BLACK SWAMP BIRD OBSERVATORY GROUNDS
13551 West State Route 2, Oak Harbor, Ohio 43449
eBIRD LIST FOR BLACK SWAMP BIRD OBSERVATORY
Just north of Ohio State Route 2, at the entrance to Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, the headquarters for Black Swamp Bird Observatory is immediately to your left. The Observatory is open on weekends year-round, open several days per week during migration season, and open every day during May. This is a good place to stop to get the latest information on sightings and hotspots, birding area maps designed by Kenn Kaufman, check out the fabulous selection of bird and nature books in the gift shop, and meet fellow birders. Behind the building is the Gallagher Memorial Trail, a walking trail leading through woodland edge, second growth woods, and meadow, all of which are often good for migrants. The Gallagher Trail also provides the area's best opportunity to experience the bizarre and dazzling display of the American Woodcock.
CEDAR CREEKS PRESERVE
4575 Walbridge Rd., Northwood, OH 43619
INFO MAP OF CEDAR CREEKS PRESERVE
A mix of wet woods and grasslands, this 42-acre preserve features hiking trails allowing visitors to see a remnant Black Swamp woods, playground and picnic area. Spring wildflowers are a seasonal feature. The park also offers an open-air picnic shelter.
CEDAR MEADOW PRESERVE
4730 E. Cemetery Rd., Port Clinton, OH 43452
Catawba Island Township
INFO MAP OF CEDAR MEADOW PRESERVE
The 62 acres that encompass this preserve were acquired in 2005 by Catawba Island Township, with help from the Clean Ohio Fund and the Black Swamp Conservancy. The property is a mosaic of successional fields, mature woodland, shrub zones, and wetlands. It’s location on Catawba Island, which is a peninsula that juts into Lake Erie, makes Cedar Meadow an excellent spot for migratory songbirds that are preparing to cross the lake in spring, or have just made the crossing in fall. Nearly every species of regularly occurring migrant songbird could be expected given the preserve’s diversity of habitat, and as more birders discover this site an impressive species list should be accumulated. Common warbler for this area are: Blackburnian Warbler, American Redstart, and Northern Waterthrush. Cedar Meadow is only minutes from the ferry dock that services the Bass islands and is a worthwhile stop before or after visiting the islands.
CREEK BEND FARM
720 South Main St., Lindsey, OH 43442
INFO MAP OF CREEK BEND FARM
Located along the banks of Muddy Creek, Creek Bend Farm is home to the Wilson Nature Center and the Homestead House. Visitors can experience this 310-acre property on over two miles of trails travelling through riparian, field, and woodland habitats as well as active farm land. The riparian corridor allows for excellent birding opportunities during spring and fall migration.
EAST HARBOR STATE PARK
1169 N Buck Rd., Lakeside-Marblehead, OH 43440
eBIRD LIST FOR EAST HARBOR STATE PARK
INFO MAP OF EAST HARBOR STATE PARK
The park’s campground and beach are popular in summer but the area is outstanding for birding all year, with marshes, woods, and big concentrations of migrant songbirds in season. East Harbor lies on the fringe of Ohio's prairie marsh zone. These wetlands are remnants of the Great Black Swamp which once covered an area 120 miles long and 30 to 40 miles wide. These wetlands produce more wildlife than any other type of habitat in Ohio. Large numbers of ducks, geese, gulls, terns and other migratory waterfowl delight birdwatchers. Middle Harbor is a game sanctuary where black-crowned night herons, egrets, great blue herons and other shorebirds find refuge. Thousands of migrating songbirds rest here before winging north across the lake.
ERIE MARSH PRESERVE
3200 Sterns Rd., Monroe, MI - Learn more HERE
eBird LIST FOR ERIE MARSH PRESERVE
Erie Marsh is one of the largest coastal wetlands on Lake Erie, supporting numerous animals and plants that would otherwise be hard-pressed to find suitable habitat. The most significant feature of this area is its role as a migratory and nesting area for shorebirds, waterfowl, landbirds, and in the fall, raptors. It also harbors some of Michigan’s few remaining colonies of American lotus, and swamp rose-mallow, both listed as state-threatened.
Click HERE for a trail map.
GREAT EGRET MARSH
1120 N Buck Rd., Lakeside-Marblehead, OH 43440
eBIRD LIST FOR GREAT EGRET MARSH
Right across from the entrance to East Harbor State Park, Great Egret Marsh is a brand new nature preserve owned and managed by The Ohio Nature Conservancy. GEM offers a wonderful diversity of habitats from open marsh that looks great for waterbirds, woodland that should attract lots of migrants, and open fields that should be excellent for sparrows in the fall! Public Access includes a 1.2-mile loop hiking trail which includes two overlooks, and a section that is ADA-accessible. A parking area, canoe and kayak launch, and interpretive signs are also featured. From dawn to dusk daily, the public can see firsthand, the beneficial effects of coastal restoration and experience bird watching, hiking, fishing and paddling along the coast of one of the nation’s most valuable resources, Lake Erie.
For more information and directions, click HERE.
HOWARD MARSH METROPARK
611 S Howard Rd., Curtice, OH 43412
eBIRD LIST FOR HOWARD MARSH
INFO MAP OF HOWARD MARSH
The newest jewel among the Metroparks Toledo park system, Howard Marsh has quickly become one of the premier birding locations in Northwest Ohio. At nearly 1,000 acres, this former farmland was opened to the public in the spring of 2018 and has been nothing but spectacular! Continuing the thread of marsh lands along the shore of Lake Erie, Howard has been a welcomed habitat to Ohio rarities such as Yellow-headed Blackbird, Black-necked Stilt, Wilson’s Phalarope, King Rail, and Least Bittern, all of which have now successfully nested within the burgeoning wetland. During migration, controlled water levels can host any number of waterbirds and shorebirds, including American Golden-Plover and Black Tern.
LITTLE PORTAGE RIVER WILDLIFE AREA
INFO MAP OF LITTLE PORTAGE RIVER WA
Little Portage Wildlife Area is a 357 acre state wildlife area located five miles east of Port Clinton in Ottawa County. The acquisition of the Little Portage Wildlife Area began in 1956 and continued through 1995. The property was acquired using multiple state funds, including Fish Restoration federal funding.
8577 E Bayshore Rd., Marblehead, OH 43440
eBIRD LIST FOR MEADOWBROOK MARSH
INFO MAP OF MEADOWBROOK MARSH
Located on E. Bayshore Road one-half mile west of Dempsey Access.
Amenities: Picnic table, park benches, observation deck, paved biking/walking trails, grass and mulched walking trails along the prairie and in the forest. Scenic views of wetland marsh. For information about the marsh, click HERE.
Directions: Follow State Route 2 to State Route 269N in Danbury Township (Exit 125A-B). Exit at 269N and continue northbound following Exit 125A until it terminates at State Route 163. Turn east and follow State Route 163 to Englebeck Road . (Englebeck is directly across from N. Shore Blvd. and Windjammer Restaurant). Turn south on Englebeck. Continue until Englebeck terminates at E. Bayshore Rd. (CR 135). Turn East. Follow E. Bayshore approximately one-half mile. Entrance to Meadowbrook is on the north side of E. Bayshore Rd. and is marked by a large “Meadowbrook Marsh” sign.
PICKEREL CREEK WILDLIFE AREA
3451 County Road 256, Vickery, OH 43464
eBIRD LIST FOR PICKEREL CREEK WILDLIFE AREA
INFO MAP OF PICKEREL CREEK WILDLIFE AREA
On the north side of U.S.Highway 6, about 7 miles east of Fremont. A little more than half a mileeast of County Road 256 is a parking area with an observation tower giving anoverview of part of the area, and trails along the dikes provide access. Often an excellent area for shorebirds and waterfowl in migration.
PIPE CREEK WILDLIFE AREA
F St., Sandusky, OH 44870
eBIRD LIST FOR PIPE CREEK WILDLIFE AREA
INFO MAP OF PIPE CREEK WILDLIFE AREA
From U.S. Highway 6 on the east side of Sandusky, turn north on Cedar Point Drive, then turn right at River Avenue (just after the McDonald’s). The small parking lot for Pipe Creek is at the end of River Avenue. Impoundments are good for shorebirds, waterfowl, and wading birds, while the woods hold fallouts of songbirds during migration. Note that traffic going to Cedar Point Amusement Park can be very heavy on warm weekends.
RINGNECK RIDGE WILDLIFE AREA
1818 County Road 74, Gibsonburg, OH 43431
Previously a private hunt club, this area is still managed as a wildlife area to provide public hunting opportunities. The diverse habitats include open fields, woodlands, wet meadows, and limestone barrens. Several food plots are scattered throughout the property. Pheasant releases occur every fall in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
SHELDON MARSH STATE NATURE PRESERVE
2715 Cleveland Rd West, Huron, OH 44839
eBIRD LIST FOR SHELDON MARSH STATE NATURE PRESERVE
INFO MAP OF SHELDON MARSH STATE NATURE PRESERVE
Entrance is on the north side of U.S. Highway 6, about six miles east of Sandusky and about two miles west of Huron. Trails lead out to Lake Erie shoreline. Good for marsh birds most of year; woodlots host big concentrations of migrant songbirds in spring and fall.