It’s a magical time for the birds at the Fernald Preserve, Ohio, Site. The Fernald Preserve Visitors Center will host “Fantastic Beasts of the Harry Potter World” on January 5, to celebrate the wild birds that have made the preserve their home. The blockbuster Harry Potter series features owls and mythological bird-like creatures. This event also coincides with National Bird Day, which celebrates the incredible benefits birds provide to our ecosystems.
Birds play an important role in Ohio’s ecosystem and across the United States. They help cycle nutrients by moving from one place to another. Similar to bees, birds are pollinators, helping to ensure humans have enough food to eat, according to the National Audubon Society. The work of pollinators is vital to keeping ecosystems functioning properly.
The Harry Potter-themed birds of prey event is one of many that the Fernald Preserve hosts throughout the year. The preserve houses a variety of species as birds travel to their next destinations. Nearly 250 bird species take refuge at the preserve throughout the year. Depending on the season, visitors can view short-eared owls or blue grosbeaks during their nesting periods. Birding enthusiasts track sightings in the Sightings Log from the Audubon Society of Ohio.
“The preserve has a diverse mosaic of habitats including woodlands, restored prairies, and wetlands,” said Brian Wulker, a member of the preserve’s ecology team. “Grassland birds such as Dickcissel and Blue Grosbeak are uncommon in Ohio, but numerous at Fernald.”
“Given the population density of nearby areas, the Fernald Preserve offers unique wildlife habitats that are not common in the region,” said Penny Borgman, Fernald Preserve Visitors Center manager.
Events like “Fantastic Beasts of the Harry Potter World” help share information with interested community members. Cincinnati’s local bird of prey rescue organization (Raptor, Inc.) will present live birds of prey and share information about the adaptations of raptors, their diets, habitats, and roles in the food web. The event is open to all ages and photography is encouraged.
The Fernald Preserve is located at 7400 Willey Road in Hamilton. For more information about the Fantastic Beasts event, call (513) 648-3330. To learn about future events at the Fernald Preserve, visit the U.S. Department Office of Legacy Management’s Fernald Preserve events page.