Increase Text Size Decrease Text Size

Notes From The Field Blog

Tim Krynak

Tim KrynakI have been a Naturalist at Cleveland Metroparks for nearly 20 years and currently work at the Watershed Stewardship Center at West Creek. I graduated from Kent Sate University with a BS in Conservation and received my MS from John Carroll University with bats as my thesis. Besides bats, my other interests include: wildlife disease, amphibians, birds, photography and training my Labrador.


Biology Camp for Teens
Posted: 7/15/2014
"Biology Camp for Teens"  was designed to introduce students to the scientific process through observation, experimentation and biological survey techniques used within Cleveland Metroparks.   Located at mostly at the Watershed Stewardship Center at West Creek and one day at Rocky River Nature Center topics included: turtles, worms, wetlands, water quality, fish and more all presented by expert staff from Cleveland Metroparks!   The following blog was written daily by the s...


The Mighty Oak
Posted: 4/24/2014
Each spring I anticipate bird migration.  Every morning I step out my backdoor and listen for the morning chorus to see who may have arrived overnight.  I pay close attention to the pin oaks as they are now in full bloom and this is where the birds are often found.    Why oaks?  Temperatures begin to warm initiating the new growth of leaves and the production of flowers.  With oaks, the flowers emerge first before the leaves.  The male flowers are in the form of a droo...


The American Toad
Posted: 3/27/2014
This plump amphibian is probably the most encountered amphibians of suburban backyards.  I always look forward to seeing them around my house and yard.  I can even distinguish individuals by their unique warty pattern.  This pattern not only provides camouflage, but their parotid gland (large warts near their eyes) produces toxins making them distasteful and thus protects them from some predators.  However, they  are consumed by snakes (garter and hognose snakes especially), owl...


Matters of Mating
Posted: 3/18/2014
There's nothing quite like listening to the sound of chorusing frogs or watching salamanders wiggle their way across the road. Male spring peepers and wood frogs make their presence known as they call for a mate and the sound can be deafening. Unlike spotted and Jefferson salamanders, which are silent and use pheromones to entice their mate.  On rainy nights in late winter or early spring, you have the opportunity to witness this awesome mating ritual for yourself. It is a very exciting a...


Buzzard Trivia
Posted: 3/6/2014
Winter is beginning to wane here in Northeast Ohio and, as with every year, our attention turns to the sky as Buzzard Day brings in the promise of spring on the wings of the Hinckley Buzzards! With March 15 th right around the corner, the exact date of the yearly arrival of Turkey Vultures coming to roost at Hinckley Ridge, there is no better time to become acquainted with the fun facts about Turkey Vultures.  So, study up and prepare to wow your friends at Buzzard Sunday, March 16 th at Hinckley R...


A Delicate Balance
Posted: 3/6/2014
  I often hear how lucky we are to have this wonderful park system and I wholeheartedly agree.  There are opportunities for everyone to get out and enjoy the natural world around them.  As a park district, it can be challenging to find the balance between conserving the land, protecting the resources and providing visitors with the experiences they desire.  Spotted Salamander in a vernal pool One challenge we are faced with every spring is protecting amphibians as they migrate to bree...


Amphibian Migration
Posted: 2/25/2014
Each day spring is a little closer.  This is the time of the year for anticipation of the annual amphibian migration to local vernal pools and wetlands.  Predictable, and yet unpredictable, this migration will occur every year without fail.  The unpredictable part is the weather. Relatively warm rainy nights are what drives amphibian migration.  The predictable part is the timing of events that occur once the weather is suitable.  This annual migration is one of the amazing natu...


Amphibians are Amazing
Posted: 1/23/2014
Currently worldwide it is estimated that there are over 7,000 species of amphibians belonging to three distinct groups; Frogs (includes toads), Salamanders, and Caecilians (legless amphibians not found in the US).  They come in all sizes from t he world's smallest known vertebrate called the little land frog ( Paedophryne amanuensis) the size of a housefly a t an average of 7.7 millimeters long found in Papua New Guinea.


Amphibian Task Force
Posted: 12/26/2013
Worldwide there are more than 6,300 known species of amphibians.  Today 32% are threatened, 43% are declining, and at least 168 species are believed to have gone extinct. This class of animals is in critical danger and there are several factors causing the decline including: habitat destruction, disease, pollution, exploitation by pet trade, introduced species, increase ultraviolet-B radiation and global climate change.    Golden-flecked Glass frog a critically endangered amphibian f...


Life Under a Log
Posted: 11/27/2013
I have always been a log flipper.  Every time you flip a log you never know what treasures you may find. First and most important is that there is a whole ecosystem under a log and when it is turned over it does disrupt the system. When flipping logs we need to be as gentle as possible and return the log as best as we can to the original placement.  With that understanding, let’s flip some logs to take a closer look at life under a log! A log lying on the forest floor is a microhabitat that pr...


White Nose Syndrome
Posted: 10/24/2013
On October 1, 2013 the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) proposed listing the northern long-eared Bat ( Myotis septentrionalis ) as a federally endangered species.  Currently it is in a 60 day review period, but most likely this species will be officially listed after this period of time.  I have spent several years studying bats and have focused a great deal of my research on this species.  It is tough to see a species that you have come to know very well, once common, in r...


Wood Ducks of North Chagrin
Posted: 9/26/2013
I think wood ducks are one of the most beautiful ducks in the world and Cleveland Metroparks North Chagrin Reservation is considered one of the best locations in the world to view and photograph this species.  Typically shy, wood ducks at North Chagrin have become accustomed to human activity around Sanctuary Marsh and Sunset Pond, allowing close and undisturbed observation of the ducks. And, the autumn colors surrounding the pond and marsh provide the ultimate background for stunning photographs.&...


Autumn Spiders
Posted: 9/12/2013
Late summer / early fall is one of the best times of the year to look for spiders.  They have fed and grown all summer long and are now at full size and appear to be everywhere.  For some, just the word spider makes them nervous, and I bet these small animals are in the top three feared creatures in the world.  Most of this fear or dislike is a learned behavior from experiences early in our lives.  I remember growing up, any spider that made it into the house was quickly dispatched o...


Migration is Amazing
Posted: 8/22/2013
Migration is amazing!  Birds, bats and some insects annually undertake incredible journeys with just the power of wind and their wings.  These amazing animals follow a predictable timeline on ancient migratory routes to wintering to grounds from Ohio to the tip of South America.  I have included a general schedule of what is expected to move through Ohio  and when .   This blog topic will be updated often to follow and highlight migrant movements as they stream though Ohio....


Finding Barred Owls
Posted: 7/25/2013
I was in North Chagrin Reservation this past week when I heard the “scream” of a fledgling Barred Owl ( Strix varia ).  I am sure this was an attempt to try and encourage a nearby adult to hurry up with the next meal delivery.  June – July are great months to hear this call even during the middle of the day.  Here is a short video of a hungry owlet.   While Barred Owls are commonly found throughout Cleveland Metroparks, I think North Chagrin Reservation is one of the best locati...