Hoover Reservoir (Franklin Co.)

Tips for Birding

During migration and winter, you should begin a visit to Hoover by checking the small inlet area and waters nearest the dam. Many species of waterfowl have been recorded in this area including rarities such as Eurasian Wigeon, all three scoters, Cackling Goose and Ross’ Goose. In the winter when the reservoir is frozen you should walk the roadway on top of the dam and check the spillway below. This area does not freeze up and numerous species will take advantage of this and provide surprises.

Birds of Interest

Hoover Reservoir is best known for its waterfowl in the spring and fall. Most species of waterfowl can be located during the year. Notable species have included Red-throated Loon, Greater White-fronted Goose, Ross’s Goose, Brant, Tundra Swan, Eurasian Wigeon, Long-tailed Duck, Black Scoter, Surf Scoter, White-winged Scoter, Eared Grebe, American White Pelican, and Black-legged Kittiwake.

Notable non-waterfowl observed at Hoover has included Osprey, Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Merlin, American Avocet, Snowy Owl and others. When water levels are down in the fall, Hoover Reservoir’s upper section, just below Galena, is among the best places to find shorebirds in Central Ohio.

About this Location

Use this hotspot for checklists of bird sightings at various locations on the Hoover Reservoir in Franklin County. When possible please use more specific locations.

About Hoover Reservoir

See all hotspots at Hoover Reservoir

Hoover Reservoir consists of 5,026 total acres. This is made up of 3,843 Water acres at normal water levels and 1,183 Land acres that include The Hoover Nature Preserve that is just over 925 acres. There are areas of open water, wetland swamp, wetland forest, riparian corridors, deciduous forest, pine stands, prairie remnants, and seasonal mudflats. The main roads around Hoover Reservoir are Sunbury Road, Big Walnut Road, Tussic Street, and South Old 3C Highway on the West; Sunbury Road on the North; Sunbury Road, Red Bank Road and Schott Road on the East; and Central College Road on the South. Smothers Road crosses the reservoir along the Franklin-Delaware County line.


  • Restrooms on site

Content from Ohio Ornithological Society