created May 08, 2014 - updated Oct 7, 2019
The boardwalk at the Magee Marsh Wildlife Area is the best place for up-close viewing of migrating songbirds for numbers and variety. It's easy birdwatching. But the boardwalk can be scrunched-crowded in the first half of May, especially before Noon.
On breezy southwest wind days, it's a good idea to birdwatch along the parking lot at the outside edge of the Magee boardwalk. Also, the trail between Magee Marsh and Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge provides ample space for birdwatchers. On brisk, southwest wind days, birdwatching on the east beach at Magee Marsh can provide excellent birdwatching without the crowds, unless a Kirtland's Warbler exists.
But plenty of other Toledo-area places exist to view migrating birds. These places lack the crowds. No one else may be present, birdwatching anyway. A little more effort, however, may be needed to cover more ground and to view the birds high in the canopy.
The alternative locations, located along the lakeshore come in handy in the fall when the Magee Marsh boardwalk is closed due to hunting at Magee Marsh. Typically, the boardwalk is closed, starting the first weekend of October. On most of the weekends in October, November, and December, the boardwalk is open on Sundays.
On Oct 5, 2019, Woodie's Roost trail was closed, probably due to hunting. The trails around the Sportsmen's Center, however, remain open, during hunting season.
- Ottawa Park
- Woodlawn Cemetery
- Greenwood Park
Eastern Sylvania Township
- Wildwood Metropark
- Swan Creek Metropark
Northern Wood County
- Rossford Island View Park
- W.W. Knight Nature Preserve
- 577 Foundation
Western Lucas County
- Irwin Prairie State Nature Preserve
- Secor Metropark
- Oak Openings Metropark
Eastern Lucas County
- Pearson Park Metropark: The park has two distinct habitat locations. The old, densely wooded section, and the relatively newer open grassy area with scattered small trees.
Northeastern Lucas County along lake shore
- Maumee Bay Start Park boardwalk that starts by the nature center, located near the golf course.
- Reno Beach neighborhood.
- Metzger Marsh Wildlife Area: Small woodlot at the pier parking lot.
- Howard's Marsh Metropark for shorebirds, waterfowl, terns, gulls, and some songbirds, such as the Yellow-headed Blackbird, Horned Larks, and maybe some sparrows.
Northwestern Ottawa County
- Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge: The wooded, shrubby areas, located at the north side of the visitors center building.
- ONWR: The small woodlot, located at the old main parking lot location.
- Estuary trail between ONWR and the west end of the Magee Marsh Wildlife Area boardwalk parking lot.
- Magee Marsh: East beach "trail" or area.
- Magee Marsh: Woodie's Roost trail, located opposite of the Sportsmen's Center, south of the building.
- Magee Marsh: Two walking trails, located near the Sportsmen's Center. Both trails start by the old hawk tower. One trail is longer than the other. Both trails are lined with shrubs and trees.