Northwest Ohio is a birder’s paradise, and home to rare species of plants and animals.
The Great Lakes Basin and northwest Ohio are rich with wildlife. Oak Openings Preserve, the Maumee River, the Great Black Swamp and Swan Creek provide diverse habitats for a variety of rare species.
Migrating birds use this region as an important stopover for food and cover. The large, forested section of Wildwood is critical habitat for interior dwelling species from wood thrush to red-backed salamanders. Swan Creek’s floodplain corridor contains vital food, water and cover for hundreds of migratory songbirds every spring and fall.
The Toledo area, on the south shore of Lake Erie, lies at the crossroads of the Mississippi and Atlantic flyways—migratory routes used by more than 300 species of birds annually—from colorful songbirds known as warblers to ducks and raptors (predator birds such as hawks and owls). Bald eagles are commonly seen from the lakeshore east of the city to the Oak Openings region west of town.
Oak Openings is home to Ohio's only population of nesting Lark sparrows and, since their reintroduction to the region in 2000, a growing flock of wild turkey. Oak Openings also provides important habitat to two state-listed threatened species of turtles—Blanding's turtles and spotted turtles—as well as the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly.
Throughout the Metroparks, keep an eye open for a variety of salamanders and snakes, white-tailed deer, fox and the elusive coyote, an unmatched variety of birds, especially in the spring, walleye, bass and other fish species in the Maumee River, and a wealth of other wildlife.
Windows On Wildlife at six Metroparks are excellent places to to see what's flying, hopping, slithering or stalking the parks on any given day.