May 23, 2009

On Industrial Parks and Great White Egrets

While meandering around the suburban industrial park known as Ampoint, my wife and I came across what I believe to be a pair of great white egrets. Now, it is true that Northwest Ohio was once the Great Black Swamp, and there remains a fair amount of wetlands in the area to this day, but I was surprised to see the majestic pair taking up residence in a trash-strewn, watery corner of a vacant industrial lot.

The posted image looks almost idyllic, but I cropped out the old tires near the resting place of the birds. There are a few small lakes and larger ponds nearby, so perhaps these egrets only paused in the shade for a few minutes.

Yet there were also a few dozen geese and ducks splashing around, so it is possible that the vacant lot is slowly reverting back to a natural state. To the north side of the lot is an industrial thoroughfare with heavy truck traffic, and to the south are such businesses as sheet metal fabricators and truck rental firms.

The egrets seem to be unconcerned with the industrial zoning designation.


Molly said...

wow what a beautiful bird!
I always thought it was interesting that after they closed Rocky Mountains Flats (former plutonium weapons plant) because of pollution, the wildlife moved in. What better place than one abandoned by people as too dangerous? Now it's a federal wildlife preserve and they're planning on opening it back up to people. Not a place I'd take my kids but I bet the wildlife is stunning.

historymike said...

There has also been something of a resurgence in flora and fauna at the Chernobyl Zone of Alienation in Ukraine and Belarus.

That is another place, though, that I would not take the kiddies.

Jim Styro said...

Dude, you're comparing Toledo with Chernobyl? Maybe it's time for you to move back to Detroit. Sure - jobs are had to find - but you're not going to become the Toxic Avenger in these here parts.

Hooda Thunkit said...


Great White Egrets have been seen regularly on Yondota Rd., just outside the water pumping station gates for the thirty years I spent working for the City.

(Actually along Yondota Rd. would probably be more accurate,)

Molly said...

Jim: since I started the tangent, I wasn't comparing anything to Toledo. Just adding to the topic of wildlife taking over places humans have trashed in some way and then abandoned.

microdot said...

Egrets are very beautiful, seemingly delicate birds with their snowy white plumage, but they have bounced back from near extinction twice in tthe 20th century.
In the late 19th century they were almost exterminated because of the demand for their feathers in the fashion industry.
In the 20th, their numbers declined again due to the decline of their habitats and pollution.
Now they are bouncing back again because of the decline of industry in the Great Lakes, concern for their conservation and the end of the use of deadly pesticides.
I worked for a few years on the Toledo Terminal Railroad Bridge and always saw egrets on the shore of the Maumee. The marshes along Lake Erie have been a traditional refuge for them, you will see hundreds of them.

By the way, on my recent trip to Toledo, I saw a flock of at least 12 wild turkeys out at Oak Openings! In all the years I lived in Toledo, I had never seen anything like that.