Posts

Enhancing Your Landscape for Birds and Other Wildlife

Hello Wild Side Readers,

If you are new to this blog, I share information on Ohio’s wildlife, but as an educator, I also create posts related to education events I present at. Recently, I presented at the 2022 Midwest Native Plant Conference. The below are resources I shared during that presentation, as well as the slide set. For those of you that were not in attendance, never fear – this presentation (which is a recorded webinar) is very similar if you’d like to watch it.

Enhancing Your Landscape for Birds and Other Wildlife – Slide set from 2022 Midwest Native Plant Conference

Additional Resources:

3 Billion Birds Lost Research and Website

Doug Tallamy webinar – Restoring Nature’s Relationships at Home (the connection between trees and caterpillars)

Alternatives to Non-native, Invasive Plants Brochure and Website– Ohio Invasive Plant Council

Butterflies & Moths of North America

Ohio Trees for Bees – OSU Extension fact sheet

Enhancing Food (Mast) Production for Woodland Wildlife – OSU Extension fact sheet

Importance of Dead Wood in Forests – recorded webinar

Nesting and Overwintering Habitat for Pollinators and Other 

Nest Boxes for Wildlife

Ohio Bat Working Group website – info on bat houses, forest management for bats, recorded videos on Ohio bats, and more!

Preventing Bird Window Strikes – American Bird Conservancy

Wildlife Conflict Resources

Books:

Butterflies of Ohio Field Guide by Jaret C. Daniels

Good Garden Bugs by Mary M. Gardiner

Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest by Sally and Harmon Weeks

Native Trees of the Midwest by Weeks, Weeks, and Parker

Pollinators of Native Plants by Heather Holmes

Bees: ID & Native Plant Forage Guide by Heather Holmes

Bees in Your Backyard by Joseph William & Olivia Messinger Carril

Caterpillars of Eastern NA by David Wagner

Remember the power that our community green spaces can have – they foster an appreciation for nature and wildlife. Happy wildscaping and I hope you (and the wildlife) enjoy the space you create!

Marne Titchenell

Wildlife Program Specialist

Ticks, ticks, and more….TICKS!!

Hello Wild Side Readers,

Disclaimer: There is a risk of uninduced itching, tickles, and shivers of disgust when reading this article. The author apologizes for any discomfort upfront. 

Now that we have gotten that out of the way, let’s talk ticks. In this post, I’d like to share some information from my friend and colleague, Tim McDermot. Tim is an Assistant Professor and Extension Educator for the Ohio State University Extension, within the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Studies. He was also a veterinarian for some time. Now, we at OSU Extension are lucky to have him and his expertise! The following is a video update on Ohio ticks that Tim recently shared.

From Tim McDermot:

“Ticks and tick-vectored disease are major concerns to humans, companion animals, and livestock in Ohio.  We have gone from one medically important tick twenty years ago to five, adding two in the past couple of years.  I recently recorded a webinar presentation for EAB University in partnership with Purdue, Michigan State, and the USDA to update where we are with Ticks in Ohio in 2022.”

 

 

 

 

 

Update on Ticks 2022

Additional Resources:

As the temperatures slowly get warmer and the grass gets greener, we will be venturing outside more and more. Now is the time to be tick-aware and take action to protect yourself, your family, and your pets.

Be safe out there and thanks for reading!

Marne Titchenell

Wildlife Program Specialist

Curious About Coyotes?

Greetings Wild Side Readers!

The subject of this post is coyotes and there is a lot to discuss. Now, if anyone else out there grew up watching the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes as I did, then perhaps your first introduction to the coyote was through the trials and tribulations of Wile E. Coyote chasing down the always out-of-reach Road Runner. The word ‘wily’ means skilled at gaining an advantage, especially deceitfully. I think Warner Bros. described their canid character quite succinctly and when considering our modern-day coyote, some parallels can be drawn. I would not characterize coyotes as deceitful by any means, but skilled? Yes, indeed. Coyotes are intelligent, equip with heightened senses, and the ability to adapt to available resources not only to survive but to survive well.

Whenever I am preparing a presentation on wildlife conflict, I almost always include some information on coyotes. While not technically native to Ohio, coyotes have been here for some time, over 60 years to be somewhat exact. They were first recorded in Preble County in 1948. Now they are present in all 88 counties and are one of three wild canids that call Ohio home; the other two are the red fox and gay fox. (Gray wolves, in case you are wondering, were extirpated from Ohio in the mid-1800s.) Within those 88 counties, coyotes are found in a variety of areas, from fields to forests to urban areas.

Coyotes are present in many of Ohio’s cities and communities. They are considered to be one of the most adaptable carnivores, avoiding humans by shifting a majority of their activity to the night shift and spending their time in wooded patches and shrubbery within urban areas. Many residents are unaware of their inconspicuous neighbors and rarely catch a glimpse of them. But when they do, that’s when the questions roll in. It’s also why I include coyotes in my wildlife conflict programs.

Recently I presented on coyotes at the Ohio River Valley Woodland and Wildlife Workshop, an annual conference for landowners offered by a collaboration between OSU, Purdue, and the University of Kentucky Extension. Below are the slides I shared that day, as well as additional resources for even more learn-time! Enjoy!

Curious About Coyotes? – slide set

 

Web Resources:

Urban Coyote Research Project – Chicago, IL research lead by OSU’s Stan Gehrt

Ohio Woodland Stewards – classes, workshops, webinars, and more on forestry and wildlife in Ohio

OSU Sheep Team  – predator protection information

OSU Poultry Team – predator protection information

Coyote Species Profile – ODNR, Division of Wildlife

 

Fact Sheets/Publications:

Preventing and Controlling Coyote Problems

Urban Coyotes: Conflict & Management

Community Level Strategies for Urban Coyote Management

Coyotes – USDA Wildlife Services, Wildlife Damage Management Technical Series (good livestock protection information)

Predators of Poultry – OSU Fact Sheet

 

Recommended Books:

Urban Carnivores – Stanley D. Gehrt, Seth P.D. Riley, and Brian L. Cypher

Mammals of Ohio – John D. Harder and Guy N. Cameron

 

Thanks for reading!

Marne Titchenell
Wildlife Program Specialist

Managing Public Trees and Spaces for Wildlife

Hello Wild Side Readers,

If you are new to this blog, I share information on Ohio’s wildlife, but as an educator, I also create posts related to presentations at educational events. Recently, I was invited to present at the Ohio Tree Care Conference, in Cleveland, Ohio. I spoke about managing trees and small forest patches in urban and suburban areas for birds, pollinators, and bats. The below links are resources I shared during that presentation, as well as the slide set. If you follow my posts, there is some similarity between this and the last post – many of the resources are the same. The exception is that this post has quite a bit more resources on managing forests for wildlife included.

Managing Public Trees and Spaces for Wildlife – slide set

 

Links/Resources:

Doug Tallamy webinar – Restoring Nature’s Relationships at Home (the connection between trees and caterpillars)

3 Billion Birds Lost Research and Website

Alternatives to Non-native, Invasive Plants Brochure and Website– Ohio Invasive Plant Council

Butterflies & Moths of North America

Wildlife Conflict Resources

Bringing the Snag into the Urban Forest (Arborists and Wildlife: Retaining Trees for Wildlife Habitat) – Brian French

Dead Wood for Wildlife webinar

Nest Box & Bat House Resources

Ohio Lights Out Program

Buckeye Yard and Garden Online  – provides timely information about Ohio growing conditions, pest, disease, and cultural problems.

Woodland, Water, and Wildlife Conference – March 2, 2022 – Register HERE

Urban Wildlife Information Network

Ohio Division of Wildlife and US Fish and Wildlife Service Joint Guidance for Bat Surveys and Tree Clearing – May 2021

Fact Sheets/Bulletins:

Ohio Woodland Stewards Invasive Species Fact Sheets

Managing Small Forest Patches for BirdsOhio Bird Conservation Initiative

Creating Snags (Controlling Undesirable Trees, Shrubs, and Vines) – OSU Extension fact sheet

Crop Tree Management – OSU Extension fact sheet

Enhancing Food (Mast) Production for Woodland Wildlife – OSU Extension fact sheet

Ohio Trees for Bees – OSU Extension fact sheet

Nesting and Overwintering Habitat for Pollinators and Other Beneficial Insects

Research papers:

Baker et al. 2020 – Suitability of native milkweed (Asclepias) species versus cultivars for supporting monarch butterflies and bees in urban gardens

Ricker et al. 2019 – Comparing Insect Pollination Visitation for Six Native Shrub Species and their Cultivars

Recommended Books:

Good Garden Bugs by Mary M. Gardiner

Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest by Sally and Harmon Weeks

Native Trees of the Midwest by Weeks, Weeks, and Parker

 

If you would like more information on forest management, please visit the Ohio Woodland Stewards website. We also have a list of webinars on a variety of forestry and wildlife topics. Enjoy!

Marne Titchenell

Wildlife Program Specialist

Dealing with Wildlife: Raccoons, Skunks, Moles, Voles, & Geese

Hello Wild Side Readers,

If you are new to this blog, I share information on Ohio’s wildlife, but as an educator, I also create posts related to education events I present at. Recently, I presented at the 2021 Ohio Turf Foundation and Green Industry Short Course annual conference. My topic was the title of this post – how to deal with conflict caused by raccoons, skunks, moles, voles, and geese. This was a lot to cover in a mere 45 mintues, so be sure to check out my other posts on conflict wildlife for more information. Below is the slide set for the presentation, resources referenced during the presentation, as well as a few others. Enjoy!

Marne Titchenell

Wildlife Program Specialist

Dealing with Wildlife: Raccoons, Skunks, Moles, Voles, & Geese – Slide set from 2021 OTF/GISC Conference

Trailcampro.com – one of the best resources for information on a variety of trail cameras

White Grub Management – Buckeye Yard and Garden Online article

List of Nuisance Wild Animal Control Operators – ODNR, Division of Wildlife

Goose Damage Permit online application – ODNR, Divison of Wildlife

Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife – Nuisance Wildlife Resources

Vole and Mole Publications:

Geese Publications:

 

Inviting Wildlife to the Landscape

Hello Wild Side Readers,

If you are new to this blog, I share information on Ohio’s wildlife, but as an educator, I also create posts related to education events I present at. Recently, I presented at the 2021 Ohio Turf Foundation and Green Industry Short Course (OTF/GISC) annual conference. My topic was the title of this post – attracting friendly wildlife (those species that do not typically cause conflict or damage) into landscapes in our communities. That could mean commercial properties, public or recreation areas, park properties, and backyard spaces. The below are resources I shared during that presentation, as well as the slide set. For those of you that were not in attendance, never fear – this presentation (which is a recorded webinar) is very similar if you’d like to watch it.

Attracting Birds and Other Wildlife to the Landscape – Slide set from 2021 OTF/GISC Conference

Additional Resources:

Doug Tallamy webinar – Restoring Nature’s Relationships at Home (the connection between trees and caterpillars)

3 Billion Birds Lost Research and Website

Alternatives to Non-native, Invasive Plants Brochure and Website– Ohio Invasive Plant Council

Butterflies & Moths of North America

Nesting and Overwintering Habitat for Pollinators and Other Beneficial Insects

Wildlife Conflict Resources

Ohio Trees for Bees – OSU Extension fact sheet

Enhancing Food (Mast) Production for Woodland Wildlife – OSU Extension fact sheet

Books:

Butterflies of Ohio Field Guide by Jaret C. Daniels

Good Garden Bugs by Mary M. Gardiner

Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest by Sally and Harmon Weeks

Native Trees of the Midwest by Weeks, Weeks, and Parker

Research papers:

Baker et al. 2020 – Suitability of native milkweed (Asclepias) species versus cultivars for supporting monarch butterflies and bees in urban gardens

Ricker et al. 2019 – Comparing Insect Pollination Visitation for Six Native Shrub Species and their Cultivars

Remember the power that our community green spaces can have – they foster an appreciation for nature and wildlife. Happy Wildscaping!

Marne Titchenell

Wildlife Program Specialist

 

Deer and COVID-19 – What is Going On?

Hello Wild Side Readers,

Have you seen headlines in the news lately about deer with COVID-19? Some of these headlines are a bit misleading. Check out the below information on what is really going on.

 

SARS-CoV-2 and Deer

In a late August press release, the USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory announced confirmation of the virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) in wild wild-tailed deer in Ohio. Earlier studies have shown that deer can be experimentally infected with the virus, and that wild deer (from samples in IL, MI, NY, and PA) had antibodies to the virus.

  • The deer tested were positive for the virus (SARS-CoV-2) but were not diagnosed with the illness (COVID-19). Some headlines you may see (including the above press release) are misleading! Currently, it appears that deer are asymptomatic carriers of the virus.
  • According to the Ohio Department of Health, there is no evidence that animals, including deer, play a significant role in the spread of SARS-CoV-2 to people.
    • Based on the available information, the risk of animals spreading SARS-CoV-2 to people is low.
  • Currently, it is unknown how the deer contracted the virus, though typically the route of infection is from human to animals.
    • Infections have been reported in a small number of other wildlife species, mostly in animals that had close contact with a person with COVID-19. More info here.

Is hunter-harvested game meat safe to eat?

  • According to the Ohio Department of Health, there is no evidence that people can get SARS-CoV-2 by preparing or eating meat from an animal infected with SARS-CoV-2, including wild game meat hunted in the United States.
  • Hunters should always practice good hygiene when processing animals.

Additional actions to stop virus transmission:

  • To limit deer-to-deer transmission, the Ohio Division of Wildlife continues to urge homeowners and hunters to avoid concentrating deer at backyard feeders or in hunting situations. In addition to SARS-CoV-2, Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and bovine tuberculosis (bTB) remain on the list of diseases that could be easily transmitted from deer to deer under these situations. CWD was confirmed in two wild deer in Wyandot County during the 2020-21 deer hunting season (see here for more information on CWD in Ohio’s deer herd). Ohio’s herd remains bTB-free.

More information:

  • Contact the Ohio Department of Health for questions about the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from white-tailed deer to humans; 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634) or odh.ohio.gov.
  • Contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture for questions about the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to pets or livestock; 614-728-6201 or agri.ohio.gov.
  • Press release on Deer with Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2
  • FAQ on Deer with Antibodies Study – also has food safety recs for hunters processing animals

 

Thanks for reading!

Marne Titchenell

Wildlife Program Specialist

Update – Bird Illness and Feeding Recommendations

Hello Wild Side Readers,

Good news on the bird illness front – check it out below!

The Ohio Division of Wildlife is lifting its previous recommendation to stop feeding birds. However, caution and vigilance are always necessary to help prevent further spread of diseases at bird feeders.

  • Reports of sick or dead birds possibly affected with the mysterious bird illness in Ohio have slowed considerably. A majority of birds reported with the illness were immature or fledgling birds, and the breeding season is now primarily over.
  • There is still no diagnosis on the cause of the mysterious bird illness. Research is ongoing at multiple labs.
  • Many other songbird diseases can be passed through feeding. It is important to keep feeders clean: use a 10% bleach solution (1 part bleach, 9 parts water), rinse, and let dry at least once a week. Take a break (7-10 days) from feeding if you see sick or dead birds. This prevents birds from congregating and passing transmissible diseases.
  • Symptoms of diseases such as house finch eye disease and salmonellosis include reddish or crusty eyes, and neurological conditions such as poor balance and coordination.

The Division of Wildlife would still like reports of dead birds to be reported HERE.

If you find or observe a sick bird, please contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

 

Thanks for all you do for wildlife!

Marne Titchenell

Wildlife Program Specialist

Moles, Voles, and Other Holes – What is Digging in My Yard??

Hello Wild Side Readers,

I had the pleasure of recently being a part of the Lakeside Chautauqua Lecture Series. I was asked to present on managing moles, voles, and other critters that leave small holes in yards and landscapes. Below are the slides to my presentation, as well as additional resources on dealing with moles and voles in your backyard. I hope you find them helpful!

Powerpoint Slides – Moles, Voles, and Other Holes – What’s Digging in My Yard?

Publications:

Online Resources

 

Marne Titchenell

Wildlife Program Specialist

Update: Mysterious Bird Illness Strikes Ohio

Hello Wild Side Readers,

I wanted to share a small update on the illness impacting birds in Ohio and surrounding states.

  • There is still no cause of illness or death.
  • People are encouraged to report sick or dead birds.
  • The following pathogens have NOT been detected, based on results received to date: Salmonella and Chlamydia (bacterial pathogens); avian influenza virus, West Nile virus and other flaviviruses, Newcastle disease virus and other paramyxoviruses, herpesviruses and poxviruses; and Trichomonas parasites.
  • No human health of domestic livestock and poultry issues have been reported.
  • The recommendation remains to take down feeders and baths until this illness subsides.
    • WHY? Bird feeders and baths are places where birds congregate and possibly transmit disease to one another. Taking down feeders and baths prevents these gatherings and the risk of disease transmission.
  •  Recommendation to keep pets (including pet birds) away from sick or dead birds (as a standard precaution).

Please see the below handout for more information. While the bulk of the reports are coming in from SW and Central Ohio, other parts of the state are not immune. Please remain vigilant and report any cases you see – thank you!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional Resources:

Update from the USGS National Wildlife Health Center

ODNR-Division of Wildlife’s Page on the bird illness

 

Marne Titchenell

Wildlife Program Specialist