This is may be the premier birding spot in Ohio. More than 300 species have been spotted on the wildlife area, and other great birding areas, such as Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, surround it. Part of the vast western Lake Erie marshland ecosystem, Magee contains a diversity of wetlands, woodlots, and beaches that buffer the open waters of Lake Erie. The centerpiece of the site is the legendary “Bird Trail”. This half-mile long elevated boardwalk traverses a seven-acre swamp woods. Catch the right day in May, and the trees seem to fairly drip with brightly colored jewels – warblers, vireos, tanagers, orioles, grosbeaks, and others.
The main road through the wildlife area passes through one of the finest Ohio marshes, and ducks, geese, and other waterbirds abound and are readily observed from the roadway. Watch closely for American bittern; they are often seen along the road. Merlin and peregrine falcon are occasionally seen hunting over the marshes.
Magee is on a major hawk flyway, and March is the best time to observe this phenomenon. Not far from the interesting Sportsmen’s Migratory Bird Center is a large, elevated tower built specifically to enhance viewing of raptors passing overhead. This post offers a commanding view of the surrounding marshes, and on a good day, several hundred raptors might be tallied.