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Prothonotary Warbler

The Best Birding Locations in Ohio

Get a bird's eye view of Ohio this Spring!

Prothonotary Warbler

The Best Birding Locations in Ohio

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.  

people walking and looking for birds at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area in Oak Harbor Ohio
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.

red headed wood pecker on tree at oak openings nature preserve in toledo ohio
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.

yellow warbler bird on a tree branch in ohio
Warbler. Photo credit: ODNR

Some additional best spots for bird watching:

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. 

For more outdoor adventures and birding this #SpringInOhio season, check out #OhioFindItHere at Ohio.org.  


*Hero photo: The Prothonotary Warbler is a species that abound in any Ohio woodland or brushy area during the Spring and Fall migration seasons. 

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