Focus on

3 posts

Focus on Birding near a State Line

Ohio is bordered by Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Indiana. There are a number of Ohio eBird hotspots located near a state line. It is helpful to know where the state line is located so that the birds will be assigned to the proper state.

This is a list of locations in Ohio where the state line passes near an eBird hotspot.

eBird has a help article on eBirding along County, State, and Country borders with suggestions of how to handle your checklists when you are watching birds near a border.

Michigan State Line
Toledo Memorial Park
All of the developed section of Toledo Memorial Park, located north of Toledo, is in Ohio. The northern, undeveloped section of this cemetery is in Michigan. A hotspot has not been established for this northern section of the cemetery.

149th Street, Point Place
This hotspot is the northernmost location in Ohio on the Point Place peninsula. The northern tip of the peninsula is in Michigan. While there is an eBird hotspot in Michigan at the tip of the peninsula, Lost Peninsula, the road is a private, gated drive with access limited to residents and their guests.

Pennsylvania State Line
Pymatuning State Park
The Pymatuning Reservoir is on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border and is served by a state park in each state. For the convenience of birders, the hotspots in both states are referenced on the page link above.

The Ohio River forms the Ohio border with two states, West Virginia and Kentucky.
Since the late 1700s, various states have claimed ownership of various stretches of the Ohio River. The principal reason was to garner wealth from the trade that occurred on the river. In 1792, the federal government determined that Kentucky owned the Ohio River along its border with Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. In essence, the boundary between Kentucky and these three future states would be the low point of the Ohio River’s northernmost bank.

Both Indiana and Ohio have sought to claim the Ohio River, despite the federal government’s declaration in 1792. In 1966, Ohio claimed that the Ohio River’s course had fluctuated since 1792, so that the low point of the Ohio River’s northernmost bank in 1792 actually would be near the south bank of the river today. Ohio asked the United States Supreme Court to give ownership of the river to Ohio or, at the bare minimum, to set the boundary between Kentucky and Ohio in the midpoint of the Ohio River. The Supreme Court ruled that Kentucky had legal ownership to the Ohio River.
From Ohio History Central

Because of these ownership concerns, in most places the state line is very near the Ohio side of the river and birds seen out in the river are not physically in Ohio. eBird allows birders to decide which birds “count” for their state list and, as indicated in the help article above, it is permissible in eBird to record all the birds you can observe from a location. Bird record committees, on the other hand, usually want the bird to be physically located in the state. Birders who report rare bird sightings may want to keep this in mind as they prepare eBird checklists.

West Virginia State Line
While there are many hotspots on the Ohio side of the river along the West Virginia border, there are just a few where there are hotspots established on both sides of the river.

Pike Island Lock and Dam
The Ohio-West Virginia border is near the Ohio side of the Ohio River at this location. There are separate hotspots in West Virginia for reporting birds seen in the river pool or at the Pike Island Dam.

Hannibal Dam
The locks at the Hannibal Dam are on the Ohio side of the river and the state line runs along the middle of the locks area. There is a hotspot on the West Virginia side of the river.

Fly-Sistersville Ferry
The state line is 20-40 yards out in the river from the Ohio shoreline. If you take the ferry to Sisterville you cross the state line at the beginning of the crossing. There is currently no hotspot in West Virginia.

Belleville Locks and Dam
There are hotspots on each side of the river for the Belleville Locks and Dam.

Gallipolis Locks and Dam
There are hotspots on each side of the river for the Gallipolis Locks and Dam.

Kentucky State Line

Meldahl Dam
There are hotspots on each side of the river for the Meldahl Locks and Dam.

Indiana State Line
At this time, there are no hotspots established along the Ohio-Indiana border.

Focus on Birding near a County Line

In Ohio, there are a surprising number of parks, wildlife areas, trails, and a National Park which are located on a county line. If you carefully keep your bird records by county, it is helpful to know where the county line is located so that the birds will be assigned to the proper county.

This is a list of locations in Ohio where the county line passes through the area.

eBird has a help article on eBirding along County, State, and Country borders with suggestions of how to handle your checklists when you are watching birds near a border.

Carroll-Tuscarawas
Atwood Lake
Atwood Lake Park

Mahoning-Portage-Stark
Berlin Lake

Fairfield-Franklin
Blacklick Creek Greenway Trail
Blacklick Woods Metro Park

Adams-Scioto
Brush Creek State Forest

Fairfield-Licking
Buckeye Lake State Park

Athens-Morgan
Burr Oak State Park

Clinton-Greene
Caesar Creek Lake Wildlife Area

Clinton-Warren
Caesar Creek State Park

Franklin-Madison
Camp Chase Trail

Ashland-Richland
Charles Mill Lake

Fairfield-Hocking
Clear Creek Metro Park

Morrow-Richland
Clear Fork Reservoir

Gallia-Lawrence
Crown City Wildlife Area

Cuyahoga-Summit
Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Fayette-Pickaway
Deer Creek Wildlife Area

Delaware-Marion-Morrow
Delaware Wildlife Area

Licking-Muskingum
Dillon Wildlife Area

Butler-Hamilton
Fernald Nature Preserve

Auglaize-Mercer
Grand Lake Saint Marys State Park

Butler-Miami-Montgomery
Great Miami River Trail

Lake-Geauga
Holden Arboretum

Delaware-Franklin
Hoover Reservoir

Butler-Preble
Hueston Woods State Park

Holmes-Wayne
Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area

Jackson-Vinton
Lake Alma State Park

Lucas-Ottawa
Magee Marsh Wildlife Area

Fulton-Henry-Lucas
Maumee State Forest

Butler-Hamilton
Mill Creek

Coshocton-Knox
Mohican River Wildlife Area

Coshocton-Morgan-Muskingum-Washington
Muskingum River State Park

Cuyahoga-Lake
North Chagrin Reservation

Huron-Lorain-Sandusky
North Coast Inland Trail

Cuyahoga-Stark-Summit-Tuscarawas
Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail

Lucas-Ottawa
Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge

Highland-Ross
Paint Creek Lake Wildlife Area
Paint Creek State Park

Fayette-Ross
Paint Creek Recreational Trail

Franklin-Fairfield
Pickerington Ponds Metro Park

Belmont-Guernsey-Harrison
Piedmont Lake

Ashland-Richland
Pleasant Hill Lake

Champaign-Union
Pottersburg Bridge Trail

Franklin-Madison
Prairie Oaks Metro Park

Fairfield-Perry
Rush Creek Lake

Adams-Scioto
Shawnee State Forest

Stark-Wayne
Sippo Valley Trail

Greene-Warren
Spring Valley Wildlife Area

Gallia-Lawrence
Symmes Creek

Hocking-Ross-Vinton
Tar Hollow State Forest

Hocking-Ross
Tar Hollow State Park

Fulton-Henry-Lucas
Wabash Cannonball Trail

Portage-Stark
Walborn Reservoir

Ashtabula-Trumbull
Western Reserve Greenway Trail

Focus on Magee Marsh

Photo by Ken Ostermiller
Magee Marsh Wildlife Area attracts birders from all over the world. There are a number of hotspots set up in eBird to receive your bird checklists when you visit, including the world famous Magee Marsh Boardwalk.

In addition to links for each of the hotspots at Magee, you will find links to websites, maps, tips for birding, eBird data, and much more.

Magee Marsh is one of those locations in Ohio where a county line runs right through the middle of the area! Thus, there is no “general” hotspot for all of Magee Marsh. There are eBird Hotspots for each county. The south portion of Magee Marsh Wildlife Area (near OH-2) is in Ottawa County. The north portion of the wildlife area (near Lake Erie) is in Lucas County. (See map below for the location of the Lucas/Ottawa county line.)

11 eBird Hotspots — 298 species reported

Magee Marsh Wildlife Area

See you on the boardwalk!