Each month, our OOS Regional Directors are sharing their favorite birding hotspots in their respective regions – and beyond. These include some well-know destinations, specialty spots for specific species, and their own secret, treasured local patches. Have a favorite birding location? Reach out to your OOS Regional Director and let them know!
Melissa Wales – Southeast Regional Director
Moonville Ridge Trail – Vinton County
The Moonville Rail Trail can be accessed from the Hope School House on Wheelabout Road in Zaleski State Forest near Lake Hope State Park. Walking south along the Raccoon Creek, you will pass a heronry off to the east as well as 42 Prothonotary Warbler nesting boxes all along this portion of the trail (16 monitored active nests confirmed as of this writing). This trail is excellent for many SE Ohio breeding warblers (Hooded, Cerulean, Ovenbird, Northern Parula, American Redstart), Red-headed Woodpecker, and Great Crested Flycatcher. There is also an active Bald Eagle nest with one eaglet currently that is easily observable from the trail.
Amy Downing – Northwest Regional Director
Maumee Bay State Park
Who in our Ohio Birding family hasn’t at least heard of Maumee Bay State Park and its very birdy beach and boardwalk? Not too many! Of course I had to go see our famous Nellie and Nish, the nesting Piping Plover pair this past week and will definitely return closer to hatch time end of June. But some other great sightings in June history have been Semi-palmated Plovers,Ruddy Turnstones, American Avocets, and my 2017 photo, the Red Knot. This is definitely a scenic beach visit with rocky stretches and room to search for brief sightings of rare birds. Take a cooler stroll through the marshy boardwalk and the visitors center. Much of the property has access by smooth blacktop and sidewalks for those with special mobility needs.
Jon Cefus – East Central Regional Director
Fry Family Park – Stark County
Tyler Ficker – Southwest Regional Director
Edge of Appalachia Preserve – Adams County
The early summers at Edge of Appalachia Preserve in Adams County are some of the most birdy and peaceful mornings I’ve experienced. The hike up the Buzzard’s Roost Rock trail allows for prairie and deep woods that provide homes for Blue Grosbeak, Prairie, Kentucky, Cerulean, Worm-eating, and Hooded Warblers! At night, you may even be fortunate enough to hear a Chuck-wills-widow singing with the chorus of Whip-poor-wills!
Kandace Glanville – Central Regional Director
Deer Creek Wildlife Area – Fayette County
Deer Creek Wildlife Area in Fayette county is an incredible grassland summer oasis where you can find some of the trickier Ohio breeding birds like Dickcissel, Blue Grosbeak, Bobolink, Grasshopper Sparrow, Yellow-breasted Chat and Bell’s Vireo. Deer Creek WA is a huge place with plenty of opportunities for exploring and birding!