Usually when I learn of an ugly animal event, I make a note to post when the day comes around. But there's no way I can wait till March to tell you about the Annual Return of the Buzzards to Hinckley, Ohio.
Since the 1950s, ugly animal lovers have been gathering on March 15 to greet the buzzards returning to the Buzzard Roost in Hinckley Reservation. According to the official website:
In 1957, Walter Nawalaniec, ranger for Cleveland Metropolitan Park System (now known as Cleveland Metroparks), told a newspaper reporter that on March 15 he had witnessed for six straight years the turkey vultures returning to Hinckley Reservation. The Cleveland Press printed the story on February 15, 1957, and one month later on March 15 at 2 p.m. the first buzzard was spotted by 9,000 buzzard enthusiasts. Since then, over a hundred-thousand visitors have witnessed the return of the buzzards to Hinckley Reservation.
The event has developed into an entire ugly bird festival, with nature hikes, presentations, live music, an Official Buzzard Spotter in charge and a big Buzzard Scoreboard. Sounds like spring break to me!
Go for it!
-Wombat (No Relation)
Photo from the 2008 event by Flickr user rcoss2001. Check out his photostream for many pictures of the patience and devotion of ugly animal lovers on a cold foggy morning.