By Ohio.org Staff
Posted On: Mar 1, 2022
Ohio offers some of the best birding sites in the country, particularly along the Lake Erie shoreline. Ohio State Parks, nature preserves, forests and wildlife areas are spectacular locations to view many species of birds like warblers, song birds, waterfowl, shorebirds and so many more.
The best times of the year to see these migrating birds begin in April, but more specifically, you can see shorebirds from April-June, hawks from April-May and warblers from April-May.
Check out these unique locations around Ohio to see these magnificent birds.
Magee Marsh Boardwalk. Photo credit: Dominque King
Magee Marsh Wildlife Area in Oak Harbor
Magee Marsh Wildlife Area in Lucas and Ottawa counties is recognized as one of the nation's premier birding destinations. It offers thousands of acres along the western Lake Erie shoreline ideal for viewing the Spring migration activities of warblers, songbirds and mentor headlands.
A handicap-accessible boardwalk, known as the bird trail, is next to the Sportsmen's Migratory Bird Center at Magee Marsh and provides access to one of the best birding areas in the marsh.
Fun Fact: Magee Marsh Wildlife Area is known as the "The Warbler Capital of the World."
Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Summit County
Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Summit County located in the northeastern region of Ohio has many bird watching areas. Some of the popular birds you can see are blue heron, song birds and raptors - which stay in this area to nest.
Pileated woodpecker. Photo credit: ODNR
Oak Openings Preserve in Toledo
Oak Openings Preserve in Toledo, the northwest region of Ohio, is where you'll see some rare birds as they migrate North. This is one of the best places to see raptors because they don't like going over water. Lark sparrow can also be seen in this region as this is the only place where they breed. Bird watchers will get a great view of red headed woodpeckers and summer tanagers too.
Shawnee State Park in West Portsmouth
Shawnee State Park located in Scioto County near the edge of Appalachia is the best region to go to from late April through early May. At this location you can see song birds, blue grosbeaks, prairie warblers and chuck-will's-widows. These migrating birds are in this part of Ohio during early May for breeding.
Warbler. Photo credit: ODNR
Some additional best spots for bird watching:
- Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati
- Crown City Wildlife Area near Lawrence/Gallia County Line
- Grange Insurance Audubon Center in Columbus
- Kendrick Woods State Nature Preserve in Spencerville
- Johnny Appleseed Park District in Allen County
- Erie Sand Barrens Sate Nature Preserve in Sandusky
- Oak Point State Park on South Bass Island
- Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve in Marblehead
- Milan Wildlife Area
- Lake Erie Birding Trail
For those looking for more birding festivities, The Biggest Week in American Birding returns May 6-15. This 10-day festival in Northwest Ohio is organized by the Black Swamp Bird Observatory and attracts birders from all 50 states - and even around the world!
These locations around Ohio are some of the more unique locations to visit to see these one-of-a-kind birds.
*Hero photo: The Prothonotary Warbler is a species that abound in any Ohio woodland or brushy area during the Spring and Fall migration seasons.