These trips allow you to drive yourself to the location where you'll meet an expert leader for a three hour birding experience. These trips are affordable, fun, and allow you to travel with as much of your birding gear as you like, whatever music you like, all in the comfort of your own vehicle!
GUIDED BIRDING WALK // BIRDING THE TOLEDO ZOO Activity Level: Easy Date: May 12 or 15 Time: 8-11 AM Fee: $25 (covers one session - choose whichever day works better for you!) Meeting Location: Toledo Zoo 2700 Broadway St, Toledo, Ohio 43609 Click here to see map Registration required Limited to 20 people NO TRANSPORTATION PROVIDED
Join a Biggest Week Guide and Toledo Zoo Staff for this exciting new partnership field trip. Start the morning off birding on zoo property along the Maumee River looking for migrants, gulls and possibly a lingering duck or two. Then the trip moves onto the zoo grounds to see what migrants might be using this interesting mix of natural habitat and simulated habitat exhibits. Zoo staff will discuss conservation efforts by the Toledo Zoo and an insider’s view of some avian exhibits will be offered.
GUIDED BIRDING WALK // EAST HARBOR STATE PARK Activity Level: EASY Date: May 10, 13, or 16 Time: 8-11 AM Meeting Location: East Harbor State Park 1169 N Buck Road Lakeside Marblehead, OH 43440 Fee: $15 Registration required Limited to 25 people NO TRANSPORTATION PROVIDED Click HERE for a map of the meeting location
East Harbor is among the hidden jewels of lakefront birding hotspots. Its varied habitats include sandy beaches, sheltered bays, open waters of Lake Erie, marshes, shrubland, and swamp forest. Many rarities have been found, including Western Tanager and Magnificent Frigatebird. Songbird fallouts can be spectacular, with nearly every regularly occurring warbler appearing annually, and often in good numbers. The beach attracts a diversity of gulls and terns, including Great Black-backed Gull, Caspian and Forster's terns.
GUIDED BIRDING WALK // HOWARD MARSH METROPARK Activity Level: EASY Date: May 8, 14, or 17 Time: 8 AM-12 PM Meeting Location: Parking area west of the bathroom. Look for the "Meet the Leader" sign. 401-621 S. Howard Rd. Curtice, OH 43412 Fee: $15 Registration required Limited to 25 people NO TRANSPORTATION PROVIDED Click HERE for a map of the meeting location
Howard Marsh is the newest addition to Toledo’s spectacular Metropark system. The multi-pool complex has dikes and a boardwalk which allow you to access virtually every part of the park. Any new marsh system along the Lake Erie shores is a boon to birders, but Howard Marsh exceeded expectations drawing in shorebirds including hundreds of migratory American Golden-Plovers, nesting Black-necked Stilts and even a Wilson’s Phalarope. On this trip you may also find nesting Osprey, Horned Larks, Sandhill Cranes and a lingering duck or two. Common, Forster's, and if we're lucky, Black Terns may be seen along with Bonaparte’s Gulls.
GUIDED BIRDING WALK // MAUMEE BAY STATE PARK Activity Level: EASY, handicap accessible Date: May 10, 13, or 16 Time: 8-11 AM Fee: $15 Meeting Location: Maumee Bay State Park - Trautman Nature Center Park Road 3 Oregon, OH 43616 Registration required Limited to 25 people NO TRANSPORTATION PROVIDED Click HERE for a map of the meeting location
By popular demand, join our skilled leaders in exploring the rich array of habitat found throughout Maumee Bay State Park. Even though The Biggest Week in American Birding is headquartered at the Maumee Bay Lodge, it's easy to miss out on some great birding opportunities in the rest of the park. Wetlands near the nature center are great for shorebirds and waterfowl, plus warblers and songbirds alike. In addition to marsh and swamp wetlands, several prairies and meadows add more diversity to the park's landscape.
GUIDED BIRDING WALK // PEARSON METROPARK Activity Level: EASY, handicap accessible Date: May 8, 11, 14, or 17 Time: 8-11 AM Meeting Location: Pearson Metropark 761 Lallendorf Rd. Oregon, OH 43616 Fee: $15 Registration required Limited to 25 people NO TRANSPORTATION PROVIDED Click HERE for a map of the meeting location
This park is a remnant patch of the formerly vast Great Black Swamp. About three miles of trails bisect the woodlands, and birding can be quite good during spring and fall migration. Typical forest-breeding species can be found in summer, including both cuckoos. A well-stocked feeding station at the nature center attracts lots of birds in the winter and is always worth a look.
To the north of this forest lies Pearson North, a more recent addition to the park that provides substantial wetland acreage. Two entrances to this portion of the park showcase open marsh and cattail stands where Marsh Wren, Green Heron, and Sora can be heard or seen; and path edges and shrub-scrub often host Savannah and Vesper Sparrows.
GUIDED BIRDING WALK // SHELDON MARSH STATE NATURE PRESERVE Activity Level: EASY, handicap accessible Date: May 9, 12, or 15 Time: 8-11 AM Fee: $15 Meeting Location: Sheldon Marsh SNP 2710 Cleveland Road Sandusky OH 44870 Registration required Limited to 25 people NO TRANSPORTATION PROVIDED Click HERE for a map of the meeting location
This 465-acre nature preserve is one of Lake Erie’s “hidden” jewels. Sheldon Marsh can rival just about any spot on the lakefront for numbers and diversity of birds. Spring and fall migration can bring scores of songbirds, including the possibility of all 37 species of warblers that occur annually in Ohio.
GUIDED BIRDING WALK // WOODLAWN CEMETERY & ARBORETUM Activity Level: Easy Date: May 9 or 12 Time: 8-11 AM Fee: $15 Meeting Location: Woodlawn Cemetery & Arboretum Registration required Limited to 25 people NO TRANSPORTATION PROVIDED
This newest addition to the Biggest Week field trip locations, Woodlawn Cemetery & Arboretum is much more than a place of memorial (and superstition!). Nestled in the middle of Toledo, the 160 acres of Woodlawn showcase the beauty and diversity of life with its wide array of over 130 species of trees. Ranging from eastern deciduous, conifer, and exotic, the assortment of vegetation throughout the grounds has hosted over 200 species of birds - in the heart of urban Toledo! The biggest draw to Woodlawn though are the winter finches. Red and White-winged Crossbills, Pine Siskin, and Common Redpoll are often spotted during irruption years, picking through the vast abundance of conifer cones.
While these are birds to look for in the cold winter months, you never know who will stick around through May! Aside from these sought-after winter birds, many migrating songbirds pass through the sprawling limbs - picking through cones and budding leaves - and a serene lake offers a peaceful swim to Wood Duck and travel-weary waterfowl.