Birds are a symbol of liberty and endless existence. The Buckeye State is the true embodiment of liberty, with 433 resident and migratory bird species. At the time of colonization, woodlands covered around 95% of the area. It is no longer the same, but forests still encompass a third of the land and provide habitat and shelter for a variety of resident and migratory species in Ohio.
Of the 433 bird species officially reported in Ohio, 40 have been observed only once, and three are extinct: the Carolina Parakeet, Passenger Pigeon, and Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Each year, at least 180 bird species breed here, including neotropical migrants.
Ohio is a great birding destination, with two national historic parks, three national wildlife refuges, 83 state parks, 312 miles of Lake Erie shoreline, more than a dozen offshore islands, and a plethora of habitats ranging from bluffs and hills to forests, swamps, and grasslands.
Ohio birds of prey
Ohio is home to approximately 20 resident birds of prey and is a seasonal stopover for numerous other species during the summer nesting season and Arctic winter visits. Raptors are interesting to observe and are a favorite among Northeast Ohio birders.
Several raptor species live year-round in Ohio, while others migrate south each spring. A broad-winged hawk you observe selecting a nest location may have recently arrived from deep in South America. During the colder months, Ohio serves as a wintering habitat for several northern raptor species. While certain species of hawks are readily visible throughout the year, others are more elusive and must be sought.
Eagles in Ohio
Eagles are magnificent birds of prey that exemplify the wild.
There are two types of eagles that soar above Ohio’s skies. One is the national symbol of America, while the other is a solitary bird that few people see. Both populations have risen in size over the years, making them easier to see without the use of a sighting scope or binoculars.
The bald eagle is an American success story, having recovered from the brink of extinction in the Lower 48 states to become nearly ubiquitous along the Lake Erie waterfront. In 1979, Ohio had only four nests, owing mostly to the DDT insecticide. Recently, the state recorded up to 200 nests, with dozens of eagle nests centered around the lakefront in Northeast Ohio.
Owls in Ohio
Ohio has a predominantly continental climate, however parts in the south have a subtropical climate. This means that the majority of the state experiences relatively humid weather, particularly during the summer.
Ohio has 75 state parks and eight national park sites. After a brief overview of the state of Ohio, the remainder of this page will focus on each owl species found there in greater detail.
Few birds inspire as much creativity as owls. Nighttime predators, hunting when the rest of the world sleeps. Around 200 species of owl exist globally, inhabiting every continent except Antarctica and practically every habitat imaginable, from tundra to desert to rainforest. Eight owl species may be found in Ohio. Consider these intriguing birds in greater detail:
Common backyard birds of Ohio
Ohio is an excellent location for viewing some spectacular bird species. Throughout the year, if you prepare your feeder properly, numerous birds will frequent it, and today we’re going to share some advice on how to do just that. Ohio also boasts a sizable population of feathered residents, which you may spot or lure with a little forethought.
Therefore, local birdwatchers and future tourists to the Buckeye state, let’s discuss the state’s most popular backyard birds!
Woodpeckers in Ohio
Woodpeckers are a globally distributed kind of bird. They can be found in a variety of wooded habitats, including forests, woodlands, wooded scrublands, woodlots, parks, farming, and residential areas.
The woodpecker is a woodland and forest species. Along with toucans, barbets, honeyguides, jacamars, and puffbirds, woodpeckers, wrynecks, and sapsuckers are members of the Picidae family. Woodpeckers rely on dead and decaying trees for food. They feed on a variety of insects attracted to dead trees and use the softened trunks and branches to excavate their nests.
Northern Flickers and red-headed woodpeckers are the most often seen woodpeckers in Ohio throughout the summer. Downy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers are the most often sighted woodpeckers in Ohio throughout the winter.
Best Birdwatching Spots in Ohio
Visit Ohio for a birding tour and enjoy the self-proclaimed “Biggest Week in American Birding.” It is one of the most thrilling meetings of birds and birders on the planet, and it should be on the bucket list of every birder.
The major road through the wildlife reserve travels through one of the greatest marshes in Ohio, where ducks, geese, and other waterbirds thrive and may be watched easily from the roadway. Keep an eye out for American bittern; they are frequently spotted along the road. Merlin and peregrine falcons have been spotted hunting above the wetlands on occasion.
The following are the top five bird viewing locations in the United States.
- Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area
- Metzger Marsh Wildlife Area
- Magee Marsh Wildlife Area
- Sheldon Marsh State Nature Preserve
- Headlands Beach State Park
Other Ohio birds
Ohio is an excellent birdwatching location. Over 400 bird species have been recorded in Ohio, with approximately 200 species nesting inside the state’s borders. The following are some of the other common birds found in the state.
If you have encountered a bird in Ohio that is not yet on our list or that you cannot identify yourself, we’ll be happy to identify it for you. Simply take a picture of it and upload your picture, a quick description and the U.S. state where it was found here on our bird identification page.