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Bird Seed Sale at the Schrader Center

We sell birdseed at the Schrader Center! And not just any old birdseed. Our seed is made from the stuff birds love to eat! We have premium quality ingredients at the best possible prices. Our seeds do not include fillers or pesticides. Our staff has worked to develop two special mixes that are guaranteed to attract birds to your backyard feeder. Our Oglebay Best is a mix of black oil sunflower, white millet, striped sunflower and safflower seeds. Our Oglebay Divine is a mix of the same seeds, plus peanut chunks. Our specialty mixes will attract birds like blue jays, chickadees, cardinals, finches, grosbeaks, juncos, sparrows, nuthatches, titmice and woodpeckers.

Our Black Oil Sunflower is the #1 choice for backyard birds and is high in quality proteins and essential oils. We also carry Nyjer Thistle, imported from Asia and Africa. This tiny, black seed is heat sterilized to prevent seed germination. It is a favorite of finches with its high calorie count and oil content. Birds love our Striped Sunflower seed for the same reason that it’s popular with humans–high levels of protein, carbohydrates and essential fats and oils. Our Sunflower Chips are the only true no waste, no mess feed available. With almost no shell, you get more feed per pound and no messy hulls to clean up. We also carry suet cakes in peanut, wild bird and woodpecker blends. The suet cakes consist of rendered beef fat and a mix of seeds, grains and vitamins. These are our most affordable feeding option for birds.

Over the years, we’ve learned that the better the seed, the more fun you’ll have watching the birds, and your annual bird feeding costs will be lower. Plus, Oglebay Institute members get a 10% discount! The annual Oglebay Institute bird seed sale has been a tradition for more than 50 years, and the proceeds support environmental education programming for Ohio Valley schools. Stop by and pick up birdseed for your backyard birds.

Schrader Center Teams Up with Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center

A team from Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center visited the Schrader Environmental Education Center on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012 beginning a 14-week collaborative project to design and develop applications for engaging the public and enhancing the experience of visitors to Oglebay Park, the Schrader Center, and the A.B. Brooks Discovery Trail System. The team is exploring using QR (Quick Response) codes, where a visitor can scan a QR code with a camera-enabled Smartphone and link to digital content on the web such as a trail map or information on various birds, and an iPhone app that would allow visitors to track animal and bird sitings within the park using geocaching with GPS coordinates, as well as a variety of other ideas.

QR Code Example

Carnegie Mellon’s ETC is a unique Masters program that brings together interdisciplinary student teams with an emphasis on making real things that work. Their graduates are among the most highly sought-after professionals in the interactive media industry. The Schrader Center was chosen by a panel of advisors to participate in a joint partnership with the ETC and is in the company of corporate projects such as Microsoft, the Chicago Museum and Lockheed Martin. The ETC was founded in the fall of 1998 as a joint program between the School of Computer Science and the College of Fine Arts with Co-Directors Don Marinelli, a Professor of Drama, and the late Randy Pausch, a Professor of Computer Science, helping to illustrate the educational and professional mission of the ETC. Randy Pausch gained international fame with his 2007 “Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” that has more than 14 million views on YouTube.

The Schrader Center is constantly seeking to discover innovative and effective ways to engage visitors and members, and the staff is currently working in partnership with the country’s top institutions and foundations to bring new ideas, technology, knowledge, and experiences to the Ohio Valley. Since 1926 when A.B. Brooks lead his first nature walk, Oglebay Institute has been a global leader in public programming, camping, professional development, green building technology, and school-based programs. We celebrate that tradition and look forward to our future. This partnership is made possible by a grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

Nature Notes with Greg Park: Red-shouldered Hawk

Is the Red-shouldered Hawk making a comeback in Oglebay Park?

Christmas Bird Counts Past:  In 1950 , there were 2 (where recorded), in 1954 there was 1, in 1988 1 was recorded. Then none for 22 years. Now we have been seeing them in Oglebay Park all year round. CBC records indicate that in 2010 and 2011 respectively, 1 Red-shouldered Hawk was recorded.

Is this is another example of a bird more southern than the Red-tailed Hawk expanding its range north with the milder temperatures?  Tell us what you think.

~Greg Park, Senior Naturalist, Schrader Environmental Education Center

Counting Crows

Counting the American Crows, Corvus brachyrhynchos, which converge between Wheeling Island and Bridgeport, OH has been a Post-Christmas Bird Count tradition for over two decades.  The tradition began when Carl Slater and Greg Eddy, Brooks Bird Club members, decided it would be an interesting challenge to try to quantify this impressive phenomenon. The two birders attempted almost every counting technique imaginable throughout the years; from counting individual birds per tree and estimating the population size multiplying by the number of trees, to estimating the number of crows arriving per minute. Getting a precise count of the crows proved nearly impossible. 

More recently Ryan Tomazin, a Junior Nature Camp alumnus and Brooks Bird Club member, has joined the effort. This year he recorded HD videos of the thousands of crows flying into the roost, and counted the individuals while playing the videos back in slow motion. While he was not able to get a precise count, this year’s estimate places about forty thousand crows in Bridgeport on December 17, slightly less than last year. ~Jacob Francis, Director of Environmental Education at the Schrader Center

Christmas Bird Count Update

A note on the Christmas Bird Count from Greg Park, Senior Naturalist with the Schrader Center:  The count period for the 112th Christmas Bird Count from December 14, 2011 to January 5, 2012 has concluded. Results will be posted on Audubon’s website after the counts are tabulated. Locally, in Wheeling, we had 15 volunteers counting birds on foot within Oglebay Park, driving the backroads and watching feeders of the WVWH Circle (the Wheeling Circle). Our efforts totaled over 150 miles by car and more than 15 miles on foot. The total species count was 53 with some notable sightings: 1 Long- eared Owl, 1 Short-eared Owl, 1 Red -shouldered Hawk,  1 Bald Eagle,  1 Bufflehead,  2 Black Duck,  2 Raven,  4 Hooded Merganser,  4 Swamp Sparrow,  13 Yellow-rumped Warbler,  1 Winter Wren,  4 Brown Creeper,  46 Golden-crowned Kinglet,  and 57 Eastern Bluebird. Plus, 40,000 American Crows and plenty of common species were sighted. The weather was tolerable, and everyone had fun.  Thanks and hope to see you next year! ~Greg Park

Partnerships with Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and Carnegie Mellon University Expands MGT:21 Program

Taiji Nelson and Jake Francis in Frick Park, Pittsburgh along Nine Mile Run

Jake Francis, director of education at the Schrader Environmental Education Center, and Taiji Nelson, education program coordinator for Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, are exploring sites within Pittsburgh’s Nine Mile Run Watershed for the installation of a WaterBot that will be used in the expansion and update to Mission Ground Truth:21.

The WaterBot is just one new instrument that MGT:21 scientists and students will be using to measure the health of western Pennsylvania and West Virginia watersheds. Developed by Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab, the WaterBot is a relatively inexpensive, yet accurate, in-stream water-sensing bot that measures temperature and conductivity at frequent intervals and uploads that information wirelessly to allow students to examine longitudinal data and compare their one-time stream samples with a much larger set of statistics.

Francis and Nelson are also researching sites for Pittsburgh students to conduct research in Frick Park as part of MGT:21. The dynamic partnership between Oglebay Institute, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, and Carnegie Mellon University will bring the Mission Ground Truth:21 program to thousands of new students, expand to new public lands (including parks and schools), and link these students together using the latest technology and scientific tools.

MGT:21 was developed in 2000 by a team of regional educators and scientists and funded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and Richard King Mellon Foundation to actively engage middle school students in the scientific process. The curriculum consists of an integrated, interdisciplinary and inquiry-based 7th or 8th grade ecosystem assessment program that uses the “living laboratory” and state-of-the-art technologies to determine the ecological health of deciduous forest and freshwater stream ecosystems, as well as the decision-making process to weigh trade-offs between ecosystem values and functions. Annually, over 2,000 students from Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania conduct research at Oglebay Park and calculate the health of its streams and forests.