Cerulean Warblers are sadly in decline. These beautiful, sometimes hard to see wood warblers are one of our favorites. We have several reliable preserves where they nest in northern Illinois but not in any great numbers.
The Vinton Furnance Experimental Forest (along with the neighboring Raccoon Ecological Management Area) is located 75 miles southeast of Columbus, Ohio contains the highest recorded density of Ceruleans in Ohio and perhaps all of the Appalachians. Thus, this is an extremely important area to preserve and protect.
Not only does this area hold Cerulean Warblers but also other birds and animals of conservation concern: Worm-eating Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush, Wood Thrush, Blue-winged Warbler, Prairie Warbler, timber rattlesnake, black bear, and bobcat.
Since 1952 the area has been used for forest use and sustainability research including that of oak forest restoration. This is crucial towards implementing habitat restoration efforts for Cerulean Warblers and the research done here has contributed to citations in numerous scientific papers on forest ecology and management as well as wildlife.
The Ohio DNR’s goal is to complete the purchase of this important habitat by July 2010. The land will be renamed Vinton Furnace Experimental State Forest.