Oak Openings Important Bird Area

Oak Openings
Important Bird Area

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Blue Creek Metropark
Irwin Prairie State Nature Preserve
Kitty Todd Nature Preserve
Lou Campbell State Nature Preserve
Oak Openings Preserve Metropark
Oak Openings--Buehner Center and Mallard Lake
Oak Openings--Evergreen Lake
Oak Openings--Evergreen Trail (orange)
Oak Openings--Ferns and Lakes Trail (blue)
Oak Openings--Foxfire Trail (yellow)
Oak Openings--Girdham Rd. @ Reed Rd.
Oak Openings--Girdham Rd. @ Sager Rd.
Oak Openings--Girdham Rd. Sand Dunes
Oak Openings--Horse Rider Center
Oak Openings--Jeffers Rd.
Oak Openings--Lodge Area
Oak Openings--Manore Rd.
Oak Openings--Reed Rd.
Oak Openings--Ridge Trail
Oak Openings--Sand Dunes Trail (red)
Oak Openings--South Wabash Rd. Ski Trail
Oak Openings--Springbrook Lake Trail
Oak Openings--Wabash Cannonball Trail
Oak Openings--Waterville Swanton Rd.
Oak Openings--White Oak Campground
Salamander Flats
Sandhill Crane Wetlands
Secor Metropark
Secor Metropark--Window on Wildlife
Wildwood Preserve Metropark
Wiregrass Lake Metropark

About Oak Openings Important Bird Area

An ancient post-glacial beach ridge stretches through Oak Openings Preserve. There are many rare plants (and plant communities) and animals found on this unique geological feature. Oak Openings Preserve consists of many diverse habitats: dunes, wet tallgrass prairie, old fields, scrub-shrub, floodplain, pine woods, oak savanna/woodland, and it is part of the Oak Openings region of northwest Ohio, considered a globally rare ecosystem. Includes Kitty Todd Preserve. The preserve is a mosaic of prairie, oak savanna, oak woodland, and wet prairie.

The Oak Openings contains five globally rare natural communities; Black Oak/Lupine Barrens, Midwest Sand Barrens, Mesic Sand Tallgrass Prairie, Twig-rush Wet Prairie and Pin Oak-Swamp White Oak Sand Flatwoods. The preserve protects 532 species of plants, 100 species of rare plants and animals, including one federally endangered species, the Karner blue butterfly.

There are also areas where sand mining once occurred, in which other rare species can be found. These “sand pits” contain watery areas where shorebirds and ducks have been spotted. Pine plantations can be found throughout the preserve. Most were planted in the 1940s and 1950s and lowered biodiversity in these sites. The Wabash Cannonball railway forms a unique corridor with at least 176 rare plants found along its course. The wet areas on either side have spotted turtles.

Kitty Todd Preserve consists of globally rare oak savanna and wet prairie habitats and supports breeding populations of four high conservation priority species. The Oak Openings Preserve’s large size assures it can host many birds, with a diverse array of habitats sustaining certain important bird populations. Oak Openings preserve has more nesting species of songbirds than any other preserve in Ohio. It protects one of the easternmost breeding populations of Lark Sparrows in Ohio, a very isolated population.

Oak Openings supports 18 warbler species and includes disjunct populations of Kentucky Warblers, Prairie Warblers, and Pine Warblers. It is one of only six locations in the state for breeding Blue-headed Vireos and is one of Ohio’s few historical locations for nesting Bell’s Vireos (1980-82).

From Oak Openings Important Bird Area webpage