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.

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

eBirding along County, State, and Country borders

In eBird, every complete checklist should be thought of as an attempt to record everything that you can detect from where you are standing or walking. If you are standing along the banks of a river you should certainly scan the river and both of its banks. If you are along a ridgetop, you should be counting birds that you can see in all directions. However, at times there may be a geopolitical border that bisects your walking path or your field of view. Birds never have cared much about geopolitics, and in many cases they freely cross borders. What is the best way to do your eBirding in cases like this?

Within eBird, a bird “counts” if if can be seen from where you are standing. This applies to yard lists and locality lists (which have almost always used these rules). It also should apply to your eBird checklists whenever possible. This means that if you are standing at Salineño, Texas, and you see a Lineated Woodpecker flying over the trees on the opposite side (thus in Mexico), this “counts” in eBird for your U.S. and Texas list. Our reviewers should also validate the record. However, in cases like this where you are seeing a very rare bird in another country, state, or county, please do make it clear in your checklist comments where you saw the bird. Lineated Woodpecker still does not have a confirmed record for the United States, so having these notes would be important for those using the data.

Duplicate entry as Incidental is OK. In eBird it is also OK to report birds seen on the opposite side of a border. If you go back and check your woodpecker photos and realize it was in fact a Pileated Woodpecker, you’d want to get that in the official record as a first country record for Mexico. In this case, it is OK to use this hotpot for La Gloria, across from Salineño, to report your bird which will then show up on your Mexico and Tamaulipas list. However, these should always be reported as Incidental checklists (and thus, not reporting all species) since you were not on foot in the area and could not do a complete survey of the birds seen at the site.

The reason for this is because eBird works best when users designate their lists as complete checklists. We do not want birds being left off your lists simply because it was across an arbitrary (to the bird) boundary.

Note: Some birders care deeply about their state and local lists. If reporting a bird on the complete checklist from where you are standing is not something you wish to do, then we recommend considering your checklist “incomplete” (not reporting all species) since you are intentionally excluding a bird that you saw on your survey. This is OK, and in this case you would report one checklist using a Traveling or Stationary protocol (with distance, duration, and start time) but indicating that not all species were reported; the bird of interest would be left off this list. For the second list, plotted on the other side of the border, you would report as Incidental.

Carroll-Tuscarawas
Atwood Lake
Atwood Lake Park

Franklin-Fairfield County
Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park
Blacklick Creek Greenway Trail
Blacklick Woods Metro Park

Mahoning-Portage-Stark
Berlin Lake

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
Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge

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

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