Irwin Prairie State Nature Preserve Near Berkey Ohio United States
Located near the town of Berkey, Ohio, in the United States, the Irwin Prairie State Nature Preserve is a perfect place to visit for a day of bird watching. It’s a popular spot for local bird watchers, and it’s a great stop on the Lake Erie Birding Trail.
Birding is best in May and June
Located near Toledo, Ohio, Irwin Prairie State Nature Preserve has 187 acres of wet meadow and wooded areas. It is a great spot for birding, especially in spring and summer. Its trail system provides good habitat for wildlife. Besides birds, the area contains Riddell’s goldenrod, northern reed-grass and blue-joint grass. It has 26 state-listed plants.
Some of the songbirds that can be heard on the boardwalk include White-eyed Vireo, Yellow-breasted Chat, Gray Catbird, Sora Rail and Alder Flycatcher. In addition, the area is home to the Veery, American Woodcock, Wood Thrush and Rose-breasted Grosbeak.
The area also provides an excellent location to view waterfowl in winter. During migration, more than twenty species of waterfowl are present on the reservoir. The lake is also a prime stopover for migrating songbirds.
The park is also a good site for shorebirds in spring and fall. The area has a large number of secondary roads, making it easy to explore. The area is located within a major flyway for shorebirds.
The region is also home to the rare Lincoln’s Sparrow. A few recent sightings have been at Fort Apopka N.S.R.A., Ocoee, Orange and Monroe.
The Shawnee Lookout/Oxbow is a migratory stopover for 25+ species of warblers. The area is located at the Great Miami River/Ohio River junction. The park also has frequent flooding that attracts shorebirds.
It’s a stop on the Lake Erie Birding Trail
Located in Lucas County just a few miles west of Toledo, Irwin Prairie State Nature Preserve is a must-see. This 187-acre wet meadow features tall grass wet prairie communities, shrub swamps, northern reed-grass, blue-joint grass, spotted turtles, and 26 state-listed plants. Known for its rare and unusual plants, Irwin Prairie is a good place to see wildflowers in the summer.
A boardwalk crosses the wet meadow to a viewing platform. The boardwalk is 1.25 miles long and does not have kick rails for wheelchair users. It is also a great place to check out the bird population.
Irwin Prairie is best for birding in the months of May and June. It is a great place to observe the local raptors. Other birds that frequent the area include King Rails, American Bittern, and Red-breasted mergansers. In addition to the obvious birds, you can also find a number of unusual species such as the Blue-winged Warbler, Purple Martin, and Yellow-billed Cuckoo.
The Irwin Prairie State Nature Preserve has a parking lot, a trail system, and an extensive array of wet meadow plants. In fact, the plant community is being severely impacted by wetlands drainage. The best time to visit Irwin Prairie is the summer months, when the prairie’s flower show is in full swing.
It’s a favorite of local bird watchers
Located east of Secor Metropark and Bancroft Road, Irwin Prairie State Nature Preserve is an excellent place to see birds. It is a wet meadow with a loop trail that leads through a wooded area. It is one of the stops on the Lake Erie Birding Trail.
It is open year-round. Some of the species that can be found here are Yellow-billed Cuckoos, Henslow’s Sparrows, American Woodcock, Acadian Flycatchers, and Wilson’s Snipe.
In addition to being a wonderful place to visit, Irwin Prairie is known for its rare plants. Some of these include Riddell’s goldenrod, fringed gentian, twig-rush, and dogwoods. There are also many kinds of butterflies to be found in the meadows.
During the spring and summer, a variety of species can be seen. A few of the rarer birds that you may find here include White-eyed Vireos, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, and a local species, the Blue-winged Warbler.
If you are looking for a great hike, the Ohio Ornithological Society recommends the Harrier Loop, which is a 3-mile moderate hike. There are several types of rail birds to be found on this trail.
There are also several other species to be found at the Scioto River Wildlife Area, which is located west of Township Road 84. In addition to the various species of birds, you will also see herons, egrets, and bald eagles.