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Ohio

Lake Erie: Birding the Islands and Shores

Program No. 12641RJ
There’s no place like the Lake Erie Islands when it comes to bird migrations: beautiful trees, blue skies and myriad birds passing through. Bring your binoculars, this is a good one!

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Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Apr 28 - May 3, 2024
Starting at
1,549
May 5 - May 10, 2024
Starting at
1,549
Filling Fast!
May 12 - May 17, 2024
Starting at
1,549
Sep 8 - Sep 13, 2024
Starting at
1,699
Itinerary Note

This date is a small group.

Sep 22 - Sep 27, 2024
Starting at
1,699
Itinerary Note

This date is a small group.

DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Filling Fast!
Apr 28 - May 3, 2024
Starting at
2,229
May 5 - May 10, 2024
Starting at
1,879
Filling Fast!
May 12 - May 17, 2024
Starting at
1,879
Filling Fast!
Sep 8 - Sep 13, 2024
Starting at
2,029
Itinerary Note

This date is a small group.

Filling Fast!
Sep 22 - Sep 27, 2024
Starting at
2,229
Itinerary Note

This date is a small group.

At a Glance

Welcome to the beautiful Lake Erie Islands, where more than 450 bird species pass through during their annual migration. Witness this journey and gain authoritative knowledge of the many species you observe — including Black-throated Green Warblers, Scarlet Tanagers and Indigo Buntings. Take part in walks, lectures, bird-banding and more, all led by local bird experts.
Activity Level
Outdoor: No Sweat
This program can accommodate most accessibility requirements. The hiking trails on the islands are all relatively short (less than 2 miles) and flat, with slow walking and standing for short increments. Most trails are free of obstacles, though some areas have uneven terrain. Our Group Leaders will make everyone aware of any potential walking hazards. The famous Magee Marsh Boardwalk may have crowds, but the boardwalk is handicap-accessible and equipped with railings and benches at regular intervals.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Enjoy a special field trip on select dates, to Middle Bass Island
  • Observe seasonal migrations at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, a 2,200 acre state wildlife refuge located on the shores of Lake Erie.
  • Learn about the importance of bird banding during a presentation led by Master Bander Tom Bartlett.

General Notes

Select dates enjoy a special field trip to Canada and require a U.S. passport. Participants are divided between three B&B’s for the duration of the program. Please see Lodging and Meals for details. Requests can be made for specific B&Bs. All Road Scholar birding programs have a maximum participant-to-instructor ratio of 14:1 in the field. We adhere to the American Birding Association’s Code of Ethics. Learn more at http://www.aba.org/about/ethics.html
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Tom Bartlett
Tom is a retired biology instructor with an MS in biology and education from the University of Toledo. He has banded over 90,000 birds of over 200 species since 1971. Tom has led bird banding and census efforts at Springville Marsh State Nature Preserve for more than 35 years and the Lake Erie Islands for more than 25 years. A Road Scholar instructor since 2003, he has traveled and birded extensively across North America, as well as Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru and Great Britain.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Lisa Brohl
Lisa Kutschbach Brohl View biography
Lisa Brohl lives on South Bass Island in the western end of Lake Erie with her husband Russ. She holds a bachelor’s degree in natural resources management and a master’s degree in environmental studies. She is chair of the Lake Erie Islands Conservancy and a founding board member of the Lake Erie Islands Nature and Wildlife Center and the Put-in-Bay Township Park District. Lisa has been involved with Road Scholar as an instructor or Group Leader since 2000.
Profile Image of Kristin Stanford
Kristin M Stanford View biography
Kristin Stanford received her BS, MS, and PhD degrees from Northern Illinois University. She has been actively involved in Lake Erie watersnake (LEWS) conservation for almost 20 years and has served as the recovery coordinator since 2003. She currently works for The Ohio State University’s Stone Laboratory as the Education and Outreach Coordinator, responsible for overseeing the programming logistics for this nationally recognized education and outreach venue. Kristin also continues to facilitate the research, management, and outreach needed to maintain recovery for the LEWS.
Profile Image of Tom Bartlett
Tom Bartlett View biography
Tom is a retired biology instructor with an MS in biology and education from the University of Toledo. He has banded over 90,000 birds of over 200 species since 1971. Tom has led bird banding and census efforts at Springville Marsh State Nature Preserve for more than 35 years and the Lake Erie Islands for more than 25 years. A Road Scholar instructor since 2003, he has traveled and birded extensively across North America, as well as Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru and Great Britain.
Profile Image of Valerie Chornyak
Valerie Nose Chornyak View biography
Valerie was born on Put-in-Bay, Ohio and spent most of her life in Columbus before returning to her home town. She taught jazzercise for almost 25 years and is now very active in her community in many ways including teaching and volunteering at the Senior Center, Nature and Wildlife Center and the Historical Society. When she has a spare moment, Val enjoys an active life of tennis, walking, golf and the OWLS book club. She has three children and seven grandchildren and loves sunsets.
Profile Image of John Lortz
John Lortz View biography
John Lortz has been birding since he was a child but found a deeper passion for it when he met birder Tom Bartlett. John has been banding and assisting Tom for 20 years at Springville Marsh. Besides birding, his retirement hobbies include gardening, genealogy, woodworking, and woodcarving. He has carved since 1992 and enters several woodcarving competitions each year. His wood sculptures often have a wildlife theme, including a great horned owl. John is a resident of Upper Sandusky in Wyandot County.
Profile Image of Tammy Martin
Tammy Martin View biography
Tammy Martin, now of Napoleon, Ohio, retired from Oberlin College where she worked as a library cataloger. She earned her BS and MS in environmental interpretation from The Ohio State University. During college, Tammy worked as a seasonal naturalist on the Blue Ridge Parkway for the National Park Service. She returned to academia for employment in the library field, during which time she and husband, Dan, raised twins. After their graduation, Tammy found time to revive her interest in birding and hasn’t looked back.
Profile Image of Nancy Welter
Nancy Welter View biography
Nancy Welter is a retired program analyst from NASA at the Glenn Research Center. She currently works part-time for the State of Ohio at the Middle Bass Island State Park. She is a year-round resident of Middle Bass Island and lives near the Middle Bass Island East Point Preserve. She is a board member of the Lake Erie Island Conservancy. She enjoys birding and volunteers with the bird banding effort on the Islands.
Profile Image of Shane Roberts
Shane Roberts View biography
Shane Roberts was born in Auckland, New Zealand, and settled in Perrysburg, Ohio, in 2002. A young age, Shane has had a keen interest in wildlife, especially birds. Since 2002, he has been one of Tom Bartlett’s bird banding assistants. Shane and his wife are members of Kelleys Island Audubon Club, Black Swamp Bird Observatory, and Friends of Magee Marsh. He has served in several positions with the Friends of Magee Marsh and volunteers for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife.
Profile Image of Amy Alford
Amy Alford View biography
Amy Alford is the Program Assistant at Lake Erie Islands Nature and Wildlife Center. She has a B.S. in Zoology from The Ohio State University, a M.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Science, and a Ph.D. in Forest Resources from Mississippi State University. Amy fell in love with fish when she was an undergrad student at Stone Laboratory, the Ohio State University's research and education station in Put-In-Bay, Ohio. She is delighted to return to her home state and make conservation education and research accessible to everyone.
Profile Image of Emily Beal
Emily Beal View biography
Emily Beal is in her first year with Road Scholar. She is originally from Hinckley, Ohio but has spent much of her life on the Lake Erie islands. Emily is finishing her degree at West Virginia University, studying wildlife and fisheries in the hopes of working as a naturalist or wildlife biologist. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, kayaking, and hiking.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Oliver Hazard Perry and the Battle of Lake Erie
by Gerard T. Altoff
A gripping and absorbing narrative, yet an easily understood and highly readable account of the Old Northwest's most significant military event. The focus of the book is the naval conflict itself. Reviewed in detail are the armament and tactical maneuverings of the two squadrons; however, the stories of the American and British crewmen constitute the heart of this book. The book also relates the important events leading up to the Battle of Lake Erie. Described are the strategic significance of Lake Erie, the campaigns of the War of 1812 in the Old Northwest preceding the Battle of Lake Erie, plus the story of both the building and manning of the American squadron. Containing numerous maps and illustrations, it is a concise and fascinating account of the turning point of the War of 1812 in the Old Northwest.
Birds of the Lake Erie Region
by Carolyn V. Platt, Gary Meszaros
Birds of the Lake Erie Region observes a year of weather changes and avian migrations - from the wintertime convergence of ducks and other waterbirds on the lake’s last ice-free areas to the excitement of the raptor and shorebird migrations in the fall. Expert or novice, birders and nature lovers will be moved by Platt’s celebration of these birds and their habitat and by Meszaros’s impressive photographs of the delicate beauty of these exquisite creatures.





Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.