The buzzards have returned to Hinckley. Spring may commence now.
Buzzards back to roost
Posted by Maggi Martin March 15, 2008 14:04PM
If the flooded rivers are not enough to convince you spring has sprung, there’s the buzzards back to roost.
Cleveland Metroparks “Official Buzzard Spotter” Bob Hinkle surrounded by his faithful buzzard boosters announced the first buzzard was seen at 11:05 a.m. Saturday in Hinckley Reservation.
Despite a dense fog that lingered in the late morning the haggard-looking fowl did not disappoint.
They arrived, like they always do, at the first hint of spring.
The annual return of the Hinckley buzzards is considered by many to be a tell-tale sign that spring has returned to Ohio.
Don’t let those melting snow piles fool you.
On Sunday, the Cleveland Metroparks invites fowl and folks alike to celebrate its 51st annual Buzzard Sunday event from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Hinckley Reservation with nature hikes and buzzard-oriented entertainment.
Along with the wacky hats and crazy costumes there will be storytelling, live buzzard displays, Buzzard bingo and Buzzard bean bag for children
I grew up in the next town north of Hinckley, and the buzzards returning to Hinckley was always a big deal. Of course, we teens, drinking beer in the metropark, usually spotted some buzzards the weekend before there.
I learned in school it was the first reason stated below why they return year after year:
“Legend has it that they were first attracted by the tons of butchering refuse and unwanted game left behind in the great Hinckley Hunt of 1818, but additional historical research among the records of the Sylvester Library of Medina uncovered an old manuscript by William Coggswell, who as a youth with his uncle, Gibson Gates, were the first white men to set foot in the township in 1810. This manuscript told of their expedition from Bath and Richfield through Hinckley, and of finding the “vultures of the air” at the gallows at Big Bend of Rocky River around the foot of the ledges where the Wyandots had hanged a squaw for witchcraft two years before. This indicated that these turkey vultures had made their home on Hinckley Ridge long before the white men settled west of the Cuyahoga River, and it moved their occupancy back into the midst of the Indians legend.”
“Partially inspired by an annual event at Hinckley Township, the tenuous economic state of the city, and its’ reputation as a “bird of prey,” WMMS adopted a buzzard as its’ mascot, a co-creation of Gorman, Sanders and local artist David Helton. From the onset, Helton’s streamlined artwork resulted in an aggressive, yet family-friendly symbol for the station that endured for 35 years. “The Buzzard” became synonymous with WMMS, Cleveland radio and the city itself, spawning a series of T-shirts so numerous that they are now impossible to catalog.”