CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -Jen Brumfield has been a Naturalist for the Cleveland Metroparks for 14 years, and she loves what she does for a living.
Brumfield was one of those kids who played in the dirt and collected bugs and bumble bees, but her passion was watching birds and how graceful they were in the air.
The classroom can teach you ornithology, the study of birds, but for Brumfield it was in the fields and along the shoreline of Lake Erie that proved to be her education.
Ask Brumfield one question about a bird and hold onto your thinking cap.
One of the favorite parts of her job is taking her knowledge to school children who may have spent little to no time in nature.
She gets them out of the books and into the woods.
In 2017, I did a feature story on Brumfield because she had broken her own record by documenting 272 different species of birds in Northeast Ohio.
That meant spending time in windstorms, rain and snow taking pictures of birds that sometimes have only been documented in Cuyahoga County one other time.
The fact that she was able to spot so many different kinds of birds that either call Northeast Ohio home, or are simply on their way through during migration, tells Brumfield that the health of nature in this are is strong and getting stronger.
Because if it wasn’t she said the birds wouldn’t be here.
Sometimes birds didn’t intend to be in Northeast Ohio.
For example, it was Brumfield who first spotted a young Brown Pelican on the shores of Lake Erie, blown in from Tropical Storm Andrew in 2013.
It’s Brumfield’s love and passion for what she does to document and educate us all about nature in Northeast Ohio that makes her one of Cleveland’s most interesting people.