Visit these birding hot spots to safely enjoy the best time for birding in Northwest Ohio!
Notice to Birders: While there are many spots to safely bird this season, some high traffic birding areas are currently closed including Magee Marsh and the boardwalk trail at Maumee Bay State Park. Restroom facilities may not be available, so please plan accordingly. For the latest updates visit ODNR.
Northwest Ohio is recognized as one of the best birding areas in North America, especially during spring migration. Birders are welcome at most popular birding sites, while participating at a safe distance, of course. Check out these birding hot spots and don’t forget your binoculars and checklist during your birding adventure!
Birding Areas along Lake Erie
MAUMEE BAY STATE PARK
From Route 2, go 2.5 miles north on N. Curtice Road to the park entrance. Good birding all year, with waterfowl at the beach and migrant songbirds through the forest. For a map, click HERE.
MALLARD CLUB MARSH WILDLIFE AREA
From Route 2, go 2.5 miles north on Cousino Road and then 0.2 miles east on Cedar Point Road to the parking area on the north side of the road. Trails lead out into the marsh with many water birds all year. For a map, click HERE.
METZGER MARSH WILDLIFE AREA
Just east of the village of Bono, Route 2 makes a major curve to run south. The well-marked turnoff to Metzger is on the curve. The marsh is outstanding for waterfowl in migration and for nesting marsh birds in summer, while the woodlot at the end of the road is excellent for migrating songbirds. For a BSBO birding map of the area, click HERE.
KRAUSE / STANGE ROADS
From the Metzger Marsh turnoff, Route 2 runs south for more than 2 miles. A short distance before it bends eastward again, Krause Road runs to the east for a mile, intersecting with Stange Road, which runs south to meet Route 2. Fields along these two roads have hosted many interesting migrants, including shorebirds and hawks.
OTTAWA NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
The main entrance is on Route 2, about 18 miles east of Toledo/Oregon and about 17 miles west of Port Clinton, or about one mile east of the junction with Route 590 or two miles west of the junction with Route 19. Walking trails give access to woods, marsh, and mudflats, providing excellent birding all year. For an overview of birding on the refuge, click HERE. For the ONWR Walking Trail map click HERE.
Great Birding at Metroparks Toledo
Metroparks Toledo has an abundance of birding hot spots of their own. According to Scott Carpenter, Public Relations Director for the Metroparks, Oak Openings and Pearson Metroparks offer the best examples of the spring migration in the Toledo area. “Oak Openings is one of the best spots for viewing the spring migration”, says Carpenter. “The habitat is truly unique and there is really nothing else like it in our area.” Pearson is also a favorite stopover for the wide variety of migrating birds with its thick woods and location close to Lake Erie. Carpenter adds, “Howard Marsh, our newest park, near Lake Erie, is a magnet for shorebirds and waterfowl.”
Additional featured Metroparks for birding include: Wildwood Preserve, Secor Metropark, Swan Creek, Side Cut, Providence, Farnsworth, Bend View, Toledo Botanical Garden, Wiregrass Lake and Blue Creek.
Up for some more exploring to discover that elusive warbler plus eagles and tons of waterfowl? Check out the complete list of Birding Hot Spots in Toledo, Northwest Ohio and beyond. Showcase your Northwest Ohio birding experience by sharing your sightings and photos with us @ToledoCVB and use #ThisIsToledo on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Birding At Home
You and your family can also do some birding related activities safely from home courtesy of Black Swamp Birding Observatory and Metroparks Toledo. BSBO's Birding at Home is an educational online series where your job as a field assistant is to locate every bird, collect and record several data points, and submit your research for analysis. Metroparks Toledo has a variety of birding related activities including Create Your Own Backyard Bird Feeder and Bird Behavior Bingo all within their collection of Metroparks at Home Socially Responsible Activities.
Support Black Swamp Bird Observatory
The cancellation of the Biggest Week in American Birding has affected not only the plans for thousands of birders in 2020. The impact felt by all those involved in creating this annual event and dollars lost by the communities in Northwest Ohio is staggering. In addition, the funding that Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO) needs to do all of their amazing conservation work has been catastrophically diminished.
In order to support BSOB during this crisis, please consider purchasing a #BirdOn item from the BSBO Shirt Fundraiser. All proceeds from the sale of shirts and sweatshirts will be donated to Black Swamp Bird Observatory via the Ohio Ornithological Society (OOS). You can also donate directly on the page; all donations will go to BSBO.
Photos courtesy of The Biggest Week in American Birding: facebook.com/TheBiggestWeekInAmericanBirding