Lake Erie Pelagic Trips

Reporting Pelagic Bird Checklists to eBird
If you wish to report your bird sightings to eBird, there are eight eBird “hotspots” to receive reports, two for each county. Erie and Ottawa counties have additional hotspots near islands in the lake.

Also, see Lake Lake Erie Central Basin Important Bird Area and Lake Erie Western Basin Important Bird Area

Bar Charts by Season by Month
All Months
Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb
Spring Summer Fall Winter

eBird Hotspots

Cuyahoga County
For trips in the Cleveland area:

Lake Erie Pelagic–Littoral (Cuyahoga Co.)
Coordinates: 41.5246928, -81.7120658
eBird links: Hotspot mapView detailsRecent visits
My eBird links: Location life listSubmit data

Lake Erie Pelagic–Open Water (Cuyahoga Co.)
Coordinates: 41.6415382, -81.7209922
eBird links: Hotspot mapView detailsRecent visits
My eBird links: Location life listSubmit data

Erie County
For trips in Vermilion, Huron, Sandusky, and Kelleys Island areas:

Lake Erie Pelagic–Littoral (Erie Co.)
Coordinates: 41.4149038, -82.4790488
eBird links: Hotspot mapView detailsRecent visits
My eBird links: Location life listSubmit data

Lake Erie Pelagic–Open Water (Erie Co.)
Coordinates: 41.4916041, -82.4838553
eBird links: Hotspot mapView detailsRecent visits
My eBird links: Location life listSubmit data

Lake Erie–Kelleys Island Offshore Waters
Coordinates: 41.644966, -82.7069664
eBird links: Hotspot mapView detailsRecent visits
My eBird links: Location life listSubmit data

Lorain County
For trips in the Lorain area:

Lake Erie Pelagic–Littoral (Lorain Co.)
Coordinates: 41.5259973, -82.1467124
eBird links: Hotspot mapView detailsRecent visits
My eBird links: Location life listSubmit data

Lake Erie Pelagic–Open Water (Lorain Co.)
Coordinates: 41.5892152, -82.1638785
eBird links: Hotspot mapView detailsRecent visits
My eBird links: Location life listSubmit data

Ottawa County
For trips in the westernmost area of Lake Erie:

Lake Erie Pelagic–Littoral (Ottawa Co.)
Coordinates: 41.5410515, -82.9345465
eBird links: Hotspot mapView detailsRecent visits
My eBird links: Location life listSubmit data

Lake Erie Pelagic–Open Water (Ottawa Co.)
Coordinates: 41.5949051, -82.9270363
eBird links: Hotspot mapView detailsRecent visits
My eBird links: Location life listSubmit data

Lake Erie–Ohio Islands Offshore East
Coordinates: 41.6792714, -82.7449894
eBird links: Hotspot mapView detailsRecent visits
My eBird links: Location life listSubmit data

Lake Erie–Ohio Islands Offshore West
Coordinates: 41.6898478, -82.8646374
eBird links: Hotspot mapView detailsRecent visits
My eBird links: Location life listSubmit data

Lake Erie–US-Canada Border Waters
Coordinates: 41.7578162, -82.8572559
eBird links: Hotspot mapView detailsRecent visits
My eBird links: Location life listSubmit data

Starve Island
Coordinates: 41.626496, -82.8225718
eBird links: Hotspot mapView detailsRecent visits
My eBird links: Location life listSubmit data

Tips for reporting pelagic sightings to eBird
Lake Erie Pelagic Season and eBird: A gentle reminder that eBird checklists generated on group outings in general, and Lake Erie boat trips specifically need to be coordinated. Reviewers cannot validate 10 separate sightings of the same bird all over a 50 square mile area as has been the case in some reports. There are existing hotspots for near shore and open water. Littoral or near shore checklists should be those where you can still readily ID a shoreline bird to species. open water checklists are ideally reserved for a distance whereby shoreline birds are nothing more than spuhs … my personal experience is somewhere between 3 and 4 miles out but I leave that to the trip coordinator to decide. Ideally, it is up to your trip coordinator to organize this synchronous effort in the form of shared checklists. Finally, birds seen on shore (whether or not from in the boat) should not be entered on either nearshore or open water checklists. Reviewers cannot validate Northern Cardinals 20 miles out into Lake Erie unless the bird was actually on the boat 20 miles outbound. Ultimately, the decision as to what to place on your personal checklists is yours and yours alone. These remarks are only intended as guidance toward creating a more streamline and meaningful data set within eBird.
From Vic Fazio

​On organized pelagic trips, the trip leader will submit bird checklists to eBird for the whole group. Give the trip leader your eBird email address and he or she will share the checklists with you, so they will also be in your personal records.

If you are leading a trip or boating on your own, please submit a separate checklist for each county and area. Please, count or estimate the number of birds of each species for each checklist.

“Littoral” refers to waters near to shore.