What’s New–January 2, 2021

What’s New in Birding in Ohio

There are 3818 eBird hotspots in Ohio.

New eBird Hotspots

Adams County
Plum Run Prairie Preserve
Rock Run Preserve
Thanks to Joshua Eastlake for suggesting these Arc of Appalachia preserves as hotspots and for sharing photos and tips for birding.

Brown County
Eagle Creek Wildlife Area
Thanks to Joshua Eastlake for suggesting this hotspot and for providing tips for birding.

Fulton County
Swanton Cemetery
Thanks to Paul Jacyk for suggesting this hotspot and for providing photos.

Hamilton County
Shawnee Lookout–Blue Jacket Trail
Shawnee Lookout–Little Turtle Trail
Thanks to Daniel King for suggesting these hotspots on trails in Shawnee Lookout park.

Lake County
Mentor Municipal Cemetery
Thanks to Josh Hargrave for suggesting this hotspot.

Portage County
Havre Woods Park
Thanks to Ben Meredyk for suggesting this hotspot.

Trumbull County
Newton Falls Schools Woodlot and Marsh
Prospect Street Riverview, Newton Falls
Thanks to Ethan Kistler for suggesting these two hotspots in Newton Falls and for providing tips for birding.

Updates

Adams County
Edge of Appalachia Preserve–Cedar Falls Preserve
Thanks to Joshua Eastlake for sharing photos of this preserve.

Brush Creek State Forest–Douglas Road
Brush Creek State Forest–Hackelshin Road
Thanks to Joshua Eastland for providing tips for birding these two locations in the Brush Creek State Forest.

Trumbull County
Howland Township Park
Created new map showing the location of the Boardwalk Trail and the Wetland Trail.

Howland Township Park
Map by Ken Ostermiller

What’s New–December 26, 2020

What’s New in Birding in Ohio

There are 3808 eBird hotspots in Ohio.

Tips for Birding in Ohio

Winter Birding in Ohio

Birding during January and February can be a excellent in Ohio. You may find owls, raptors, finches, and more species which make Ohio their winter grounds. Check these “Focus on . . .” articles.
Focus on Winter Birding at Killdeer Plains
Focus on Cuyahoga River Winter Birding

Additional good locations for winter birding include:
The Wilds
Funk Bottoms Wildlife Area
Big Island Wildlife Area
Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge

What is your favorite place to search for winter birds? Send your idea to hotspots@ohiobirds.org and we will add to this list.

New eBird Hotspots

Greene County
Beaver Creek Wetland Nature Reserve
Thanks to Ryan Taylor for suggesting this hotspot in the Phillips Park Complex in Dayton.

Licking County
I-70 Hebron Rest Areas
Thanks to Nathaniel Sharp for suggesting this hotspot.

Ottawa County
Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge–Fox Unit
Thanks to Trevor Zook for suggesting this additional hotspot at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge. The Fox Unit is a newly acquired property directly across OH-2 from the Visitor Center.

Wayne County
stakeout Say’s Phoebe, Harrison Rd., Navarre (2020)
If you have submitted a checklist with this bird, please change the location of your checklist to this stakeout hotspot. Thanks for Su Snyder for suggesting the hotspot.

Updates

Stark County
North Lawn Cemetery
Quail Hollow State Park
Thanks to Tom Fishburn for providing photos for these hotspots.

Ottawa County
Ottawa NWR–Lower Toussaint Unit (restricted access)
The name of this unit was changed to Lower Toussaint Unit instead of Blausey Unit. The unit is undergoing restoration and access is restricted.
Ottawa NWR–Middle Toussaint Unit
The name of this unit was changed to Middle Toussaint Unit instead of Helle Unit. The unit is open to visitors.
Ottawa NWR–Turkey Run Unit
The name of this unit was changed to Turkey Run Unit instead of Price-Adams Unit. The unit is open to visitors.

What’s New–December 19, 2020

What’s New in Birding in Ohio

There are 3804 eBird hotspots in Ohio.

New eBird Hotspots

Brown County and Clermont County
Bott Wildlife Area
Most of Bott Wildlife Area is in Brown County and there has been a hotspot for the wildlife area in this section. An 18-acre section, the southwest corner of the wildlife area, is in Clermont County. We have added a new hotspot, Bott Wildlife Area (Clermont Co.), in this corner. We added the county name, Bott Wildlife Area (Brown Co.), to the other hotspot. If you carefully keep your bird records by county, please be aware of the location of the county line and use the appropriate hotspot.

Lucas County
Wakeman Cemetery
Thanks to Paul Jacyk for suggesting this hotspot in Waterville near the Maumee River and for providing a photo and tips for birding.

Updates to Locations Near a County Line

Please remember that multi-county checklists are not possible in eBird. The birds you report are assigned to the county in which the hotspot is located.

In Ohio, we have over 50 locations where a county line runs though an area, for example, Magee Marsh and Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge. I have been careful to avoid setting up general hotspots which span two or more counties at these locations because multi-county checklists are not possible in eBird.

There are, however, 8 locations where general locations were set up before I began reviewing hotspots. I’ve always been puzzled about what to do about these locations. A hotspot is a point on the map and, of necessity, is located in a county. Each of these “general” hotspots assign birds on checklists submitted to them to the county in which they are located.

In consultation with eBird checklist reviewers, we have decided to add the county name to each of these hotspots so that birders will know to which county birds they report are being assigned.

For additional information see Focus on Birding Near a County Line.
Ken Ostermiller, eBird hotspot reviewer for Ohio

Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park (Franklin Co.)
Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park–Pleasant Valley Quarry Area
The Pleasant Valley Quarry area is the only section of the Metro Park in Pickaway County. Thus, there is no separate (Pickaway Co.) hotspot.

Charles Mill Lake (Ashland Co.)
Charles Mill Lake (Richland Co.)
At this lake we had two hotspots in Richland County: Charles Mill Lake and Charles Mill Lake (Richland Co.). Merged these together and kept the county identifer in the name of the resulting hotspot.

Grand Lake Saint Marys SP (Auglaize Co.)
Grand Lake Saint Marys SP (Mercer Co.)
Added the county identifer to Grand Lake Saint Marys SP (Auglaize Co.) and created a new hotspot for Grand Lake Saint Marys SP (Mercer Co.).

Hueston Woods SP (Butler Co.)
Hueston Woods SP (Preble Co.)
Hueston Woods SP–Acton Lake (Preble Co.)
Added the county identifer to the hotspot Hueston Woods SP (Preble Co.) and to Hueston Woods SP–Acton Lake (Preble Co.). The hotspot Hueston Woods SP–Dam serves to collect observations on the east end of Acton Lake.

North Chagrin Reservation (Cuyahoga Co.)
North Chagrin Reservation (Lake Co.)
Added the county identifer to the hotspot North Chagrin Reservation (Lake Co.) and changed the name of North Chagrin Reservation–South Side to North Chagrin Reservation (Cuyahoga Co.)

Ottawa NWR (Lucas Co.)
Ottawa NWR (Ottawa Co.)
At Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge we had two hotspots in Ottawa County: Ottawa NWR and Ottawa NWR (Ottawa Co.). Merged these together and kept the county identifer in the name of the resulting hotspot. Please note that checklists reporting birds from more than one county are not allowed in eBird. Be aware of the location of the county line when you are reporting birds at Ottawa NWR and submit checklist within the proper county.

Pickerington Ponds (Fairfield Co.)
Pickerington Ponds (Franklin Co.)
Adjusted the county identifiers on the hotspots at Pickerington Ponds so that there is now a hotspot for each county.

Pleasant Hill Lake (Ashland Co.)
Pleasant Hill Lake (Richland Co.)
Added the county identifer to the hotspot Pleasant Hill Lake (Richland Co.).

Updates

Pickaway County
Southern Point Pond
This hotspot has been renamed from “Berger Medical Center Pond.” The medical center has changed ownership and the pond is managed by the Southern Point housing development. It is private property. Please view birds from the roadside only. Thanks to Gene Stauffer for suggesting this change.

Tips for birding

What’s New–December 12, 2020

What’s New in Birding in Ohio

There are 3803 eBird hotspots in Ohio. We have added nearly 300 hotspots during 2020. There were 3513 hotspots on Jan. 1. There were approximately 1200 eBird hotspots in Ohio when I began reviewing suggestions in 2009.
Ken Ostermiller, eBird hotspot reviewer for Ohio

New eBird Hotspots

Photo by Jason Parrish

Delaware County
Heritage Wetlands
Thanks to Rob Thorn for suggesting this hotspot on the north side of County Line Road in Westerville.

Franklin County
College Knolls Wetland Reserve
Thanks to Rob Thorn for suggesting this hotspot on the south side of County Line Road in Westerville.

Galloway Cemetery
Thanks to Jason Parrish for suggesting this hotspot and for providing photos and tips for birding.

Greene County
Valle View Reserve
Thanks to Sean Hollowell for suggesting this hotspot in Fairborn.

Knox County
Ramser Arboretum Mount Vernon Nazarene University Woods
Thanks to Mike Yough for suggesting this hotspot and for providing a photo and tips for birding. MVNU Woods was once used as a field biology station by the university and now is owned and manged by the Ramser Arboretum.

Lorain County
Sheffield Lake Recreational Trail
Thanks to Patty McKelvey for suggesting this hotspot in Sheffield Lake and for sharing photos and tips for birding.

Stark County
Monument Park
Thanks to Chris Lamb for suggesting this hotspot. Monument Park is adjacent to Stadium Park and next to the William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum, the site of the McKinley National Memorial, in Canton.

Price Park
Thanks to Betty Carty for suggesting this hotspot in North Canton and for providing photos and tips for birding.

Updates

Allen County
Many of the hotspot pages in Allen County have been updated with maps and hiking trails.

Lorain County
Lorain Harbor–Fishing Pier
Thanks to Patty McKelvey for providing a photo of the vehicle entrance to the Fishing Pier. There is also a new map showing the location of the entrance.

Hardin County and Wyandot County
Andreoff Wildlife Area
Andreoff Wildlife Area–Jackson Township Road 50
Andreoff Wildlife Area (Wyandot County)
Updated with links to newly developed Ohio state webpages and maps. The hotspot on Jackson Township Road 50 was formerly named “Hardin County Wetlands” when it was privately owned.

Richland County
Fowler Woods
Thanks to Tom Fishburn for sharing photos. The boardwalk at Fowler Woods has been replaced and upgraded. It is now open.

Tips for Birding in Ohio

Looking for information on where rare birds are being seen?

Check the recently updated page, About Rare Birds. (Available on every page in the top menu bar under “Find a Bird.”)

There is a link on this page to the eBird Rare Bird Alert for Ohio. This alert lists all the rare birds which have been reported in eBird during the past 7 days. You can sort this list by species, date, or location.

There is a link on the page to the eBird Needs Alert which can show you the location of birds you “need,” have not seen, this year or “need” for your Ohio life list. You can set this up for the whole state or any county in Ohio.

At the bottom of the page, look for Notable Sightings which displays all the rare and out of season birds seen in Ohio over the past 4 weeks.

There is information about stakeout hotspots, when to suggest and use them, and a list of all the stakeout hotspots in the state.

There is information about when you must submit a report about a rare bird sighting to the Ohio Birds Record Committee.

Check the advice from eBird about how to add comments to your checklist to help eBird reviewers decide if your sighting can be verified to include it in the eBird research database.

What is the difference between the eBird Rare Bird Alert and the Needs Alerts?
Read about the difference on the page About Rare Bird and Needs Alerts.