Black River-West Branch Important Bird Area

Black River-West Branch
Important Bird Area

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Entire Year – Spring – Summer – Fall – Winter


Caley Reservation
Carlisle Reservation
Carlisle Reservation--Duck Pond Picnic Area
Carlisle Reservation--Equestrian Center
Charlemont Reservation
Findley SP
Oberlin Reservoir
Wellington Reservation
Wellington Upground Reservoir

About Black River-West Branch Important Bird Area

The Black River-West Branch Important Bird Area is one of but a half dozen relatively intact riparian corridors feeding into Lake Erie. The Black River-West Branch is the single most intact riparian corridor in Lorain County. This IBA includes four public parks (Carlisle Reservation, Caley Reservation, Sandy Ridge, and Findlay State Park) plus two major reservoirs (Wellington and Oberlin) and a major pine stand. These are islands of mature hardwoods with refugia for migrants and nesters.

The corridor supports significant numbers of songbirds, particularly around the reservoirs. These systems likely provide major benefits to spring and fall migrant songbirds for refueling. The reservoirs provide spring migration stopover for Ruddy Ducks, Greater and Lesser Scaups, American Coots, Pied-billed and Horned Grebes, Common Loons, Ring-billed Gulls, and smaller numbers of other ducks; and in fall, Ruddy Ducks, American Coots, Common Loons, small numbers of other ducks and grebes. Wellington Upland Reservoir is unique among those of north-central Ohio in that it takes far lower temperatures for far longer to completely freeze and drive off waterfowl lingering here from the autumn. The regular staging of Ruddy Ducks, Ring-billed Ducks, and American Coots has grown to involve thousands of each species, with hundreds lingering into December. With the increasingly frequent occurrence of open water into January, the prospect of recording unheard-of mid-winter numbers is possible.

From Black River-West Branch Important Bird Area webpage