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Bird Checklists of the United States

Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Complex

small state map showing location

Oak Harbor, Ohio


The Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) complex, located 15 miles east of Toledo, Ohio, contains remnants of a vast marsh that once bordered western Lake Erie. The complex is comprised of three wildlife refuges: Ottawa NWR, Cedar Point NWR and West Sister Island NWR.

The Ottawa complex consists of 8,316 acres of marshes, grasslands and forests that support a variety of wildlife communities. Also, the complex is an important resting and feeding area for waterfowl and other birds traveling the Mississippi and Atlantic flyways.

Dramatic flights of migratory birds may be seen at Ottawa NWR, notably the spring migration of warblers and the autumn passage of waterfowl. Ottawa is home to nesting bald eagles from February, when nesting begins, until the fledging of eaglets in July. Eagles can be observed throughout the year. Eaglets fledged from northern territories migrate through during fall in increased numbers. Federal and State management projects involve constant monitoring and banding of eaglets. Management efforts have helped increase bald eagle numbers in Northwest Ohio and provide excellent opportunities to view the bald eagle in the wild here at Ottawa.

The 274 birds listed are regular visitors to the Ottawa NWR. Another 49 have been seen only a few times on the refuge and are included in the accidental list.

Birds listed are grouped according to their taxonomic identification at the family level by solid lines. Orders are indicated in parenthesis. The family is a classification unit that places birds of similar body structures, feeding habits, and flight together. The order is a more inclusive category consisting of related families. Learning some of these common characteristics can help in identifying new birds.

The English or common names used and the taxonomic order are in accordance with the American Ornithologists' Union "Checklist of North American Birds", 6th edition (1983), 3rd Supplement (1989).

This list is designed to inform the visitor to Ottawa NWR of the chances of seeing a specific bird during a visit. The status symbols used do not reflect actual population densities but rather detectability which, in most cases, is similar.


Symbols used are as follows:
* - has nested on the refuge

Sp - March-May
S - June-July
F - August-November
W - December-February

c - common: seen on 90% of visits
f - fairly common: seen on a majority (51%) of visits
u - uncommon: seen seen on 20-50% of visits
r - rare: seen on less than 20% of visits
x - extremely rare: seen on 5 or fewer visits since 1969
(-) - no records


LOONS (Order Gaviiformes) Sp S F W ___ Common Loon x x u r
GREBES (Order Podicipediformes) Sp S F W ___ Pied-billed Grebe* c c c r ___ Horned Grebe u x u x ___ Red-necked Grebe x - x - ___ Eared Grebe x x x -
PELICANS (Order Pelicaniformes) Sp S F W ___ American White Pelican x x x -
PELICANS (Order Pelicaniformes) Sp S F W ___ Double-crested Cormorant c f f x
HERONS (Order Ciconiiformes) Sp S F W ___ American Bittern* u r r x ___ Least Bittern* u r r - ___ Great Blue Heron* c c c c ___ Great Egret* c c c r ___ Snowy Egret* f f f - ___ Little Blue Heron* u u u - ___ Tricolored Heron x - x - ___ Cattle Egret* r r u - ___ Green Heron* c c c - ___ Black-crowned Night-Heron* f c c x ___ Yellow-crowned Night-Heron x x x -
IBISES (Order Ciconiiformes) Sp S F W ___ Glossy Ibis x - - - ___ White-faced Ibis x - - -
WATERFOWL (Order Anseriformes) Sp S F W ___ Tundra Swan (Whistling Swan) f - f f ___ Mute Swan x x x x ___ Greater White-fronted Goose x - x x ___ Snow Goose f x f f ___ Brant x - x - ___ Canada Goose* c c c c ___ Wood Duck* f f c u ___ Green-winged Teal* f u c u ___ American Black Duck* c f c c ___ Mallard* c c c c ___ Northern Pintail* f u c f ___ Blue-winged Teal* c c c x ___ Northern Shoveler* c u c u ___ Gadwall* c u c u ___ American Wigeon* f u f u ___ Canvasback f x f u ___ Redhead f x f x ___ Ring-necked Duck f - f r ___ Greater Scaup x - x x ___ Lesser Scaup f x f u ___ Oldsquaw r - r r ___ Black Scoter x - x x ___ Surf Scoter - - x x ___ White-winged Scoter x x x x ___ Common Goldeneye c - f f ___ Bufflehead f - f u ___ Hooded Merganser* f u c u ___ Common Merganser c - u f ___ Red-breasted Merganser c x f u ___ Ruddy Duck* c u c u
VULTURES (Order Falconiformes) Sp S F W ___ Turkey Vulture* f u x -
HAWKS (Order Falconiformes) Sp S F W ___ Osprey u x x x ___ Bald Eagle* c c c c ___ Northern Harrier (Marsh Hawk) f r f f ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk f x u x ___ Cooper's Hawk* f x r u ___ Red-shouldered Hawk* u x x x ___ Broad-winged Hawk u x x - ___ Swainson's Hawk - x x - ___ Red-tailed Hawk* c c c c ___ Rough-legged Hawk f - r f ___ Golden Eagle x x x -
FALCONS (Order Falconiformes) Sp S F W ___ American Kestrel* f u f f ___ Merlin r x x - ___ Peregrine Falcon r x r - ___ Gyrfalcon x - x x
GALLINACEOUS BIRDS (Order Galliformes) Sp S F W ___ Ring-necked Pheasant* f f f f ___ Northern Bobwhite x x x -
RAILS (Order Gruiformes) Sp S F W ___ King Rail* r x x x ___ Virginia Rail* u r r x ___ Sora* c u u - ___ Common Moorhen* u u u x ___ American Coot* c f c u
CRANES (Order Gruiformes) Sp S F W ___ Sandhill Crane r - x -
PLOVERS (Order Charadriiformes) Sp S F W ___ Black-bellied Plover c u f x ___ American Golden-Plover (Lesser Gol-Pl.) f x f - ___ Semipalmated Plover c u f - ___ Piping Plover x - x - ___ Killdeer* c c c u
AVOCETS (Order Charadriiformes) Sp S F W ___ American Avocet - x r -
SANDPIPERS (Order Charadriiformes) Sp S F W ___ Greater Yellowlegs c u c x ___ Lesser Yellowlegs c u c - ___ Solitary Sandpiper c u f - ___ Willet x x r - ___ Spotted Sandpiper* c c c - ___ Upland Sandpiper* u r r - ___ Whimbrel x x x - ___ Hudsonian Godwit x x u - ___ Marbled Godwit x x r - ___ Ruddy Turnstone u u u - ___ Red Knot x x u - ___ Sanderling r x f x ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper f u c - ___ Western Sandpiper r x u - ___ Least Sandpiper f f f x ___ White-rumped Sandpiper u r u - ___ Baird's Sandpiper x - u - ___ Pectoral Sandpiper f u c - ___ Dunlin f u c r ___ Stilt Sandpiper x r f - ___ Buff-breasted Sandpiper - - r - ___ Ruff x x x - ___ Short-billed Dowitcher f u c - ___ Long-billed Dowitcher x x f - ___ Common Snipe* c x f r ___ American Woodcock* u r u - ___ Wilson's Phalarope* r r u - ___ Red-necked Phalarope x - r - ___ Red Phalarope - - x x
GULLS, TERNS (Order Charadriiformes) Sp S F W ___ Franklin's Gull x x r - ___ Bonaparte's Gull f x c f ___ Ring-billed Gull* c c c f ___ Herring Gull* c c c f ___ Iceland Gull x x - - ___ Glaucous Gull x - - x ___ Great Black-backed Gull f u c f ___ Caspian Tern f u c - ___ Common Tern* f f c x ___ Forster's Tern f u c - ___ Black Tern* u r u -
DOVES (Order Columbiformes) Sp S F W ___ Rock Dove* f f f u ___ Mourning Dove* c c c c
CUCKOOS (Order Cuculiformes) Sp S F W ___ Black-billed Cuckoo* u u u - ___ Yellow-billed Cuckoo* f c c -
OWLS (Order Strigiformes) Sp S F W ___ Barn Owl* x x - - ___ Eastern Screech-Owl* u r u u ___ Great Horned Owl* c f f c ___ Snowy Owl x - x x ___ Long-eared Owl u - - x ___ Short-eared Owl r - - r ___ Northern Saw-whet Owl u - x x
GOATSUCKERS (Order Caprimulgiformes) Sp S F W ___ Common Nighthawk* u - u - ___ Whip-poor-will u - x -
SWIFTS (Order Apodiformes) Sp S F W ___ Chimney Swift* f u f -
HUMMINGBIRDS (Order Apodiformes) Sp S F W ___ Ruby-throated Hummingbird* u u f -
KINGFISHERS (Order Coraciiformes) Sp S F W ___ Belted Kingfisher* f u f r
WOODPECKERS (Order Piciformes) Sp S F W ___ Red-headed Woodpecker* f u f u ___ Red-bellied Woodpecker* u x r f ___ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker f - c x ___ Downy Woodpecker* c f c c ___ Hairy Woodpecker* u x u u ___ Northern Flicker (Common Flicker)* c c c u
FLYCATCHERS (Order Passeriformes) Sp S F W ___ Olive-sided Flycatcher u x u - ___ Eastern Wood-Pewee* c c c - ___ Yellow-bellied Flycatcher u u u - ___ Acadian Flycatcher* u r x - ___ Willow Flycatcher* f c u - ___ Least Flycatcher c u f - ___ Eastern Phoebe* c r f - ___ Great Crested Flycatcher* c f u - ___ Eastern Kingbird* c c c -
LARKS (Order Passeriformes) Sp S F W ___ Horned Lark* c f u f
SWALLOWS (Order Passeriformes) Sp S F W ___ Purple Martin* c c c - ___ Tree Swallow* c c c x ___ Northern Rough-winged Swallow* f u u - ___ Bank Swallow* f u f - ___ Cliff Swallow* u x u - ___ Barn Swallow* c c c -
JAYS, CROWS (Order Passeriformes) Sp S F W ___ Blue Jay* c c c c ___ American Crow* f r u u
CHICKADEES (Order Passeriformes) Sp S F W ___ Black-capped Chickadee* u x r r ___ Tufted Titmouse* f u u f
NUTHATCHES (Order Passeriformes) Sp S F W ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch u - u x ___ White-breasted Nuthatch* u u f f
CREEPERS (Order Passeriformes) Sp S F W ___ Brown Creeper f - c f
WRENS (Order Passeriformes) Sp S F W ___ Carolina Wren* x x x x ___ House Wren* c c c - ___ Winter Wren f - c u ___ Sedge Wren* x x x - ___ Marsh Wren* f f f r
THRUSHES (Order Passeriformes) Sp S F W ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet c - c u ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet c - c x ___ Blue-gray Gnatcatcher c u x - ___ Eastern Bluebird* u x x - ___ Veery f x u - ___ Gray-cheeked Thrush f x f - ___ Swainson's Thrush c r c - ___ Hermit Thrush f - f x ___ Wood Thrush* c c x - ___ American Robin* c c c f
THRASHERS (Order Passeriformes) Sp S F W ___ Gray Catbird* c c c x ___ Northern Mockingbird* r x r u ___ Brown Thrasher* c f f x
PIPITS (Order Passeriformes) Sp S F W ___ American Pipit (Water Pipit) f - u x
WAXWINGS (Order Passeriformes) Sp S F W ___ Cedar Waxwing* f f f r
SHRIKES (Order Passeriformes) Sp S F W ___ Northern Shrike x - x r ___ Loggerhead Shrike r - x x
STARLINGS (Order Passeriformes) Sp S F W ___ European Starling* c c c c
VIREOS (Order Passeriformes) Sp S F W ___ White-eyed Vireo* f x x - ___ Solitary Vireo f x u - ___ Yellow-throated Vireo* f - x - ___ Warbling Vireo* c c c - ___ Philadelphia Vireo f x f - ___ Red-eyed Vireo* c c c -
WARBLERS TO BLACKBIRDS (Order Passeriformes) Sp S F W ___ Blue-winged Warbler f - x - ___ Golden-winged Warbler u - x - ___ Tennessee Warbler c x f - ___ Orange-crowned Warbler u - x x ___ Nashville Warbler c - f - ___ Northern Parula u - x - ___ Yellow Warbler* c c c - ___ Chestnut-sided Warbler f x u - ___ Magnolia Warbler c x f - ___ Cape May Warbler c - c - ___ Black-throated Blue Warbler c x u - ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler c x c x ___ Black-throated Green Warbler c x f - ___ Blackburnian Warbler f x u - ___ Yellow-throated Warbler x - - - ___ Pine Warbler x - x - ___ Kirtland's Warbler x - - - ___ Prairie Warbler x - x - ___ Palm Warbler c - f - ___ Bay-breasted Warbler c x f - ___ Blackpoll Warbler c r f - ___ Cerulean Warbler u - - - ___ Black-and-white Warbler c x f - ___ American Redstart* c f f - ___ Prothonotary Warbler* f f u - ___ Worm-eating Warbler x - - - ___ Ovenbird* f x u - ___ Northern Waterthrush f x u x ___ Louisiana Waterthrush x - x - ___ Kentucky Warbler x x x - ___ Connecticut Warbler u x x - ___ Mourning Warbler f r x - ___ Common Yellowthroat* c c f r ___ Hooded Warbler r - x - ___ Wilson's Warbler c r f - ___ Canada Warbler c r f - ___ Yellow-breasted Chat* u r - - ___ Summer Tanager x - - - ___ Scarlet Tanager* c r u - ___ Northern Cardinal* c c c c ___ Rose-breasted Grosbeak* c u u - ___ Indigo Bunting* c c c - ___ Dickcissel* x x f - ___ Rufous-sided Towhee* c u u r ___ American Tree Sparrow c - c c ___ Chipping Sparrow* f r u - ___ Field Sparrow* c c c x ___ Vesper Sparrow* f u r - ___ Savannah Sparrow* f f u x ___ Grasshopper Sparrow* r u x - ___ Henslow's Sparrow x - x - ___ Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow x - x - ___ Fox Sparrow c - c - ___ Song Sparrow* c c c c ___ Lincoln's Sparrow f x f - ___ Swamp Sparrow* c u f c ___ White-throated Sparrow c - c u ___ White-crowned Sparrow c x f f ___ Dark-eyed Junco c - c f ___ Lapland Longspur x - x r ___ Snow Bunting u - f f ___ Bobolink* f f f - ___ Red-winged Blackbird* c c c c ___ Eastern Meadowlark* f f f u ___ Western Meadowlark r x - - ___ Yellow-headed Blackbird* u x x x ___ Rusty Blackbird f x f u ___ Brewer's Blackbird x - x x ___ Common Grackle* c c c u ___ Brown-headed Cowbird* f c f u ___ Orchard Oriole* f f u - ___ Baltimore Oriole* c c f -
FINCHES (Order Passeriformes) Sp S F W ___ Purple Finch f - r x ___ House Finch* r x u u ___ Common Redpoll u - x r ___ Pine Siskin u - x r ___ American Goldfinch* c c c c ___ Evening Grosbeak r - x x
OLD WORLD SPARROWS (Order Passeriformes) Sp S F W ___ House Sparrow* c c c c
ACCIDENTALS Red-throated Loon Least Tern American Flamingo Western Kingbird Fulvous Whistling-Duck Boreal Chickadee Eurasian Wigeon Muscovy Barrow's Goldeneye Blue Grosbeak Black Rail Red Crossbill Black-necked Stilt Lark Sparrow Great Skua Black-chinned Sparrow Black-legged Kittiwake Common Black-headed Gull Barred Owl Wood Stork Black-billed Magpie Ruddy Shelduck Townsend's Solitaire Cinnamon Teal Black-headed Grosbeak Bohemian Waxwing Hoary Redpoll Yellow Rail Oregon Junco Purple Sandpiper Clay-colored Sparrow Long-tailed Jaeger Smith's Longspur Lesser Black-backed Gull Gannet Groove-billed Ani Ross' Goose Harris' Sparrow Trumpeter Swan Bewick's Wren Harlequin Duck Townsend's Warbler King Eider Pine Grosbeak Wilson's Plover White-winged Crossbill Pomarine Jaeger Bachman's Sparrow Little Gull

For further information contact:
                 Refuge Manager
                 Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge
                 14000 West State Route 2
                 Oak Harbor, Ohio 43449
                 Telephone: 419/898-0014

This resource is based on the following source:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1991.  Birds of Ottawa National Wildlife 
     Refuge Complex, Ohio.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1991.  Birds of Ottawa National Wildlife 
     Refuge Complex, Ohio.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
     Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.govottawa.htm 
     (Version 22MAY98).

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