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.
Hancock County Birding Drive
Click on the hotspot names below to view the page about that hotspot.
This Birding Drive explores eBird hotspots in Hancock County. When you submit checklists here you help to add to the data about birds in this region of Ohio.
Litzenberg Memorial Woods
Findlay, Ohio 45840
From Findlay, follow US-224 west for 4.6 miles. Turn right into Litzenberg Memorial Woods.
Litzenberg Memorial Woods, a renewable forest, 227 acres located fives miles downstream west from Findlay along the Blanchard River. many scenic surprises await visitors to this natural, historic park. Rolling countryside in the Blanchard River Valley, wooded ravines, and vistas that haven’t changed from over a century make this park area one of the most beautiful places within the Hancock Parks system.
From Litzenberg Memorial Woods webpage
Hancock County Sanitary Landfill Wetland
Township Road 109
Van Buren, Ohio 45889
From Litzenberg Memorial Woods, drive east on US-224 for 4 miles. Turn left onto County Road 140 and drive 4.5 miles. Turn right onto Township Road 109.
There are two gravel parking spots along Township Road 109 on the north edge: one east and one west of a small woodlot that is .25 miles west of County Road 142. From these lots, a birder has quick access to the grasslands that take up the northeast corner of the landfill property. A quick walk north from either lot will take a birder to wetland ponds. Notable numbers of Grasshopper Sparrows breed in the grasslands, and one of only three spots in Hancock County where Marsh Wrens breed. Henslow’s Sparrows are also possible breeders in the area. In the fall, look for Ammodramus sparrows in the grasslands near the wetland ponds on the east side of the woodlot. Walking is tricky; the only trails in the woods are a couple of all-terrain vehicle paths. Hunting is permitted on the property, so use discretion during hunting seasons.
From Bob Sams
Van Buren State Park
12259 Township Road 218
Van Buren, Ohio 45889
From Hancock County Sanitary Landfill Wetland, drive east on Township Road 109 for 1.4 miles. Make a jog right onto County Road 220 and left onto Township Road 109 and go 1 mile. Turn left onto Township Road 229 and go .8 mile. Turn left into Van Buren State Park.
Van Buren State Park lies in the rich agricultural plains of northwest Ohio. The plains, referred to as till plains, receive their name from the glacial debris, or till, which covers preglacial hills and valleys. The till plains are the result of the deposition and smoothing action of the glaciers. Most hills in these areas are mounds of boulders and soil left by the retreating Wisconsinan glacier.
Beneath the almost continuous cover of glacial deposits lies sedimentary bedrock which, in this region, is mostly limestone with a little shale. Much of this limestone is the magnesium-bearing form called dolomite.
The original vegetation of the area, before settlement, was mostly woodland. Today, much of the vegetation consists of farm crops such as corn, soybeans, and wheat. Locally, a small but valuable remnant of the original woodland remains. Beech and sugar maple occupy a large portion of the wooded area in Van Buren State Park. Mammals found in the area include red fox, red squirrel, white-tailed deer, raccoon, skunk, and opossum. Other animals found are the eastern garter snake, spring peeper, eastern bluebird, eastern meadowlark, cowbird, woodcock and short-eared owl. Wildflowers abound in the fields and woodlands of the area. Dutchman’s breeches, spring beauty, thimbleweed, daisy fleabane, and chicory are commonly found around the park.
From Van Buren State Park website
From Van Buren State Park, turn left onto Township Road 229. Turn left onto Township Road 109 and drive 7.6 miles. Turn left onto OH-12 east and drive 1.8 miles.
Visit as many of the Fostoria Reservoirs as your time permits. See pages for individual reservoirs for maps and additional tips.
The Fostoria reservoirs provide easy in and out birding for all six reservoirs including Mottram and Lamberjack next to it. Easy parking access for these tandem reservoirs. Recently all three scoters and Long-tailed Ducks have been reported on these waters during migration. Given the ease of access and quick check ability, they are worth checking when you are in the area. You can walk around them easily, and the woods offers some songbird birding.
From Vic Fazio