Important Bird Areas

Funk Bottoms

Ohio

This IBA consists of 2,000 acres of floodplain bottoms: intermittent wetlands and mostly scrub/shrub fields, with some permanent restored wetlands. The Funk Bottoms Wildlife Area is the main source of habitat. The adjacent areas are largely agricultural and include a peat farm. The area has an observation tower. The region undergoes extensive bottomland flooding in March and April.

Ornithological Summary

This has been ground zero for Ohio's breeding Sandhill Cranes. The IBA also attracts substantial spring shorebird and waterfowl numbers depending on water levels. It is a prime area for Rusty Blackbird in spring and fall. Sedge Wren is regular. Grassy vegetation appears to be becoming richer and attracting rarer sparrows. Shorebirds into the thousands will stop when the water levels are suitable. For over twenty years, this site has produced more Pectoral Sandpiper records for inland Ohio than any other except Killdeer Plains - some years exceeding Killdeer Plains.
This region exhibits major waterfowl concentrations dating back to the late 1970s. It is one of the better places to see uncommon geese such as Snow Geese and Greater White-fronted Geese. Large flocks of Tundra Swans have been recorded during migration. In winter, Rough-legged Hawks, Northern Harriers, and occasionally Short-eared Owls are present.

Conservation Issues

This site varies a great deal with regard to water levels. The wetlands appear to be shrinking without a substantiated cause. Consistency for birds seems to have decreased through the 1990s.
Greater access for monitoring (shorebird sites very distant) would provide more valuable data.

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