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Magee Marsh Wildlife Area

Oak Harbor, OH

Visitor Center/Nature CenterWildlife ViewingRestroomsPicnickingHandicap Accesible
Photography OpportunitiesHuntingFishingCanoe Access

When to Visit:
January - Less ProductiveFebruary - Less ProductiveMarch - Less ProductiveApril - Most ProductiveMay - Most ProductiveJune - Less ProductiveJuly - Less ProductiveAugust - Less ProductiveSeptember - Most ProductiveOctober - Most Productive
November - Less ProductiveDecember - Less Productive

Magee Marsh Wildlife Area is one of, if not the, best places for watching migrant passerines during spring migration. Thousands of people and birds flock to the park year after year during late April and throughout May. While warblers are the main attraction, numerous other species are present. The birding is easy as you walk along a huge boardwalk and the birds approach you closely allowing for amazing photographic opportunities. Also be sure to check out the Biggest Week in American Birding, an awesome festival held every May that all birders should attend at least once!

Specialty Species:

Shorebirds - You can find shorebirds along the beach as well as at the end of the Estuary Trail at the west end of the parking lot if the conditions are right in the fall.

Cuckoos - Both Yellow-billed and Black-billed can be found along the boardwalk.

Eastern Screech-Owl - You can almost always find one on a day perch somewhere along the boardwalk.

Whip-poor-will - This species moves through the area every spring and a very observant birder might find one resting on the ground during the day.

Flycatchers - You can find many flycatchers along the boardwalk and the area is very good for Yellow-bellied Flycatcher during migration.

Vireos - Six species of vireos are typically found during migration.

Thrushes - Wood, Gray-cheeked, Swainson's, and Hermit Thrushes, and Veery are all common in the area during migration.

Warblers - Almost all species of warblers that occur in the eastern US can be found at this location. It is one of the most reliable place to find Kirtland's Warblers in migration with at least one seeming to occur annually.

Where to Bird:

The first building that you see when you turn into Magee Marsh is the Black Swamp Bird Observatory. Stop in here for tons of information on birding in the area and to see if there is anything interesting coming to their feeders.

A little farther down the road is the Sportsmen's Migratory Bird Center. They have a nice visitor's center and gift shop as well as some easy trails that do produce some good birds from time to time. One of the most well known Big Sits is conducted from the tower outside the building every spring.

After stopping at the center, continue down the road and you will come to the causeway over the marsh. Keep your eye out for many gulls, terns, ducks, herons, and egrets, as well as some shorebirds from time to time.

As you make a sharp turn to your left, there is a parking area for the Wildlife Beach Trail. It is always worth checking this spot for migrants and you never know what you might find. There was even a Kirtland's Warbler found along this trail one year.

Continue down the road until you come to the end of the parking area. Parking in this area will allow easy access to both the Boardwalk and Estuary Trail. The best birding at this location happens on the world famous Boardwalk. It is best to get here early and check out the other locations later in the day as the Boardwalk can become very crowded as the day goes by. It is likely that you will never see warblers as closely and cooperatively as you will along the boardwalk.

At the far western end of the parking lot is the entrance to the new Estuary Trail. It was opened in early 2012 and has already produced some amazing birds. It is a great way to escape some of the crowds for awhile. It is also proving to provide some good shorebird habitat in the fall. The very end of the trail look out over the Crane Creek Estuary and is best viewed early in the morning.

Hours:

Dawn to Dusk

Fees:

None

Accessibility:

The boardwalk is completely handicap accessible and is very popular with birders with mobility issues.

Trails:

There are a lot of trails that you can hike on throughout the property.

Equipment Needed:

Length of Visit:

Half or full day visit is recommended

Map:

Website:

Directions:

From the West: From the intersection of Wynn Road and SR2 in Oregon, OH, go east on SR2. After 14.40 miles turn left into Magee Marsh Wildlife Area.

From the East: From the intersection of West Lakeshore Drive and SR2 in Port Clinton, go west on SR2. After 12.15 miles, turn right into Magee Marsh Wildlife Area.

Address:

13229 West State Route 2
Oak Harbor, OH 43449

Nearby Birding:

Metzger Marsh
Maumee Bay State Park
Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge
Pearson Metropark