The mission of the Black Swamp Bird Observatory is to inspire the appreciation, enjoyment, and conservation of birds and their habitats through research, education, and outreach.
Getting to Know Black Swamp Bird Observatory
FOUNDED IN RESEARCH BSBO was founded in 1992 by a group of biologists studying bird migration in the area. Having collected several years of data, they recognized the need for an organization to help disseminate their research findings. BSBO's long-term research projects have helped to develop a greater understanding of bird migration and the habitat needs of songbirds, raptors, shorebirds, and rails. BSBO data has been used to assist both private and governmental land owners in better managing their properties for migratory bird species.
COMMITTED TO EDUCATION The Observatory’s education and outreach programs have received national accolades. Our strong focus on youth education is highlighted by our Wetland Investigation Network (WIN) program, which offers students grades K-12 a day- long exploration of the entire marsh ecosystem. We provide programs for more than 5,000 students each year. Our highly acclaimed Ohio Young Birders Club for ages 12-18 encourages, educates, and empowers our youth conservation leaders. The OYBC also serves as a model program for many other state-wide youth birding clubs.
PROMOTING CONSERVATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT THROUGH BIRDING BSBO also organizes and hosts The Biggest Week In American Birding: a 10-day birding festival timed to coincide with the peak of spring songbird migration in northwest Ohio. Each spring, more than 90,000 birders visit the area from all over the world, generating an annual economic impact of more than $40 million. To date, we’ve registered birders from every state, 52 countries, and six continents. BSBO’s marketing efforts have extended the area tourism season by a full six weeks.
OUTREACH TO THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY BSBO developed the Birds and Business Alliance program to raise awareness among local businesses of birding tourism in the area, and provide business owners with valuable information on providing quality services for the birding audience. The Alliance is also an important component of BSBO’s Conservation Business Plan, creating a network that allows us to communicate birding and conservation information to Alliance members. The benefit to Alliance members is promotion of their business directly to the world-wide birding audience. There is a small annual fee to participate, and we’ve made a strong effort to make the program affordable—even for small businesses.
CONNECTING PEOPLE WITH THE JOY OF BIRDS The bottom line is this: we want to help people fall in love with birds! People care more about the things they love, and we believe that connecting people to the joys of birding is the first step in building support for conservation. We provide opportunities to make a meaningful difference for the environment through our many Community Scientist projects, and to be involved in something regenerative; working together to safeguard our natural world for future generations.
BSBO is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit funded by members, donors, and grants.