Focus on Top Hotspots

In eBird we designate all shared bird reporting locations as “hotspots.” That name is somewhat misleading, as some spots are hotter than others.
This website can help you find the hotspots with the greatest number of species reported.
On the home page there are links to the 25 locations in Ohio with the most species reported.

On each county page there are links to up 10 of the hottest locations in the county with over 100 species retorted. Examples from a couple counties are below.

While not exclusively visits to all the top hotspots, the Ohio Birding Drives visit some of the best locations in each county in Ohio. Many counties have two or more suggested driving tours that can be done in one day. When you are out and about in parts of Ohio new to you, these birding drives can lead you to good birding locations.

What’s New–December 29, 2018

Westgate Park
Photo by Bryan Sharp

New eBird Hotspots

Clark County
Sherman Avenue Park, Buck Creek Trail

Franklin County
Big Run Park–Derby Hill
Keller Farms Park
Scioto Grove Metro Park–Multipurpose Trail
Westgate Park

Holmes County
Odell Lake

Lawrence County
Woodland Cemetery, Coal Grove

Updates and Changes

Franklin County
Anheuser-Busch Sports Park
Thanks to Bryan Sharp who added several photos of this recently activated eBird hotspot.

What’s New–December 22, 2018

New eBird Hotspots

Blue Heron Park Complex

Medina County
Blue Heron Park Complex
The Blue Heron Park Complex is in Montville Township near Medina. Three parks have been established from the former Blue Heron Golf Course, and we have added a page to the website describing all three parks in the complex. There is no overall hotspot for the complex; each park has its own hotpot. The Thomas Currier Nature Preserve is the third park in the complex, is under development, and has been added this week as a hotspot.
Aaron Smith Nature Preserve
Austin Badger Park
Thomas Currier Nature Preserve

Franklin County
Overbrook Ravine Park

Warren County
Miller Ecological Park

Tips for using this website

“Focus on” blog
Focus on Important Bird Areas
The Ohio Important Bird Areas are examples of the way polygons may be defined in eBird to display data about bird distribution.

Updates and Changes

Cuyahoga County
Big Creek Reservation–Lake Isaac
The Cleveland Metroparks is no longer designating this lake as a “waterfowl sanctuary.” The name was shortened to reflect this change.

Knox County
Krause Road, Centerburg
The name of this hotspot has been changed to “Krause Rd., Centerburg” to distinguish it from the hotspot at Stange and Krause Roads in Ottawa County (Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge–Stange Road and Krause Road and Observation Tower).

Focus on Important Bird Areas

Those who use eBird have frequently expressed interest in having hotspot locations defined by a polygon. While I was creating pages in the Ohio eBird Hotspot website to describe the Audubon Important Bird Areas (IBA), I have realized that in Ohio there are already 70 IBA areas defined by polygons!

Check the index page for a list of all the IBAs in Ohio:
Ohio Important Bird Areas

The only place in the eBird website where I can find reference to the IBA polygons is in Explore Data –> Bar Charts. One of the options is to create a bar chart for each IBA area. I believe these bar charts pick up data from both hotspots and personal locations within the polygon which defines the IBA, but I am not absolutely sure about the personal locations.

On each IBA page, I have created a bar chart table where you can select a bar chart of the IBA for all months, a season, or a single month. This is much less cumbersome than creating the bar chart from the eBird website.

I have also listed all the eBird hotspots within the IBA. If you are familiar with an IBA area you might help me by letting me know if I have missed hotspots which should be listed.

This project gives you an example of how polygons might work in eBird in the future. The IBA polygons are not set up to receive checklist data directly. But when you submit data to a hotspot or personal location in the polygon area the data is added to the bar chart.

What’s New–December 17, 2018

Anheuser-Busch Sports Park
Photo by Bryan Sharp

New eBird Hotspots

Franklin County
Anheuser-Busch Sports Park

Licking County
Evans Park
Hoback Park

Washington County
Indian Acres Park

Updates and Changes

Hocking County
Wayne National Forest–Paynes Wetland
Thanks to Joe Brehm for adding tips for birding Paynes Wetland.

Aaron Smith Nature Preserve

Medina County
Aaron Smith Nature Preserve
The name of the hotspot has been changed from “Montville Township Park” to “Aaron Smith Nature Preserve.” This new township nature preserve was formerly part of the Blue Heron Golf Course and is adjacent to the Blue Heron Event Center. A trail connects under I-71 to Austin Badger Park.

Fulton County
Harrison Lake State Park
The name of the hotspot has been changed from “Harrison Lake” to “Harrison Lake SP.” The state park entirely surrounds Harrison Lake. The hotspot may be used for checklists of birds seen on the lake or on state park land.

Richland County
Clear Fork Reservoir–Stoller Road Trail
The name of the hotspot has been changed from “Clear Fork Reservoir–North Side Trail” to “Clear Fork Reservoir–Stoller Rd. Trail.” The trail parallels the north side of the Clear Fork Reservoir but is named for the old Stoller Road which it follows.

Smartphone display improvements are complete

All the pages now display well for those who view the website on a smartphone screen. Please let me know if you find a page that does not display as expected. See Using this Website with a Smartphone for tips from birders of how they use the website at home or while out bird watching.