Crawford 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.
Click on the hotspot names below to view the page about that hotspot.
This Birding Drive explores eBird hotspots in Crawford County. When you submit checklists here you help to add to the data about birds in this region of Ohio.
Bucyrus, Ohio 44820
Daughmer Bur Oak Prairie Savannah State Nature Preserve is located in southern Crawford County, eight miles southwest of Bucyrus, at the intersection of Scioto Chapel Road and Marion-Mercer Road.
This prairie remnant may be entered only by those with a permit. Please view birds from the roadside only. There is a parking area where you can safely stop and get out of your vehicle to observe birds on in the prairie habitat.
Daughmer Prairie is a small remnant of the once vast Sandusky Plains that was composed of over 200,000 acres of tall grass prairie and oak savannah, covering parts of three present-day Ohio counties. There are only 74 acres remaining of the Sandusky Plains, and Daughmer Savannah is one of the largest remaining tracts.
Sears Woods State Nature Preserve
Mount Zion Road
Bucyrus, Ohio 44820
From Daughmer Prairie, go north on Marion-Melmore Road for .7 miles. Turn right onto Little Sandusky Road and go 4.3 miles. Turn left onto Mount Zion Road and drive .6 miles. Turn right into Sears Wood.
Not just a gem for Crawford County, but for all of Ohio, Sears Woods is an awesome example of what a mature forest looks like. Situated 1.5 miles southwest of Bucyrus, Sears Woods encompasses 137 acres. Its 1-mile loop trail meanders through a mature upland forest, upon bluffs overlooking the Sandusky River, and winds its way through old field habitat. The trail is marked with orange flagging to keep hikers on the path during autumn leaf fall.
Sears Woods has an abundant display of wildflowers, especially in spring. They blanket the forest floor under a canopy of towering maples, oaks, cherries, and hickories. The trees themselves are giants, relics of days gone by when large trees would have been the norm. The forest provides many spectacular views during the fall season, as the colors mix and mingle, offering photographers excellent shots. Sounds of woodpeckers in the winter months can be heard as they battle squirrels for nuts; deer flee from view as their white tail disappears into the forest. Chorusing Wood Frogs call from the ephemeral pools in late winter. Flocks of migrating songsters – warblers, thrushes, vireos, tanagers – work their way through Sears Woods in the spring, looking for caterpillars to sustain their energy. Some bird species stay and can be heard through the spring and into the summer, just as the singing insects begin to fill the air with their songs.
Bucyrus Reservoirs are two miles northeast of Bucyrus. Robert Clark Neff Reservoir (#1) covers 40 acres, averaging 7 feet deep. Reservoir #2 covers 38 acres, averaging 7 feet deep. Riley Reservoir (#3) covers 30 acres, with an average depth of 22 feet. Outhwaite Reservoir (#4) covers 150 acres with an average depth of 27 feet. Division of Wildlife District 2.
Check each of these reservoirs if time permits on your drive.
Heckert Nature Preserve
Galion, Ohio 44833
From the Bucyrus Reservoirs head east to Stetzer Road for 1.4 miles. Turn right onto to Parcher Road. Parcher road jogs right and then left on Boyer Road. Drive a total of 4.3 miles and then turn left onto OH-19. Heckert Nature Preserve is 1.5 miles ahead on OH-19.
Heckert Nature Preserve is comprised of 43 acres of upland forest, riparian (river) bottom and old field habitats. Located midway between Bucyrus and Galion, it is situated in the Olentangy River drainage. The one-mile hiking trail meanders through the forest and along the rim of the riparian bottom. As leaves cover the trail in the fall, it will be marked with orange flagging to aid hikers in keeping to the path.
Crestline, Ohio 44827
From Heckert Nature Preserve drive southeast on Oh-19 for 1.2 miles. Turn left onto OH-602 and in .7 miles merge onto US-30 east. Drive 3.1 miles and take the OH-598 exit. Turn left on to OH-598 north. Lowe-Voke Park is 2.2 miles ahead on OH-598.
The 38 acres that comprise current day Lowe-Volk Park encompass a variety of ecosystems, including wooded riparian corridor, mixed deciduous/coniferous forest, wetland, and old field habitats. The park lies on the southern edge of Leesville, Ohio’s village limits and 2 miles west of Crestline, Ohio. Approximately 2 miles of trails meander through the park. The Park is also handicapped accessible with a floating fishing dock and a boardwalk trail. The Sandusky River starts its 130 mile journey to Sandusky Bay within the park. As the hub of Park District activities, many programs take place, including school field trips and various public programs.