Along the Lake Erie shore in Ohio is one of America's top birding spots

·2 min read
A chestnut-sided warbler hops from branch to branch for his next insect.
A chestnut-sided warbler hops from branch to branch for his next insect.

One hour away from Adrian is one of America’s best birding spots in May, Magee Marsh Wildlife Area.

Located on West State Route 2 in Oak Harbor, Ohio, this birding hot spot is a stopover point for migrating warblers prior to crossing Lake Erie for their breeding grounds to the north. These tiny, colorful birds travel each spring from Central and South America to breed in North America for the summer.

Using the stars to navigate, warblers fly in large flocks at night. At daylight, they land in areas like Magee Marsh and immediately start feeding on insects, hopping from branch to branch in the trees.

The best place to find warblers this time of year is where the bugs are in parks or urban areas where they can flutter around the undersides of leaves and fly out from branches to catch tiny insects.

Trying to photograph them is a challenge as warblers are very jittery birds and hardly ever stop moving. These photos were taken during a visit in May 11.

If you go

WHAT: Warbler watching

WHEN: Through the end of May

WHERE: Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Oak Harbor, Ohio

DIRECTIONS: From Adrian, take U.S. 223 to U.S. 23 South. From U.S. 23, drive about 8 miles to exit 232 to I-475 East toward Toledo. On I-475, drive about 6 miles to exit 20B to I-75 North toward Detroit. On I-75, drive about 3 miles to exit 208 toward I-280 South toward Cleveland. On I-280, drive about 5 miles to exit 6 to Woodville Road/State Route 51. Take Route 51 almost a mile and turn left onto State Route 579. Take Route 579 about 11 miles, then turn right onto State Route 2. Drive about 3 miles to Park Road 1, which is the entrance to the wildlife area.

COST: No permits or fees are required to enter the boardwalk.

Some black-throated blue warblers winter in Florida but most migrate from the West Indies.
Some black-throated blue warblers winter in Florida but most migrate from the West Indies.
A black-throated green warbler looks for insects on the under side of leaves.
A black-throated green warbler looks for insects on the under side of leaves.
Magnolia warblers are fairly common in moist coniferous forests.
Magnolia warblers are fairly common in moist coniferous forests.
A prothonotary warbler finds a tasty treat at the base of a tree at Magee Marsh.
A prothonotary warbler finds a tasty treat at the base of a tree at Magee Marsh.
A Tennessee warbler snacks on insects in a flowering tree.
A Tennessee warbler snacks on insects in a flowering tree.
The black cap on a Wilson's warbler always reminds me of a bad hairpiece.
The black cap on a Wilson's warbler always reminds me of a bad hairpiece.
The yellow warbler is our most common warbler. His rapid song, “Sweet, sweet, sweet, I’m so sweet," can be heard all over Magee Marsh this time of year.
The yellow warbler is our most common warbler. His rapid song, “Sweet, sweet, sweet, I’m so sweet," can be heard all over Magee Marsh this time of year.
These female, left, and male blue gray gnatcatchers found a suitable nesting spot just above the boardwalk at Magee Marsh.
These female, left, and male blue gray gnatcatchers found a suitable nesting spot just above the boardwalk at Magee Marsh.

This article originally appeared on The Daily Telegram: Along Lake Erie shore in Ohio is one of America's top birding spots