Posted By RichC on March 16, 2008
Each year the annual return of the buzzards to Buzzard Roost (State Rd. & West Drive – see map) in the Cleveland Metroparks is a notable event. The story goes back almost a century and is tied to a legend about an 1818 Hinckley Hunt. The legend claims that after hunting the butchered game attracted the turkey buzzards to the area now known as Hinckley Township and permanently make their home in the ridges area along the Cuyahoga River valley each summer. (see Cuyahoga Valley National Park)
How well do you know Cleveland: Where is the above logo from — hint, look at the title of this post?
In 1957, a Cleveland Metroparks Ranger, Walter Nawalaniec, commented to a Cleveland Press reporter that he had observed the buzzards returning to Hinckley on March 15th for six consecutive years and that another individual named Charlie Willard logged the event for 23 years. Interest grew and naturalists, ornithologists and reporters continued to repeat (and embellish) the story until people started to come from all over the state just to see the birds arrive on schedule. The township was unprepared in 1957 for hubbub that saw 9,000 people show up.
Since that original “Buzzard Day,” the township celebrates the event with a variety of exhibits, a pancake breakfast and craft event. Nowadays, the event is celebrated as a sign that spring has arrived as naturalist Robert Hinkle ‘clocks’ in the first buzzard to arrive … he is the official “Buzzard Spotter.”
[flv:CBS_Buzzards080316.flv 480 395]