BEREA, Ohio – I’ve never really been a bona fide birder, but for some reason I often find myself checking out their antics during the cold winter months.
Of course, with the trees stripped of their leaves at this time of year, it’s much easier to spot these feathered creatures. Groups of them gather on the bare branches of a tree, just outside a window where I can observe them without having to leave my chair while writing this column.
This tree appears to be a favorite early morning gathering spot for a host of what appear to be white-breasted nuthatches, a couple of house finches, and a few other avian friends that I cannot identify.
A view out another window to the south near Front and West Grand Streets will often reveal as many as 40-50 birds (yes, I counted them) sitting side by side, seemingly oblivious to the freezing winter winds , on a high wire.
From this high perch, these wire keepers – mostly pigeons – keep a close eye on the seeds and other goodies that a neighbor places outside daily. When hungry, the birds simply swoop in to wolf down the seeds and suet, then, more often than not, return to their aerial perches.
The winter food also attracts chipmunks and squirrels, but none of the array of feathered diners who congregate there seem to care.
As most of us know, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on February 2 and that should mean another six weeks of winter.
Although I’m not exactly keen on the idea, these birds could have flown into the coop, but didn’t, and don’t seem to mind hanging around for the winter. Maybe I shouldn’t either.
For the birds: Want to help the birds get through the winter? Consider providing them with energy-dense foods like suet, peanuts, and black oil sunflower seeds.
Water is also essential, even in winter. Add a heated birdbath to help birds stay hydrated – and don’t forget to keep the water clean!
For more information on how to help our feathered friends through the winter, visit the US Fish and Wildlife Newsroom: https://www.fws.gov/midwest/news/WinterWarmth.html.
Teen Challenge: Ohio teens have a chance to win a college scholarship and an Apple MacBook Pro by participating in the Black History Month Challenge and then submitting a short essay.
The challenge was created by EVERFI, which designs digital social impact learning solutions, in partnership with Citizens Bank.
There will be at least one winner from Ohio, with the possibility of a second national winner from the state.
The Black History Month Challenge – a unique competition that runs through February – uses EVERFI’s African American history lessons to help high school students better understand the Black experience through an education that shines a light on the perspectives, successes and struggles of black people.
The month-long challenge includes four digital lessons and a capstone essay contest, in which students share a plan for maintaining a year-round conversation about black history in their community.
The Black History Month Challenge is designed to inspire students today by sharing stories about the Black experience in America, empowering students to amplify Black perspectives through the generations, elevating history as a lens to understand current events and transforming students’ perception of the world around them.
Eleven winners from Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, Ohio, New York and one national winner will each receive a $2,500 scholarship and a new Apple MacBook Pro, courtesy of Citizen’s Pay.
To learn more about the Black History Month Challenge, visit www.citizensbank.com/EVERFI.
Golden pancakes:The Berea Kiwanis Club pancake breakfast for 2022 brought in a nifty profit of $12,955.
Baldwin Wallace University made it possible for the club to host this all-important fundraiser by allowing Kiwanis to use space at the BW Student Union — Strosacker Hall, 125 Tressel St. in Berea — for the event.
A total of 26 patrons at the breakfast took home $160 each for their 20 tickets, and seven returned even more, led by Guy Turner, who took home $1,050.
Turner, who serves as assistant to the mayor and community affairs administrator for the town of Berea, was named the winner of the Kiwanis Club’s 2021 Golden Pancake Award.
Dean’s List: The following local students have been named to Findlay University’s Dean’s List for the Fall 2021 semester:
Allison Burdick, Park Brook; Garret Clark, Middleburg Heights; Madeline Dashiell, Brook Park; Abigail Evanoff, Berea; Ryan O’Flanagan, Berea; Reda Riffi, Brook Park; and Zachary Zeleznik, Berea.
Paul Smith’s College is pleased to announce that Haven Bradt de Berea has been named to the Fall 2021 Dean’s List.
Wanted videos: Middleburg Heights resident Nancy Rylow is looking for two video interviews made by students at Midpark High School in the late 1990s as part of a social studies project.
“The two I’m looking for are The Great Depression and the 1950s,” Rylow said, explaining that the students interviewed people from the community and also published four books.
Rylow said she would like to convert them to DVDs and post them on a website. She can be reached through Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/110529976449916/user/100000711735823/.
Lost cat: Aerial Lynn Brosch announced on the Brook Park Community Facebook page that she recently found a cat “near the train tracks” near Wolf Road and Middlebrook Boulevard in Brook Park.
She said the cat is “extremely affectionate and looks like it once had a home or has a home”. Brosch said the cat was litter box trained and missing teeth.
“The APL said he was not chipped and was around 7 years old. Please message me if you know anyone who is missing an orange cat.
Film Festival: Amber Shields, a senior film and promotional communications student at Cleveland State University, is interning this semester, working for the Short Sweet Film Fest.
Shields said via Facebook’s Middleburg Heights community page that she wanted to “share this event with all of you. If you have an interest in cinema or if your children plan to go to school for the cinema, this would be a fun night.
BW Movie Series: The Baldwin Wallace University International Film Series will run Feb. 19-20 and Feb. 25-27 at Marting Hall, 50 Seminary St. in Berea. Details to come on bw.edu/ifs.
Food distribution: A Mobile Pantry food distribution (stable items) will take place from 2-3:30 p.m. on February 23 in the parking lot next to the Brook Park branch of the Cuyahoga County Library, 6155 Engle Road (between the library and the gazebo).
Kids’ Café meals are always served from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday to young people under 18 years of age.
SCAN Hunger Center Pantry: 39 W. Bagley Road, Williamsport Plaza. 440-260-7226. Open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the second Friday of the month and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. the fourth Friday.
Church Street Ministries Pantry: 1480 Bagley Road, 440-239-0549. Open from noon to 2 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Mini pantry: There are two small free food pantries located near the People’s Community Church and the Berea Branch Library. The Prospect Pantry is on the corner of Prospect Street and Jacqueline Drive.
Ride in love: Free hot meal 2-4 p.m. third Sunday of the month at St. Adalbert’s Catholic Church, Keller Center, 66 Adalbert Street. Eat in or take away. The next meal is February 20.
Free community meal: St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 276 E. Bagley Road, served 5-6 p.m. the last Wednesday of the month. Drive-up only. The next meal is February 23.
People’s Community Church Pantry: 628 Wesley Drive, 440-234-0609. Open from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the third Saturday of the month. The next open pantry will be February 19.
Pantry for animals: Animal Rescue Friends, 10015 E. River Road, Columbia Station, 10 a.m. to noon every Sunday. Contact 440-234-2034 or [email protected] for more information.
Senior lunches: Monthly Elders Luncheon at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 276 E. Bagley Road in Berea. Lunches are $5 and are served at noon on the second Tuesday of each month. For more information, call Michelle Skutt at 440-234-6080.
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