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Magee Marsh and Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge in Northern Ohio

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Magee Marsh in Northwest Ohio

By: Pat Coate

On a recent return trip from Milwaukee, I took a detour along the shores of Lake Erie in Northern Ohio making quick stops at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge and Magee Marsh. As mentioned last week, Magee Marsh is a top spot for spring migration and a must for those undertaking a ‘big year’.

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Visitor Center at Magee Marsh with Great Blue Heron in foreground

Location of Magee Marsh (from

As birds migrate north and hit Lake Erie, Magee Marsh becomes a staging area as they rest up to cross the lake (or continue their journey around the lake) to reach northern breeding grounds. Point Pelee, across the lake in Ontario, is another spring migration hot spot and can be filled with exhausted birds resting after making it across the lake.

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The fabled boardwalk that becomes jam-packed with birders and tripods in the spring

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View east across the marsh with the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station looming in the background

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Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge

The Ottawa refuge is adjacent to Magee Marsh and may also have high quantities of migrants in the spring. There are some hiking trails and an auto tour though a large part of the refuge is not open to the public.

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Visitor Center at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge

I got some photos of a few shorebirds while visiting these spots (and nearby Sandusky) that I’ll post next week.

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One response

  1. Frank

    Thanks for the pictures and orientation of this fabulous place!

    9 September 2012 at 8:30 pm

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