November 21, 2014

Elyria
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Birders flock to Columbia Reservation to see rare tropical bird

Birders from all over are flocking to the Columbia Reservation of the Lorain County Metro Parks after a purple gallinule was spotted there this week.

According to information found online, the purple gallinule normally lives in marshes in Florida, the Caribbean or South and Central America.

The purple gallinule was first spotted on Wednesday, according to birdwatchers at the reservation Friday. They said word about the bird has quickly spread around the birding community.

CT reporter Steve Fogarty met up with a woman from Medina. She had just picked up two friends from Baltimore at the airport, and the trio drove straight to Columbia Reservation in hopes of sightng the bird.

According to Fogarty, spotting the bird isn’t hard. It’s frequently in sight. Fogarty said the bird had just flown and was “real visible.” He said birders told him it could be seen picking off bugs and even eating a frog.

A number of birders were passing through Columbia Reservation on Friday. Many mentioned a large birding meetup this weekend at Magee Marsh, west of Port Clinton, and said many of those birders would undoubtedly be stopping by to see the purple gallinule.

Read Saturday’s Chronicle for more on this story.

More photos from CT Facebook fan Mike Behlke of Grafton:

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