Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area–Pond 27

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Wyandot County

Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area–Pond 27
Coordinates: 40.7050123, -83.2817993
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Ohio Birding Day Hike
Killdeer Plains Trails

Tips for birding Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area Pond 27
View Pond 27 from the dike, which is accessed from the parking areas along County Highway 68. The area beyond the dike is a refuge area. Please do not enter the refuge area. Stay on the dike.Pond 27 is a large complex composed of three ponds. (Note that Google maps numbers the ponds separately, but the birds move freely among the ponds and the eBird hotspot uses the designation from the official wildlife area map.) Often the birds are concentrated at the east end of the complex (parking area J). A scope is very helpful. This is a good location for waterfowl, eagles, and hawks, and sometimes owls are seen. There is often open water here in the winter.
From Ken Ostermiller

Certain parts of Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area in Wyandot County are off limits to the public. While much of this heavily birded 9,000+ acre wildlife area has no restrictions on access, the area bounded by County Highway 68 and 75 on the south, County Highway 71 on the north, Township Highway 108 on the west, and County Highway 119 on the east is off limits. There are signs that clearly mark these boundaries. Please, see Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area map.

For the most part, the refuge area of Killdeer Plains encompasses the vicinity of Pond 27 and the other large ponds at the east end of the wildlife area. Very good viewing opportunities can be had from along County Highway 68 on the south side of the large ponds.
From Ohio Division of Wildlife

About Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area
The 9,230-acre Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area lies in the grain farming country of north-central Ohio, eight miles south of Upper Sandusky. Wyandot County Road 115 provides access from OH-294, two miles west of Harpster, and from OH-309, eight miles west of Marion. OH-67 and OH-294 border the area on the west and north. Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area is quite flat, with little natural drainage; however, land adjacent to the Little Sandusky River on the east edge of the area is quite rolling.Approximately two-thirds of the area is in cropland and grassland. The other one-third is divided almost equally between woods and shrubby coverts and water. The water areas include more than 1,000 acres of marsh, a 360-acre green tree reservoir, the upground reservoir, and 125 ponds ranging from less than an acre to 50 acres in size. Most small ponds are not shown on the map.

Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area is situated in a natural basin of flat, poorly drained soils formerly covered by prairie sloughs. The original prairie spanned about 30,000 acres. Early records report an abundance of deer, waterfowl, and furbearers. The “Plains” eventually were drained, with varying degrees of success, by ditching and tiling. Today, the agricultural land around the area is intensively farmed for corn and soybeans. Purchase of land for this area began in 1952.

Wildlife management activities included development and management of several thousand acres of grain crops and grassland, primarily for nesting and migrating grassland wildlife. Trees and shrubs have been planted along field borders and in odd areas to provide permanent cover for upland wildlife. Woods have been protected and improved. Several of the ponds provide fishing opportunities. An 800-acre marsh was constructed in 1966, and the upground reservoir was completed in 1971. All suitable fishing waters were stocked with fish. Waterfowl production was enhanced through the provision of several hundred wood duck nest boxes and Canada goose nesting structures. The green tree reservoir was completed in 1994 with assistance from Ducks Unlimited. Pond 3 has been converted to a moist soil unit for the benefit of waterfowl.

The primary purpose of the wildlife area is for grassland wildlife management and associated recreational use. Uses which have become increasingly popular because of the area’s natural features and open character are nature lore, wildlife photography, and bird watching.
From Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area webpage

Restroom, portable toilet, at Wildlife Area Headquarters.