Weather permitting, Professor Merrill Tawse will have mist nets set up to capture birds and demonstrate the how and why of bird banding. Professor Tawse is a master bander, a status that follows a rigorous training and certification process via the North American Bird Banding Program at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.”

The Oct. 5 event is about fall insects.

Saunders said it will focus on observation and natural histories for insect groups that thrive in the fall, such as grasshoppers, crickets, dragonflies and damselflies.

Saunders noted that the “Naturalist on Duty” series provides all with an opportunity to connect with nature in our own backyard and these informal, come-when-you-can style programs are short and flexible.

“You also will have an opportunity to see the Environmental Studies Center’s wetlands classroom, and learn a little more about this eco-friendly building,” Saunders said. “The boardwalk, observation tower, and most of all, the beauty and diversity of the Black Fork Wetlands will guarantee that you see something different every single time you come out. So bring the whole family, and join us for all our events.”

Staff report