The Magic Of Merlins
Speaker: Kathy Mock
Date & Time:
November 22, 2022 @ 7:00pm
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What began as a serendipitous observation of a Merlin through Kathy L. Mock's window during the 2017 Great Backyard Bird Count has turned into a 5-years-and-counting obsession with these fascinating falcons. One overwintering bird has grown to eight through the years, and in April 2022 this led to the first documented nesting attempt by Merlins in Summit County. Kathy described her discovery in an article published in the Spring 2022 issue of The Ohio Cardinal, the quarterly publication of the Ohio Ornithological Society. North of Knox County, they have so far only been confirmed Ohio breeders in Lake County. Join us as Kathy shares photos taken during these 5 years and countless hours of observation, culminating in this nesting attempt. Due to abandonment, most likely due to harassment by crows and the probable subsequent selection of an unknown site, she was not able to confirm fledging in 2022. But she hopes to explain why she finds these birds so remarkable, and why she will remain a willing victim of their magical spell as she tries again to document nesting in 2023.
Kathy Mock became a birder after realizing that birds were easier to find than whales, having garnered a life list of 17 species of cetaceans but 557 species of birds so far. She is a longtime birder and member of OOS and BSBO, a Summit Metro Parks volunteer, former 10-year staff member in the Education Department at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and has been a bird guide for BSBO Jet Express and BWIAB outings. Kathy's photos have been published in The Ohio Cardinal as well as in The Root of It, the newsletter of the Summit County Master Gardeners. Many of her photos can be found on Instagram @2klmockingbird, and she maintains the GAAS Instagram page @akronaudubon. Her weaknesses include, but are not limited to, buying too many bird books and watercolor supplies.