What’s New–Current

New home page for Birding in Ohio

Thanks to a lot of help from Chris Collins, Birding in Ohio is getting a new look. The new “home” page is now live. Over the next several months, we will be adding similar changes to the style of pages throughout the website. There is a new, colorful Ohio map showing the six regions of the state. We will be using the colors on this map to match pages about counties and hotspots.

There are 3720 eBird hotspots in Ohio.

New eBird Hotspots

Adams County
Edge of Appalachia Preserve–Cedar Falls Preserve
Thanks to Michael Crouse for suggesting this additional hotspot in the Edge of Appalachia Preserve.

Updates

What’s New–August 1, 2020

I have some good news to share with you about the Birding in Ohio website.

The Ohio Ornithological Society has agreed to partner with me by hosting Birding in Ohio, making possible a secure future for this site. While I am not yet ready to “retire” from working on this project, I have wondered for some time what might happen when I am no longer able to contribute.

So, Birding in Ohio has a new home and we have added the Ohio Ornithological Society logo to the masthead. The content and web address for the website have not changed. In addition to hosting the site, OOS will work with me to recruit volunteers who are interested in data entry and eBird hotspot management.

Tim Colborn, President of OOS, has said, “This new partnership will result in a long-lasting new home for this terrific website with both content and technology support. In addition, it will help increase awareness of the OOS, including the conservation efforts we make to protect birds and bird habitat.”

The website has recently seen a fourfold growth in visits by birders. Nearly 20,000 unique visitors are using the site each month. I have received so many positive comments from birders in Ohio about the information they find on the site. It is very gratifying to be able to volunteer to do a project that is appreciated by so many.
Ken Ostermiller
Birding in Ohio

There are 3720 eBird hotspots in Ohio.

New eBird Hotspots

Butler County
Miami University Main Campus
Thanks to Michael Schramm for suggesting that we add this overall hotspot for the Miami University Main Campus. This hotspot may be used for checklists of birds seen anywhere on campus.

Franklin County
Rose Run Park
Thanks to Zebedee Muller for suggesting this hotspot in New Albany.

Lake County
Gilson Park
Todd Field
Willoughby Village Cemetery
Thanks to Cory Chiappone for suggesting these hotspots in Willoughby and for providing photos and tips for birding.

Lorain County
Oberlin Prairie
Thanks to Paul Sherwood for suggesting this restored prairie on the Oberlin College campus as a hotspot.

Medina County
Hinkley Reservation–Top O’ Ledges Picnic Area
Thanks to Ami Horozitz for suggesting this additional hotspot in the Hinckley Reservation and for providing tips for birding.

Updates

Ashtabula County
Ashcroft Woods Conservation Area
Thanks to Thomas Reiter for providing photos and tips for birding.

Ashtabula Towne Square Pond
We have changed the name of this hotspot from “Fields Brook” to help birders better identify how to access this pond and wetland along Fields Brook. The pond may be viewed from the Ashtabula Towne Square road. Please view birds from the roadside only. Thanks to Kim Nordquest for suggesting this change and for providing a photo of the habitat.

Hancock County
Johnson Nature Preserve
Thanks to Katie McGee for providing photos and tips for birding.

Ohio Ornithological Society Birding Site Descriptions

All of the excellent descriptions and tips for birding from the Ohio Ornithological Society website have been transferred to the appropriate locations in Birding in Ohio.

New Birding Community Opportunity

How to Help
Think about the birds you often see at your favorite birding location. Do you visit because you can often see Bobolinks there? Or maybe it is a spot that is good for certain shorebirds in the spring or fall. Help us add a heading of “Birds of Interest” where it is missing in a description of the location. Even better, make it “Birds of Interest by Season,” making a list for each seasons of the year. For example, the page about Metzger Marsh Wildlife Area has a list of “Birds of Interest by Season.”

With the transition to partnership with the Ohio Ornithological Society there is now an email address for submitting birds of interest, tips for birding, photos, updates, or corrections: hotspots@ohiobirds.org

How Birding In Ohio Website is Organized


This website provides information about over 3000 eBird “hotspots” in Ohio. These hotspots are locations to which birders may submit checklists of birds seen.

The hotspots are organized by county.
When you know the county in which a hotspot is located, you can click on a county name, either in the list of counties or on the clickable map, to see all the hotspots in that county.

On each county page, there is a list of all the hotspots in the county, the “top” (up to 10) hotspots which have over 100 bird species reported, and links to birding drives and the Audubon Important Bird Areas in the county.

Finding a hotspot when you do not know the county.
When you don’t know the county where a hotspot is located, you have three ways to find it.

+ Look on the home page for the list of the 35 hotspots in Ohio with the most birds reported. Scroll down on the page to that list to see if the hotspot you want is on the list.

+ Search for a hotspot by using the search icon in the upper right corner of the home page. The icon opens a search box where you can type all or part of a hotspot name and touch enter. You will see a list of all the pages on the website that have information about the hotspot in which you are interested.

+ Click on “Alphabetical List of Hotspots” in the main menu to go to the list of all the hotspot pages in alphabetical order. Use the A-Z index links or your web browser search function to search through the alphabetical list.

Getting information from eBird.
On the home page, use the links that take you to the eBird website.

The links in the Bar Chart table open lists of all the birds reported in Ohio for the whole year or season of your interest.

The link to recent sightings takes you down on the home page to the BirdFinder gadget that shows bird sightings reported in Ohio in the last week.

The links exploring Ohio in eBird opens an overview of birds recently reported in the state, a list of all the counties, the top hotspots, and a summary of recent checklists submitted.

Top 100 birders
If you are interested in the top 100 birders in Ohio, select the link for all time or the current year to see the top birders in the state.

Your Ohio life, year, and month lists
There are links from which you can retrieve your Ohio life list, current year list, and current month list. You must be logged in to your eBird account for this to work.

What’s New–July 25, 2020

There are 3713 eBird hotspots in Ohio.

New eBird Hotspots

Franklin County

Mudsock Trail
Thanks to Donald Borbridge for suggesting this hotspot. Mudsock Trail runs from Franks Park to Spindler Dog park in Hilliard. It is gravel and about 1.5 miles in length.

Fulton County

Sauder Village Oak Savannah and Wetlands
Thanks to Jacob Myers for suggesting this hotspot adjacent to the Sauder Village Campground and for providing tips for birding and photos of the habitat.

Geauga County

Lucia S. Nash Preserve
Thanks to Ethan Maynard for suggesting this newly opened Nature Conservancy preserve in the Cuyahoga River-Upper Important Bird Area as a hotspot. Ethan has also provided photos and tips for birding at the Nash Preserve.

Hamilton County

Gravel Pits West of Kilby Road
Thanks to Brian Wulker for suggesting this new hotspot for the gravel pits on the west side of Kilby Road.

Please note that we have adjusted the name of the hotspot for the gravel pits on the east side of Kilby Road to:
Kilby Road Gravel Pits, Smith Tract
The Hamilton County Park District now manages this area as the Smith Tract.

Pickaway County

Pickaway County Airport
No birder has suggested this location as an eBird hotspot even though it has been listed for some time as a good birding site by the Ohio Ornithological Society. I created a page describing it so that we can evaluate whether or not this can be an eBird hotspot. If you have birded this location, please use the contact form to let me know of recent experience with bird watching at this rural airport.

What’s New–July 18, 2020

There are 3709 eBird hotspots in Ohio.

Tip for using this website

Looking for places where you can observe birds from your vehicle? Check the
Roadside Birding Index
This index is a list, organized by county, of hotspots with roadside access.

New eBird Hotspots

Clark County

Upper Valley Mall
The Upper Valley Mall is located on Upper Valley Pike in Springfield. Check the wooded edges of the parking lots of this mall. See page for photos and tips for birding.

Cuayhoga County

North Chagrin Reservation–Cleveland Metropark Drive
Thanks to Ami Horowitz for suggesting this additional hotspot in the North Chagrin Reservation.

Muskingum County

Putnam Hill Park
Thanks to Michael Schramm for suggesting this hotspot.

Updates

Franklin County

The Ohio State University Main Campus
Added a link for Ohio State University Main Campus Parking website to each of the pages about hotspots on the campus.

Hamilton County

Armleder Park
Added tips for birding from the Ohio Ornithological Society Chip Notes newsletter.

Lucas County

Blue Creek Metropark
The name of this hotspot has been adjusted to reflect that Blue Creek is now a Metropark and is no longer a Conservation Area. Thanks to Sherry Plessner for noting the need for this update. The description of the park has been updated.

Stark County

Jackson Bog State Nature Preserve
Thanks to Tom Fishburn for photos added to this page.

Stark Parks Locations
Thanks to Chris Lamb for noting the Stark Parks has a new page of information about birding in the Stark County park district. This page includes links to list of common birds reported at many of the parks in the district drawn from eBird checklists. There are also some helpful tips for birding specific locations. These tips have been added to several pages:
Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail–John Glenn Grove
Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail–Lock 4 Park
Walborn Reservoir (Stark County)
Walborn Reservoir–Eagle Nest Observation Deck

Fixed broken links

This website has over 4,000 pages and more than 150,000 links to other websites. Keeping those links up to date can be quite a challenge. Every time a webpage name changes, the link is broken and you will see a “404 page not found” message. That can be frustrating when you want the information from that page. Lucky for me, WordPress has a “Broken Link Checker” to address this problem. Almost daily, I get a message when a link in the website is broken. One day this week, I fixed broken links on 8 pages.

The state of Ohio is in the process of updating all of the websites about state parks, wildlife areas, and nature preserves. The links in our website go to temporary websites about these state locations. Once the new state of Ohio websites are installed it will take me quite a bit of time to adjust the links to these state sites. Thank you for your patience when a link you follow does not work as you expect.

What’s New–July 11, 2020

There are 3706 eBird hotspots in Ohio.

New eBird Hotspots

Ashtabula County

Ashcroft Woods Conservation Area
Thanks to Thomas Reiter for suggesting this hotspot in the Grand River-Upper Important Bird Area.

Franklin County

Hickory Chase Ponds
There are several ponds along Hickory Chase Way on the grounds of the Hillard Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library. Thanks to Chad Pumpelly for suggesting this hotspot.

Logan County

US-33 Huntsville Rest Area Eastbound
US-33 Huntsville Rest Area Westbound

Thanks to Chad Pumpelly for suggesting that there be hotspots at these rest areas.

Summit County

Summit Bike and Hike Trail–Barlow Road
Thanks to Patrick Coy for suggesting this additional hotspot on the Summit Bike and Hike Trail.

Updates

Ashtabula County

Removed the Crooked Creek Conservation Club as a hotspot at the request of the managers of this private shooting range.

Clermont County

Grailville Nature Trails
Updated the information about the trails at Grailville provided by Terrie Puckett the executive director of Grailville.

Franklin County

Ohio State University–Livestock Facilities (restricted access)
We wanted to provide a quick update on one of the more popular birding locations in Central Ohio; the Ohio State University Livestock Facility located off of Sawmill Road. This is a popular location for many vagrants as well as one of the most reliable locations to observe Upland Sandpipers as they nest at the airport next door. For years, the workers have been very accommodating for birders but it appears that, at least for now, that welcome has been worn thin.
Without mentioning specifics, there have been several incidents over the last couple of months that have resulted in gates being locked. Now, more recently, people have actually been purposely locked in and confronted by someone and told to leave and never return. While we hope we can work to restore the positive relationship with this fantastic birding locale, we ask people to respect their wishes and not visit the farm to bird especially during this ongoing pandemic. Just because the gates are open, does not mean it is acceptable for birders to enter. This means workers are present and going about their business.
The American Birding Association makes specific mention of this in their Code of Ethics, part 3a: “Never enter private property without the landowner’s permission. Respect the interests of and interact positively with people living in the area where you are birding.” If we all respect their wishes, hopefully we can regain this important birding area for next year. Thanks to everyone for respecting their wishes, and happy birding!

What’s New–July 4, 2020

There are 3702 eBird hotspots in Ohio.

New eBird Hotspots

Allen County

McLean Teddy Bear Park
Thanks to Linda Houshower for suggesting this park where she observed Henslow’s Sparrows as a hotspot.

Franklin County

Rush Run Ravines
Thanks to Rob Thorn for suggesting this hotspot and providing a photo and description of the pocket parks and conservation easements in the Rush Run neighborhood Worthington.

Greene County

Stewart Cemetery
Thanks to Gabby Loomis-Amrhein for suggesting this cemetery at the intersection of Hanley and Orchard Grove Roads in Bowersville as a hotspot.

Knox County

Kokosing Gap Trail–Stull Road
Thanks to Benjamin Miller for suggesting this additional hotspot on the Kokosing Gap Trail.

Sandusky County

River Cliff Park
Thanks to Paul Sherwood for suggesting this park in Fremont as a hotspot.

What’s New–June 27, 2020

There are 3697 eBird hotspots in Ohio.

New eBird Hotspots

Cuyahoga County

Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail–Clark Avenue
Thanks to Ryan Smylie for suggesting this hotspot on the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail.

Washington Reservation
Located in Newburgh Heights the 59-acre Washington Reservation is Cleveland Metroparks 15th reservation. The picnic shelter, recreational field, wetlands or the all purpose trail with its neighborhood links will make the venture to Washington Reservation both easy and well worth the trip for any park visitor. 1.1-mile of all purpose trail along East 49th Street and Washington Park Boulevard connects to Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation at East 49th Street and Grant Avenue.

Lake County

Girdled Road Reservation–North Entrance
Thanks to Josh Hargrave for suggesting this additional hotspot in the Girdled Road Reservation.

Morrow County

Shauck Cemetery
Thanks to Gary Cowell for suggesting this hotspot located in Morrow County outside of Mansfield.

Ottawa County

Portage River Fishing Access
Thanks to Paul Sherwood for suggesting this hotspot located in Port Clinton.

Richland County

Oak Grove Memorial Park
Thanks to Gary Cowell for suggesting this cemetery near Lexington as a hotspot.

Summit County

Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail–Bolanz Road to Deep Lock Quarry
Thanks to Ned DeLamatre for suggesting this additional hotspot on the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail.

Updates

Summit County

Sand Run Metro Park–Big Bend Trailhead
Thanks to Carole Sheridan for providing photos.

What’s New–June 20, 2020

There are 3690 eBird hotspots in Ohio.

New eBird Hotspots

Ashland County

Tom Kruse Wildlife Conservation Park
The Tom Kruse Wildlife Conservation Park consists of approximately 80 acres with significant wildlife habitat, gently rolling meadows, a wooded ravine, and a pond. There is public access for fishing, hiking, bird watching, nature study and more. This park is situated in Montgomery Township at the intersection of OH-60 and County Road 1754, not far from Byers Woods.

Delaware County

Resurrection Cemetery, Lewis Center
Resurrection Cemetery is located just north of Columbus and Worthington on US-23. Thanks to Kevin Coffman for suggesting this hotspot.

Greene County

Creekside Trail–Xenia
The Creekside Trail along Shawnee Creek in Xenia goes north from the center of Xenia and passes several parks. Thanks to Lee Funderburg for suggesting this additional hotspot along the Creekside Trail.

James Ranch Park
The gardens at James Ranch, cared for by the OSU Extension Greene County Master Gardeners, feature perennial, enabling, and vegetable gardens. The four-acre park features the James family home, a nineteenth century Italianate farmhouse with a springhouse and pond. The park is an access to the Creekside Trail. Thanks to Lee Funderburg for suggesting this hotspot.

Huron County

Exchange Road–US-250 to OH-162
Exchange Road traverses privately owned properties. Please view birds from the roadside only. The grasslands adjacent to Exchange Road are designated as an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society. Aside from the interesting woodlot in the middle of the stretch of road and a swale that crosses the road, the entire block contains planted farm fields. It appears that the owners have abandoned any attempts to turn this into grassland.

Fairlawn Park
Photo by Kathy Mock

Lucas County

Anchor Point Road
Anchor Point Road parallels Williams Ditch and ends at Anchor Point Marina. This road traverses privately owned properties. Please view birds from the roadside only.

Summit County

Fairlawn Park
Fairlawn Park is located on Ridgewood Road and houses a Community Garden and Soccer Fields. Smith Ditch flows through Fairlawn Park. Part of a wetland restoration project, there is a wildlife viewing deck overlooking the wetland. The deck is accessed from a trail at the end of the parking lot adjacent to the soccer fields. Thanks to Kathy Mock for suggesting this as a hotspot and for providing photos.

Summit Bike and Hike Trail–West Highland Road
Thanks to Nancy O’Bryan for suggesting this additional hotspot on the Summit Bike and Hike Trail.

Infirmary Road
Photo by Alex Eberts

Vinton County

Infirmary Road
Infirmary Road traverses privately owned lands. Please view birds from the roadside only. Thanks to Alex Eberts for suggesting this hotspot and for providing photos and tips for birding.

Updates

Ohio Important Bird Areas

Most of the Important Bird Areas in Ohio are defined as a polygon in eBird. Just a few are not. Added links to First sightings, Last sightings, and High counts for all the IBAs where this information is available. This allowed updating the list of eBird hotspots which are within each IBA area.

Columbiana County

Hellbender Bluff County Park
Changed the name of this hotspot, replacing “Public Hunting Area” with “County Park.” When added to eBird, this park was managed as a state public hunting area. It is now managed by the Columbiana County Park District. Hellbender Bluff is within the Little Beaver Creek Important Bird Area.

Lorain County

French Creek Reservation–Burrell Homestead (restricted access)
Access to Burrell Homestead is limited to guided educational activities. Added (restricted access) to the name of this hotspot.

Franklin County

Glen Echo Park
Added an annotated map and photo from the Ohio Ornithological Society newsletter. Thanks to Kandace Glanville for these additions.

County Pages

On each county page, there is a list of up to 10 of the Top Hotspots in the county with over 100 bird species reported. I update this twice a year, usually in January and June. I am in the process of making this update now. It is interesting to see how the list changes over time. For example compare the list in Columbiana County.


What’s New–June 13, 2020

About state of Ohio website links

You may have noticed than the state of Ohio is in the process of updating websites. All of the links to information about state parks, wildlife areas, state nature preserves, boat ramps, and more currently go to a temporary website. The new websites are in development but will not be ready until summer. Once the new websites are ready, it will take some time to update the links. In the meantime, I ask for your patience.
Ken Ostermiller

There are 3681 eBird hotspots in Ohio.

New eBird Hotspots

Belmont County

Saint Clairsville Memorial Park
Saint Clairsville Memorial Park–Newlin Falls Nature Trail

Thanks to Seth Ausubel for suggesting the Newlin Falls Nature Trail in Saint Clairsville Memorial Park as a hotspot. Also added a hotspot for the whole park.

Columbiana County

Bolivar Road
Bolivar Road (Washington Township Road 791) traverses privately owned properties. Please view birds from the roadside only. Thanks to Diane Baughman for suggesting this hotspot.

Cuyahoga County

South Chagrin Reservation–Sulphur Springs Trails
Thanks to Alex Burke for suggesting this additional hotspot in the South Chagrin Reservation.

Fairfield County

Smeck Park
Smeck Park is 48+ acres in Liberty Township in the northern part of the county. There are deep ravines and meadows, mature mixed hardwood trees, a Civilian Conservation Corps pine plantation, and fields that are partially divided by Little Walnut Creek and the Ohio & Erie Canal. Thanks to Jeffrey Roth for suggesting this hotspot.

Miami County

Lost Creek Prairie Preserve
Tipp City is located in Miami county in west-central Ohio and best known for being a stop along the long-extinct Miami and Erie canal, Spring Hill nursery, and the annual Mum Festival in the fall. For a little over a decade Tipp City has been purchasing farm land outside of town along the Great Miami River with Clean Ohio Conservation Grant funds to convert the agriculture into prairie. The major reason for this has been an effort to protect and safe guard the well fields and underground aquifer from which the city and surrounding area gets its potable water supply.

Portage County

Edinburg Park
Edinburg Park is located on Rock Spring Road just north of I-76 and is managed by the Edinburg Township Parks Department. Thanks to Ami Horowitz for suggesting this hotspot.

Tuscarawas County

Camp Tuscazoar Trails
The camp is a privately owned Boy Scout camp, but the trails are open to the public. They just require you to sign in. No fees or permits are required. Thanks to Nancy O’Bryan for suggesting this hotspot and providing tips for birding.

Updates

Updated the Top Ohio Birding Locations

Updated hotspots on County and Township Roads to include the name of the county or township.
Clay Pits–West of Marion Township Road 227
Holmes County Trail–Prairie Township Road 346 Marsh
Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area–Wyandot County Road 71 East
Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area–Wyandot County Road 71 West
Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area–Wyandot County Road 75 (no vehicles)
Kokosing River–Newcastle Township Road 423 Access
Linton Township Road 145 Pond
Lake La Su An Wildlife Area–Bridgewater Township Road 8
Lake La Su An Wildlife Area–Williams County Road R Grasslands
Lake La Su An Wildlife Area–Williams County Road S Bridge
Lake La Su An Wildlife Area–Williams County Road S Grasslands
Lake La Su An Wildlife Area–Williams County Road S Marsh
Little Sandusky River @ Pitt Township Road 113
Little Sandusky River @ Pitt Township Road 125
Mosquito Creek Wildlife Area–Trumbull County Road 195 Wetlands
Mosquito Creek Wildlife Area–Trumbull County Road 284 Wetlands
Seneca Township Road 26 Wildlife Production Area
Wyandot County Road 29

Stark County

Bolivar Dam (Stark County)
Corrected the spelling of Bolivar.

Summit County

Fort Island and Griffiths Park
Adjusted the name to match the official name of this park complex.