Birding/Owling Experiences

3-5 Hours

Please note that due to COVID-19, birding on Kelleys Island will be available in limited capacity. Bird banding stations are closed, but you are welcome to visit the nature preserves.


For more information about specific varieties on the island and in our area, please visit the Lake Erie Birding Trail website


Kelleys is important to birds because as a glacial island in Ohio it contains unique habitat within the state, and its protected coves provide important refuge to a variety of birds. Throughout the year, Kelleys Island also hosts significant numbers of birds that gather there to breed and raise young, stopover during migration, and spend the winter. Through a monthly bird census project ongoing since 1996, Kelleys Island has been found to harbor large numbers of the state’s priority conservation species, particularly waterfowl such as Buffleheads and land birds like Hermit Thrushes.

Bird banding activities are at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s Jones Preserve located at the end of Monaghan Road. The banding station is at the gate to the preserve. This is a restricted preserve, so visitors must stay with a banding staff member at all times. Parking is available about 100 yards before the gate. It may be too tight to turn around at the gate, so please park here and walk to the station. No pets around the nets, please.


Three must-visit spots:

  • North Pond Preserve (entrance on Ward Rd., also an owl banding location in the fall)
  • Jones Preserve (take Monaghan Rd. all the way to Long Point, on the eastern end of the island)
  • Scheele Preserve (entrance on Monaghan Rd. near the intersection of Hamilton Rd., also an owl banding location in the fall)


While out in the preserves, have you spotted the following varieties of birds and owls?

  • Canada Goose
  • Mallard
  • Bufflehead
  • Greater Scaup
  • Common Goldeneye
  • Red-breasted Merganser
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Herring Gull
  • Great Black-backed Gull
  • Cooper's Hawk
  • Bald Eagle
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Northern Flicker
  • American Crow
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Carolina Wren
  • European Starling
  • Eastern Bluebird
  • Hermit Thrush
  • American Robin
  • Cedar Waxwing
  • House Sparrow
  • House Finch
  • American Goldfinch
  • American Tree Sparrow
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Northern Saw-whet Owl
  • Screech Owl