Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area--Butler Spring

Tips for Birding

Butler Spring is a year-round, open spring within (at the edge of) the Killbuck Marsh complex. It is located just north of the village of Holmesville, on OH-83, at the very southeastern edge of the Killbuck Wildlife Area Complex. Butler Spring never freezes and remains a shallow, open area that attracts waterfowl, shorebirds, and pipits during extremely cold temperatures. The spring originates in the hillside, on the east side of OH-83, runs under the road, and opens in the marsh complex. The open water area of the spring, just west of the road edge, is very shallow and is filled with watercress (Nasturtium officinale W.T. Aiton). The birds often sit, rest, and forage on or in the watercress, in the shallow water. There are places to pull off on both the east and west sides of the road, near the spring. It’s a great place to check for January birding!
From Jason Larson

About Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area

See all hotspots at Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area

The 5,671-acre Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area is situated in northeastern Ohio in portions of Wayne and Holmes counties. The area extends north from Holmesville to three miles south of Wooster and lies between OH-83 on the east and OH-226 on the west.

The area is in a shallow, U-shaped glacial outwash valley. The elevation varies from 840 feet at the floor of Killbuck Creek near Holmesville to nearly 1,000 feet on hillsides parallel to the valley floor. About 56 percent of the acquisition unit consists of marshes and swamps that are flooded during some portion of the year. This complex is Ohio’s largest remaining marshland outside of the Lake Erie region.

The purchase of land for Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area began in 1969. Additional land is being acquired as funds become available. The wildlife management plan provides for maintenance and protection of the existing woodlands, the establishment of regular crop rotations, the improvement of open fields for wildlife nesting by controlled burning and selective spraying, and the establishment of food patches for general wildlife use. Permanent wildlife cover has been provided by planting thousands of trees and shrubs. Wright’s Marsh, a 350-acre diked wetland off OH-226, was restored in partnership with Ducks Unlimited. Dikes and water control structures are being developed to increase and improve the wetland habitats in the area.

Content from Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area Official Website and Ohio Ornithological Society