You think it is going to be cold and snowy this weekend?
Ha! Way back in 1978, Ohio was in the midst of a massive blizzard. For a history lesson click this link: (http://www.ohiohistory.org/etcetera/exhibits/swio/pages/content/1978_blizzard.htm and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Blizzard_of_1978).
Temperatures in most of Ohio reached a balmy negative 60 degrees F when you factor in wind chill. Yes, you read that right. Really cold. Really. Really.
I was a kid during this time and can recall that the snow was so deep it covered the first story windows. When the roads finally were plowed, it felt like driving through a blazing white nearly blue tunnel. The packed snow stretched up to the sky on both sides of the road.
It took well over a week for our lives to return to almost normal.
Even though the blizzard was 34 years ago, the recovery is still continuing for one of my favorite birds the Northern Bobwhite Quail.
Wildlife biologists utilize call count surveys to estimate how populations of animals area doing—especially those that are difficult to count such as birds and amphibians. According to the North American Breeding Bird Survey there were 12.31 quail detected per survey route (50 stops, 25 miles) in 1977. In 1978 that number dropped to 1.95 per route. The population increased to a peak of 5.78 quail per route in 1987 and then slowly declined to 0.93 quail per route in 2009.
We can’t blame all of the quail’s problems on the blizzard. Habitat loss is another key problem. But more on that in future posts.