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Forsyth, Georgia
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February 20, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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February 20, 2019
 

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Page 6C Reporter February 20, 2019 MONROE OUTDOORS by Terry W. Johnson ver the past several decades, I have learned the appearance of redheads in late winter signals their spring migra- tion has begun. This year was no exception. Long be- fore daffodils were bloom- ing in profusion across the county, a couple of flocks of redheads were spotted on the Rum Creek Wildlife Manage- ment Area. Migration is a phenomenon familiar to us all. However, it is something that, for the most TERRY part, takes place out of sight. The vast majority of the birds that migrate twice a year through our county are songbirds. Their small size, coupled with the fact many migrate during the night, prevent us from seeing them as they pass through our county. The only way we know they are migrat- ing is the sudden appear- ance of birds that have not been seen in our neck of the woods for months or the realization that birds that either winter or breed locally are no longer pres- ent. W. In the case of waterfowl, cranes and raptors, we notice them because they are much larger and often migrate in flocks that we can see with our naked eyes. In the case of redheads, during migration they fly in a dassic "V" forma- tion cruising along at a speed of 50-55 m.p.h. Since they fly high above the ground, they are often next to impossible to identify from a distance. How- JOHNSON ever, when they make a stop at Lake luliette or one of the many farm ponds scattered across Monroe County, it is easy to identify them. It is often difficult to identify a female red- head since it has no easily distinguishable features. Consequently, it looks like one of a number of brownish gray-plumaged ducks. In comparison, the males are much easier to separate from other spe- cies of ducks. The redhead is a bit smaller than the mallard. The male dis- plays a chestnut red head and upper neck. Its lower neck, chest, and tail are black. The bird's back is gray while its belly is white. The redhead's eyes are yellow. Typically, I do not see flocks of migrating red- heads until March. This year, however, I spied my first redheads loafing with a mixed flock of gadwalls and northern shovelers near Lake Juliette in late January. A week later, a friend found 200-plus red- heads on the Rum Creek WMA. Approximately 80 percent of the redhead population spends the winter along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. This wintering range extends all of the way from Florida's Apalachee Bay to Texas and then southward to the south- ern apex of the Yucatan Peninsula. A very small contingent of redheads (some 300"or so in some years) winter along the Atlantic coast from South Carolina to Georgia. The redheads that pass through Monroe County spend the winter along Florida's Gulf coast east and south of the Panhandle. However, most of these birds winter in and around Apalachee Bay. The birds we see passing Redheads signal Spring migration through the county in late winter are just beginning their long journey home to their breeding grounds in the northern United States and the Prairie Potholes of western Canada. After a brief sojourn in Monroe County, redheads continue north passing over northeast Georgia, western South and North Carolina, eastern Tennessee and Kentucky before reach- ing Ohio. From there the birds fly westward toward the Dakotas before dispers- ing among the myriad of small ponds that character- ize North America's Duck Factory. This vast area reaches north across much of western Canada. If all goes well, the birds will begin arriving during the second week in April has begun. (Photo/Terry Johnson) when, in a normal year, open water can be seen in ponds that have been ice- locked all winter. As you might expect, the pace of the migration is dictated by the weather. In fact, during some winters migrants are forced to retreat when their stopover areas and breeding habitat are unexpectedly engulfed in freezing weather. The thing to keep in mind is Monroe County will never harbor a large number of wintering redheads. However, wildlife biologists have learned that the abundance and qual- ity of stopover areas (such as those found in Monroe County) located along the duck's migration route are critical to the health of redhead populations. When discussions center on which is the finest of all North American ducks, many water fowlers argue that the redhead is second only to the canvasback. If this is true, the redhead is a member of waterfowls elite royal family. As a hunter and wildlife watcher, I consider myself lucky to live in a county within the far reaches of their realm, because it offers me the op- portunity to see both birds without having to leave home. Terry Johnson is retired Program Manager of the Georgia Nongame-Endan- gered Wildlife Program. He has written the informative column 'Monroe Outdoors' for the Reporter for many years. Email him at tjwood- duck@bellsouth.net. t By Richard Dumas brsyth@mymcr.nef Persons who would like to make nominations for the third dass of the Forsyth- Monroe County Sports Hall of Fame should complete nomination forms by Friday, March 1. Nomination forms are available online at forsyth- monroecountysportshallof- fame.cam or in paper form at The Reporter office or the Forsyth Welcome Center. Nominees will include: any players, coaches or contribu- tors who positively impacted the Monroe County sports landscape. In addition to the basic nomination form, on a separate page, summarize the nominee's career listing all honors, achievements, records and character attri- butes. If necessary, describe the nominee's connection to Monroe County. Please mail the nomina- tion form to this address: Forsyth-Monroe County Sports Hall of Fame, P.O. Box 457, Forsyth, Ga 31029 or e-mail the form to forsyth-monroecoun- tysportshaUoffame@gmail. com. Forsyth-Monroe County Sports Hall of Fame com- mittee members include: Chairman Bobby Melton, Mary Frances Chambliss, Gaylyn Cole, Richard Du- mas, Vice Chairman Keith Edge, Herbert Gantt, Jim Hardin, Bob Harris, Nolen Howard, Secretary/Trea- surer Penny Mitchell and Marcus Whitehead. Once all nominations are filled out and sent out, the 11 -member committee will vote on final selections. Honorees will be enshrined at the third annual Forsyth- Monroe County Sports Hall of Fame gala banquet, which is expected to be held on Sat June 22 at the Monroe County Convention Center. A yet-to-be-determined his- toric Monroe County sports team will be honored at the banquet this year. Tickets for the banquet will be sold to members of the public. Anyone with any ques- tions about the nomination process should consult any one of the committee members or visit fmcsport- shallofffame.com. The Hall of Fame com- mittee is also requesting individual or business spon- sors for the Hall of Fame banquet. Sponsorship forms are also available online at fmcsportshalloffame.com or in paper form at the Monroe County Reporter office or the Forsyth Welcome Center. Sponsorship pack- ages include: Gold Sponsor Level ($1,000 donation) -- 8 tickets to the banquet, a full page ad in the banquet program and signage at the banquet; Silver Spon- sor Level ($500 donation) -- 4 tickets to the banquet, a half-page ad in the banquet program, signage at the banquet; Bronze Spon- sor Level ($250 donation) -- 2 tickets to the banquet, a quarter-page ad in the ban- quet program and siguage ; at the banquet; Patron ($100 donation) -- name listed in the banquet program. MEYER CARDIOLOGY. PC Dr. Thomas Meyer, Cardiologist Monroe Regional Medical Complex 120 N Lee Street Forsyth, GA 31029 Comprehensive Cardiac Services Call (478) 745-74S6 MONROE COUNTY HOSPITAL 88 Martin Luther King Jr Drive Forsyth, GA 31029 MonroeHospital.org Call (418) 994-2521 WALKER CHIROPRACTIC CLINK Dr. Steven Walker 255 lift College Dr Forsyth, GA Man - Wed, Fri: 9-6 - Thur Sat by Apt Physiologic Therapeutics Chiropractic Sports Physician Call (478) 994-1562 PIEDMONT ORTHOPEDIC COMPLEX 44)60 Riverside Park Blvd Macon, GA 31210 Man - Fri: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm Call (478) 474-2114 Toll Free (800) 338-5141 Local Health Professionals specializing in keeping the MIND & BODY in the best shape possible. SPOTLIGHT ON HEALTH CARE FORSYTH INTERVENTION SERVICES & TRAINING Anger Management, Substance Abuse, General Counseling and More! 32 East Main St - Forsyth, GA 31029 forsythintervention@gmail.com forsythintervention.com Call (470) 236-3478 8RANDON S. PINSON. DVM Animal Medical Clinic of Forsyfh OO South Jackson Street - Forsyth, GA 31029 Man - Fri: 8:00 am - 5:30 pm Sat: 8:00 am - 12:30 pm AnimalMedicalClinicOfForsyth.com Call (478) 994-4986 4660 Riverside Park Blvd DEENA HOLLIMAN SMITH. DMD 205 Medical Court Forsyth, GA 31029 Man - Thu: 8:00 am - 5:30 pm General Dentistry Call (478) 994-1171 CALDwELL VETERINARY HOSPITAL. LLC Butler Caldwell, DVM 951 Hwy 41 South Forsyth, GA 31029 ButlerCaldwell@bellsouth.net CaldwellVet.com Call (478) 994-8 ? Macon, GA 31210 M0n-Fri: 8:30 am -5:00 pm GEORGIA DERMATOLOGY Russell Harris, MD Deborah Moore, PA-C 101 Martin Luther King Jr Drive Forsyth, GA 31029 GaDerm.com Call (478) 994-5281 PRIMARY PET CARE Affordable Pet Care On The Move! Dr. Kevin Smith Mobile Veterinarian Forsyth, GA 31029 dr.smith@primarypetcareforsyth.com PrimaryPetCareForsyth.com Cull (418) 913-1133