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Natural Cleveland: May

Marc Lefkowitz  |  05/16/16 @ 11:00am  |  Posted in Natural Cleveland

May is the perfect month to take your lunch to a park bench and admire the city.

<br /><br />Yellow warbler<br />Woodcock<br /><br />

On such an occasion, I saw a plain-looking bird beneath the leaves of a hosta plant. Though plain, this was an unusual bird to see across the street from Tower City; called an ovenbird, this is a secretive bird of forest interiors. It must have stopped on its way somewhere else.

In May, the migratory birds are still coming through from the tropics (or at least the southern U.S.). You might be able to see a yellow warbler, or a kinglet, or a black and white warbler, or maybe even a magnolia warbler, too tired to hide themselves from view. The more common birds are a constant. Darwin experimented with pigeons. Cleveland has enough pigeons that are fed in the parks and waddle around bus stops to merit investigation. Tower City sometimes hosts Peregrine falcons who find their livelihood in hunting pigeons.

Like cemeteries, urban green space is a valuable resource for wildlife and for you. Check out Public Square or Willard Park next to City Hall. Crabapples seem to be a favorite of landscape architects and these trees have lovely flowers that blossom now. Willard Park has hawthorns and apples that also might be in bloom. There are irises there, too, and even next to City Hall, I have seen a rabbit. I’m surprised by the way life exists even in sidewalks and bus lanes.

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