Birding at Tri-Valley Wildlife AreaZanesville, Ohio
Visiting this Site
Tri-Valley Wildlife Area
5960 Memory Road Zanesville, Ohio 43701
DeLorme Page Number and Coordinates
(7th Edition and earlier) Page 60, D-3
Nearest Town or City
Dresden, Adamsville, Ohio.
Directions from Nearest Town or City
From Columbus the quickest and easiest way to get into the grasslands is to take I-70 east to Rt.93 (the first exit past Zanesville). Take 93 north to Adamsville then take Mollie’s Rock Road west into the area. The best reclamation grasslands are along Black Snake Road and Madison Hall Road. A new southern extension of Black Snake Road (south of Mollie’s Rock) is NOT on the ODNR map, but it is excellent, going through some relatively new grasslands. Along Madison Hall Road the grasslands also extend north of Rt. 208 to Stone Church Road.
About Tri-Valley Wildlife Area
16,200 acres in Muskingum County. A variety of wooded and successional habitats can be found in the southern portion of the area, but it is the reclamation grasslands in the northern section that is of most interest to birders. This growing area makes it one of the best such places in Ohio.
Open all year during daylight hours.
Harmful Insects, Poisonous Plants, or Animals
Ticks about in the spring and early summer and precautions should be taken when exploring the area on foot. Most of the birds can be seen from a car along the little used and well-maintained gravel roads through the area.
Birds of Interest by Season
Raptors get the top billing in the winter with large numbers of Northern Harriers, Rough-legged Hawks, Red-tailed Hawks, American Kestrels, and Short-eared Owls. Less common raptors should be looked for too, since interesting reports in recent years have been turning up in similar habitat not far away at the Wilds. Wild Turkeys can be conspicuous in the winter, and TVWA hosts a large wintering blackbird roost.
Spring & Summer
Tri-Valley is one of the best spots in Ohio to observe nesting passerines of grasslands and successional habitats. Henslow’s and Grasshopper Sparrows nest in large numbers and are easily found. Savannah Sparrows can be found in the more recent reclaimed grasslands while Field and Song Sparrows favor the brushier areas. A short list of some of the other characteristic birds at Tri-Valley include Eastern Kingbird, Prairie Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-breasted Chat, Indigo Bunting, Dickcissel, Bobolink, and Orchard Oriole. Blue Grosbeaks have recently become established nesters. Sedge Wrens have been noted at Tri-Valley too, but their occurrence anywhere in Ohio is unpredictable at best. Large flocks of swallows and blackbirds start gathering by mid-summer after nesting is completed.
This area receives little coverage in the fall. Have a visit and report what you find.