Bobolinks and Butterflies Festival at Byers Woods on June 23

CLEAR FORK VALLEY — The annual Bobolinks and Butterflies Festival at Byers Woods, June 23, invites people to be amazed, entertained and educated.

Sponsors said the festival is a “celebration of serendipity.”

The festival runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

It is held at Byers Woods Park, at the old county landfill, the result of a vision shared by the Ashland County Park District, the county commissioners, Pheasants Forever and others.

The closed landfill was covered with earthen mounds , creating a vast grassland habitat to attract birds. It exceeded expectations when it became an exceptional bobolink breeding ground.

Greater Mohican Audubon and the Ashland County Park District started the Bobolinks Festival 12 years ago to celebrate this and share it with the public and Ohio’s birding community.

The festival allows people to see bobolinks, sometimes for the first time, plus unusual special of birds, insects and other flaura and fauna.

Last year was no exception. While people gathered for one of the scheduled bird walks, two bald eagles swooped in and proceeded to engage in aerial combat. One of the combatants plummeted to the ground and disappeared in the high grass. The other bird circled for a while and eventually departed. When the coast was clear, the vanquished eagle emerged from the high grass and beat a hasty retreat.

Bobolink breeding areas continue to shrink, and sponsors say it is crucial that people do things to protect that kind of habitat.

Bobolinks and Butterflies Festival is free, open to the public and family friendly. Ohio Bird Sanctuary will be on hand at noon with live ambassador birds and the Ashland Public Library will bring its bookmobile in the morning

Lisa Rainsong, an expert on the subtle sounds of nature, will lead an afternoon walk.

Walks are scheduled so those attending can stay for an hour or two or for the whole day.

For further info, contact Irv Oslin at 419-566-8471 or

Byers Woods is at 675 County Rd. 1754, Ashland (Off State Route 60 between Ashland and Hayesville)

The schedule for the festival follows.

8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sign in. Informal. Not required but sponsors like to see who is attending.

9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

First bird walk

10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Break. Grab a snack or cold drink if you like.

10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Bluebird walk for adults and children.

11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Ashland PublicLibrary Bookmobile.

Ohio Bird Sanctuary with live ambassador birds.

11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Lunch. Hog dogs, snack food and beverages.

Snack food and beverages available throughout the day.

12:30 to 1:45 p.m.

Second bird walk.

Led by Lisa Rainsong.

2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Butterfly walk.

Spotting scopes and conservation related vendors will be on the grounds all day.

Courtesy photo This eagle was the victor in last year’s aerial combat. photo This eagle was the victor in last year’s aerial combat.


Staff report