Shutterstock image

Get a brain for birds at the Troy library

‘It’s tranquil out in the field’

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published March 20, 2019


TROY — Rick Forrest has been birding with his friend Vic Dorer for 43 years, since they were in their mid-20s.

They will share what they know, what to look for and the best times to chase those tail feathers at 7 p.m. March 27 at the Troy Public Library.

“Birding is a fun thing to do,” said Adult Reference Librarian Maggie Forrest, Rick Forrest’s wife. “It doesn’t cost much money.”

Rick Forrest explained that he took a class in ornithology in college, as a biology major, but he didn’t get hooked on birding right away.

That came later, as a grad student on a trip to Beaver Island in northern Lake Michigan. He said the spot contains a really diverse variety of habitats.

“The nice thing about birding is all you need is a pair of binoculars and an identification (field) guide. You can go anywhere to do it.”

He explained that bird migration happens in the spring and the fall.

“In Michigan, it peaks in mid-May. You can see a tremendous variety of birds as they migrate across Lake Erie.”

Rick Forrest said northern Ohio is a good spot to see them, as is Point Pelee in Ontario, Canada.

“Tawas Point (in Michigan) is also really good,” he said. “You can see 65-70 species in one day, on a good day. It’s an exciting time of year for me.”

He added that he saw a red-winged blackbird March 12.

During the program, the pair will talk about different types of bird feed, how to thwart pests from getting into bird feeders, different flyways the birds usually take, different computer apps for identifying birds, and how to keep a list of birds sighted.

They will also share photos of birds “that are fun to see.”

“Because of their color and song, they are a lot easier to spot than other forms of wildlife,” Rick Forrest  said. “They’re colorful and pleasant to listen to. To me, it’s tranquil out in the field. To me, it’s wonderful.”

The Troy Public Library is located at 510 W. Big Beaver Road.

Register for the program at or call (248) 524-3534.