Defiance County Birding Drive

Birding Drives are routes for birding trips which can be accomplished in one day, stopping to walk and bird at various eBird hotspots. For each birding drive, a Google map is provided with the route and suggested stops at eBird hotspots. You may save the link to the Google map on your smartphone or tablet, or print a copy on paper to take with you. Links are provided with information about each eBird hotspot. Follow those links for more information about birding each location.

Defiance County Birding Drive
Click on the hotspot names below to view the page about that hotspot.

Defiance County is one of Ohio’s “under-birded” counties (fewer than 1000 eBird checklists). This Birding Drive explores eBird hotspots in the county. When you submit checklists here you help to add to the data about birds in this region of Ohio.

Oxbow Lake Wildlife Area

Defiance, Ohio 43512

Oxbow Lake Wildlife Area is about 8 miles northwest of Defiance. From Defiance take OH-15 west and Evansport Road to Schick Road. Continue on Schick Road to the wildlife refuge.

Migrating shorebirds and songbirds can be observed utilizing the lake edges and woodlots during spring and fall. Other types of wildlife such as tree swallows and great blue herons make Oxbow Lake their home territory for the summer months.

The 416-acre area is situated in the glaciated lake plain of Ohio and has a slightly rolling topography. Some steep land lies adjacent to Mud Creek, which bisects the area. Large cottonwoods and sycamores are found along Mud Creek. The upland woods consist mostly of oaks and hickories. Index of Ohio’s trees from the Division of Forestry. Substantial amounts of brushland and meadow are maintained by the Division of Wildlife for upland game habitat. Oxbow Lake and Little Oxbow Lake provide habitat for fish, furbearers, waterfowl, and other interesting birds such as great blue herons, belted kingfishers, tree swallows and pied-billed grebes.

Diehl Park

Lake Street Defiance, Ohio 43512

To reach Diehl Park from the Oxbow Lake Wildlife Area, take Schick Road to Evansport Road. Take OH-15 east to Moss Street in Defiance. Take Carter Avenue to Diehl Park.

Diehl Park consists of 39.77 acres located on Wemor Street. There are five ball fields, two shelter houses, and a playground area along with the Kids Creation Playground.

Defiance College

Webster Street Defiance, Ohio 43512

To reach Defiance College from Diehl Park, take OH-15 and OH-18 east. Turn left onto OH-15 OH-18. Continue on East Session Street to Defiance College.

Defiance College is located in the northwest corner of Ohio at the confluence of the Auglaize and Maumee Rivers. The campus is located on 150 acres in a residential area of Defiance, which includes 19 buildings and access to the 200 acre Thoreau Wildlife Sanctuary.

Defiance Reservoir

Defiance, Ohio 43512

To reach the Defiance Reservoir from Defiance College, take Webster Street and Greer Street to North Clinton Street. Follow North Clinton Street to Dotterer Street. Take South Jackson Street to Canal Road

The reservoir is located along Canal Road on the west side of Defiance.

In March 2007, the city of Defiance began construction of the Defiance Reservoir. In the past, the Maumee River served as the sole water supply for the city and now, the reservoir acts as a pretreatment basin to provide a more consistent water quality to the treatment plant. The reservoir contains approximately 350,000,000 gallons of water with a total water surface area of 74 acres. The average depth of the reservoir is 18 feet. The perimeter of the upper bank of the reservoir is approximately 1.6 miles.

The reservoir has a boat ramp on the northwest corner of the reservoir.

Bronson Park

Power Dam Road Defiance, Ohio 43512

To reach Bronson Park from the Defiance Municipal Reservoir, head south on Kibble Road toward Kiser Road. Slight left onto Kiser Road. Continue onto Kiser Road Extension. Turn left onto South Clinton Street. Turn right onto Power Dam Road. Continue to the park entrance.

Bronson Park is a 25-acre multi-purpose park located on Power Dam Road. Bronson consists of two sand volleyball courts, two ball fields, three shelter houses, one basketball court, and playground area.

Riverside Cemetery, Defiance

South Clinton Street Defiance, Ohio 43512

To reach Riverside Cemetery from Bronson Park, head east on Power Dam Road. Turn right onto South Clinton Street. Look for Riverside Cemetery entrance on your right.

Riverside Cemetery is adjacent to the Auglaize River.

Riverside Park, Defiance

Riverside Avenue Defiance, Ohio 43512

To reach Riverside Park from Riverside Cemetery, head northeast on South Clinton Street toward Dotterer Street. Slight right onto Williams Street. Turn left onto Riverside Avenue. Watch for the park entrance on the right.

Riverside Park is located on Riverside Avenue and consists of 30 acres with one ball field and four soccer fields.

Independence Dam SP

County Road 424 Defiance, Ohio 43512

To reach Independence Dam State Park from Riverside Park, head northeast on Riverside Avenue toward Arabella Street. Take OH-424 east for 5 miles to Independence Dam State Park.

This park is straight, narrow, and linear; basically a road with seven miles of wide Maumee River on one side, and seven miles of a narrow canal on the other side of the road. Obviously, there is very little chance of getting lost here. The first four miles of the park are paved and suitable for walking and driving. Sometimes (especially in winter) it is better to drive, not only to save time but to use the car as a blind, lessening the chance of frightening the waterfowl along the river. The last three miles of the park is a dirt, hiking trail lined by tall sycamores, black locusts, beech, and maple trees. This walking trail starts at the campground and ends near a Bald Eagle’s nest.

Present all year are sixty or more Wild Turkeys and a pair of Bald Eagles which nest at the east end of the park near the Florida Bridge, but could be found anywhere in the area, especially on the opposite shore near the dam.