Allen County Birding Drive
Ohio Birding Drives are routes for birding trips which can be accomplished in one day, stopping to walk and bird at various eBird hotspots. For each birding drive, a Google map is provided with the route and suggested stops at eBird hotspots. You may save the link to the Google map on your smartphone or tablet, or print a copy on paper to take with you. Links are provided with information about each eBird hotspot. Follow those links for more information about birding each location.
Allen County Birding Drive
Click on the hotspot names below to view the page about that hotspot.
This Birding Drive explores eBird hotspots in Allen County. When you submit checklists here you help to add to the data about birds in this region of Ohio.
Bluffton University Nature Preserve
Bluffton, Ohio 45817
The nature preserve is located at the northwest edge of campus off of Augsburger Road.
A major attraction at the preserve is the swinging bridge, completed in 1969. The preserve is open during daylight hours only. People using the preserve must stay on mowed trails and no fishing is allowed at the preserve pond. Maps and guidelines for the preserve may be obtained at Marbeck Center desk.
Lost Creek Reservoir
2398 Reservoir Road
Lima, Ohio 45801
From Bluffton University, take I-75 south for 13 miles. Take exit 127 to OH-81 east. Turn left onto OH-81 east and go .6 miles. Turn right on Roush Road and drive .8 miles. Turn right on Reservoir Road. Parking for the Lost Creek Reservoir is on the left.
Lost Creek Reservoir is owned by the City of Lima.
Ferguson and Metzger Reservoirs
3212 Reservoir Road
Lima, Ohio 45801
From Lost Creek Reservoir, go east on Reservoir Road for 1.1 miles to the parking area for the Ferguson and Metzger Reservoirs.
Metzger Reservoir (167 acres) and the adjoining Ferguson Reservoir (305 acres) are fast becoming the prime location for easily viewable waterfowl and other semi-aquatic specialties in Allen County. Both reservoirs are walkable around their lengthy perimeters, but it is the causeway between the two that affords optimal viewing of all surface waters with the use of a spotting scope. Metzger Reservoir, the smaller northwestern reservoir, for unknown reasons attracts far more waterfowl than the larger Ferguson Reservoir. Metzger Reservoir has become the Ruddy Duck capital in this region of the state and is among the top sites in all of interior Ohio. During October and November, flocks of 400 to 600 birds are typical, and up to 1,000 birds have been counted in some years. Spring and fall also bring the occasional scoter (all three species have been sighted, though Surf Scoter is the most frequent) or Long-tailed Duck, and Snow Buntings seem to have site fidelity for the causeway in November. Other rarities have included Purple Sandpiper (twice), Willet, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Merlin, Short-eared Owl, and Bald Eagle. The remains of a Saw-whet Owl were once found on the causeway.
Lippincott Bird Sanctuary
3093 Bellefontaine Road
Lima, Ohio 45804
From the Ferguson and Metzger Reservoirs, go east on Reservoir Road for .6 miles. Turn right onto North Mumaugh Road and drive 1 mile. Turn right on OH-309 west and drive 1 miles. Turn left onto Bowman Road and go .6 miles. Turn left onto Bellefontaine Road (OH-117 east). The Lippincott Bird Sanctuary is .3 miles ahead on Bellefontaine Road.
Lippincott Bird Sanctuary was donated by Bill Lippincott in 1998. Mr. Lippincott, a former City of Lima forester shared his love of trees and nature with all who listened. You will enjoy the diverse array of habitats (prairie, meadow, woodland, and wetland areas) which are home to many different species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians as you walk the trail.
From the Lippincott Bird Sanctuary, take OH-117 west for 9.3 miles. Turn right onto South Wapakoneta Road and go .7 miles. Turn left onto Agerter Road and drive 2 miles. Turn right onto Grubb Road South.
The Bresler and Williams Reservoirs are adjacent to one another. Grubb Road South runs between them.
From the Bresler and Williams Reservoirs, take Agerter Road west for 3.4 miles. Turn right onto South Defiance Trail. The Kiracofe Prairie is located ahead 1.2 miles on the left.
Kiracofe Prairie is located in the southeast section of Kendrick Woods State Nature Preserve.
The main entrance to Kendrick Woods is on the life .25 ahead on North Defiance Trail.
Kendrick Woods State Nature Preserve is an extensive woodland with spring wildflowers and an important stopover for migratory birds. Among the abundant spring wildflowers found in this mixed swamp woods are several species uncommon to Allen County including swamp saxifrage, Virginia bluebells, green dragon, fire pink and blue cohosh.
Near the southern end of Kendrick Woods, a flowing artesian sulfur spring is located along the south tail, adjacent to Six Mile Creek.