Parks host bird-themed family events

While much of Central Ohio’s bird population has flown south for the winter, there are still plenty of feathered friends that don’t give a hoot about the cooler temperatures.

Your family can learn more about the area’s winter bird population at a variety of upcoming programs hosted by Metro Parks and Preservation Parks of Delaware County. Here are some of the offerings:

Metro Parks

Weekly Bird Hike
Description: Search for birds in the park.
When: 10 a.m. Saturdays
Where: Grange Insurance Audubon Center, 505 W. Whittier St. (Downtown), Columbus

Waterfowl Watch

Description:Join a naturalist or volunteer at the Thoreau Lake Waterfowl Observation Blinds to watch ducks and geese and learn identification tips. The self-guided roundtrip walk is two-thirds of a mile. Some binoculars and spotting scopes will be provided.

When:10-11:30 a.m.second and fourth Saturdays

Where: Blendon Woods Metro Park Nature Center, 4265 E. Dublin-Granville Road, Westerville

Bird Hike
Description: Take a 2-mile walk to find birds.

When: 9 a.m. Feb. 4

Where: Blendon Woods Metro Park Nature Center, 4265 E. Dublin-Granville Road, Westerville 

Whoo’s Courting?
Description:Take a 1-mile walk to search the woods for barred owls.
When: 10 a.m. Feb. 4 and 11
Where: Blacklick Woods Metro Park Nature Center, 6975 E. Livingston Ave., Reynoldsburg 

Superb Owl Sunday

Description:Learn all about owls. Touch wings, skulls, talons and pellets and view taxidermy specimens.

When: noon to 4 p.m. Feb. 4
Where: Blendon Woods Metro Park Nature Center, 4265 E. Dublin-Granville Road, Westerville

Owls of February

Description:Take a 2-mile hike and try to call in owls that live in the park.

When: 5:30 p.m. Feb. 11

Where: Highbanks Metro Park Nature Center, 9466 U.S. Route 23 N., Lewis Center

Looking For Winter Birds

Description:Take a 1.5-mile hike while searching for birds that spend the winter at the park.

When: 10 a.m. Feb. 11

Where:Rocky Fork Metro Park, Millstone Picnic Area, 7180 Walnut St., Westerville

Owls of Darby Creek
Description: Try to lure in owls for a closer view on a 2-mile hike.
When: 6 p.m. Feb. 17
Where: Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, 2705 Darby Creek Drive, Galloway. Meet at the Indian Ridge bulletin board. 

Preservation Parks of Delaware County

Drop in Discovery: All About Birds
Description: Participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count while making crafts and having refreshments.
When: noon to 4 p.m. Feb. 17 and 18
Where: Deer Haven Park Visitors’ Center, 4183 Liberty Road, Delaware

Winter Bird Walk Series
Description: These early morning hikes are led by park staff members. The events are for all skill levels, ages 7 and older. Loaner binoculars will be available.

When: 8 a.m. Feb. 24
Where: Char-Mar Ridge Park, 7741 Lewis Center Road, Westerville