Sixteen people braved the cold Wednesday morning to await the arrival of the buzzards in Hinckley Township, but it wasn’t until the sun came out in the afternoon that the first one was spotted.
Cleveland Metroparks naturalist Sharon Hosko, who serves as the official buzzard spotter, said Hinckley Reservation park manager Amanda Creque spotted the first bird at 1:16 p.m. at Buzzard Roost, 2736 Center Road.
“We were there at 6:15 a.m. until 11:15 a.m.-ish and it was just so cold we all left,” Hosko said. “The birds were not there.”
Hosko said cloudy skies and wind gusts of 25 mph hindered the birds from making an appearance.
“The way that buzzards are in the morning is they dry their wings and use warm thermals to soar,” she said. “Without the sun being out, the thermals weren’t there. Once the sun came out this afternoon, that’s when they appeared.”
Hosko noted the crowd was smaller than in previous years; 80 to 120 people usually gather in the morning.
“It was too cold and windy to be out,” she said.
To celebrate the turkey vulture’s return, the Hinckley Chamber of Commerce will host Buzzard Day with a series of events and activities Sunday.
The morning will begin with a pancake breakfast 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hinckley Elementary School, 1586 Ridge Road.
Admission and parking are free and a shuttle service will be available.
Free parking also is available at Huntington Bank, Hinckley Ridge Plaza, Fifth Third Bank, Brongers Park and Hinckley Town Hall.
A schedule is available at the chamber of commerce website.
Contact reporter Halee Heironimus at (330) 721-4012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.