Birding in Northeast Ohio: A Great Outdoor Experience While Social DistancingMichelle McQuade | August 5, 2020
Reconnect with nature while observing social distancing measures here in Northeast Ohio, where you’ll find many birding spots for your next outdoor adventure.
Where to go birding in Ohio
The following parks and preserves are of special interest to bird watchers. Designated by Audubon Ohio as Important Bird Areas, these places serve as feeding, breeding, and resting areas for migratory birds:
- Hell Hollow Wilderness Area – Perched on top of a deep river valley, Chagrin Shale Cliff offers panoramic views of the rugged slopes and hemlock-lined groves below. Hike along the loop trail and keep an eye out for rare bird species like blackburnian warblers, hermit thrushes, and black-throated green, just to name a few.
This preserve encompasses over 980 acres in Paine Creek Valley. In addition to the 1.1-mile loop trail, you’ll find a picnic shelter and a campsite for hikers.
- Chagrin River Park – Nestled along Chagrin River, this 237-acre park is another prime birding spot in Northeast Ohio. Birders have reported seeing over 75 species of resident and migratory birds in the summer alone, including spotted sandpiper, swallows, cuckoos, and orchard orioles.
Closer to the river, you might spot some kingfishers, great blue herons, and bank swallows, while songbirds can be seen in the park’s wetland areas.
- Girdled Road Reservation – Hike along scenic Buckeye Trail which winds through private and public properties in this scenic 902-acre park about four miles southeast of Painesville.
The park’s dense forests, open fields, and wetlands are home to over 100 species of birds, including herons, thrushes, woodpeckers, meadowlarks, wood ducks, and warblers.
What to wear while bird watching
When birding in Northeast Ohio, make sure to wear proper hiking attire, including:
- Long pants or trousers (to protect your legs from brush)
- LJacket (wear layers for protection against the elements)
- LComfortable shoes (preferably hiking shoes)
To make the most of your birding adventure, don’t forget to bring the following items:
- LSpotting scope
- LField guide
- Lirding journal
- LWater bottle
- LHand sanitizer
How to observe social distancing and other safety measures when birding
- Maintain a distance of about six feet from other hikers.
- Observe proper coughing or sneezing etiquette; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends covering your mouth and nose with tissue when coughing or sneezing, then disposing of the used tissue and washing your hands afterwards. Use a hand sanitizer if you’re outdoors.
- Being your own water to avoid using public drinking fountains.
Stay home if you’re feeling unwell – you can always join the Lake Metroparks Birding Group for lively discussions and photos of rare bird sightings in Northeast Ohio.
Other things to remember when birding.
- Don’t get too close to birds
- Don’t play bird sounds or songs to attract birds because birds use songs to claim territory
- Be careful not to step on ground nests while hiking
For more information on Northeast Ohio’s real estate market, you can reach me, Michelle McQuade, here. You can also call me at 440.247.8900. As a top Cleveland Realtor, I assist buyers and sellers in Chagrin Falls, Pepper Pike, and other nearby communities. I can’t wait to hear from you.