This IBA in southwest Ohio includes the 3,500-acre Hueston Woods State Park with its unique 200-acre old-growth beech-maple forest, a dedicated state nature reserve administered by ODNR Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, neighboring deciduous habitats, the 625-acre Acton Lake, and the riparian corridors of Harkers Run and Four Mile Creek in southwestern Ohio.

Ornithological Summary

Hueston Woods is important as an Ohio IBA because it includes unique habitats for habitat-specific rare species using the mature beech-maple forest community. It functions as a stopover place for neotropical migrants, and as a sanctuary for many vagrant species.
The mature beech-maple forest community supports a unique habitat for breeding neotropical migrants and high concentrations of edge species. The diverse habitats within the park support breeding records for priority bird species such as Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Black Vulture, Northern Harrier, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Virginia Rail, Sora, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Barn Owl, Whip-poor-will, Red-headed Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Purple Martin, Blue-winged Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Prothonotary Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Northern Waterthrush, Vesper Sparrow, and Eastern Meadowlark.
Acton Lake is important as a stopover and staging area for spring migrants, as well as a sanctuary for vagrants, which have included Fulvous Whistling-Ducks, Western Grebes, Sabine's Gulls, and Surf Scoters. The Four Mile Creek corridor is important in dispersal strategies and breeding of riparian species, and serves as a biologically diverse buffer for expanded development. The Great Blue Heron rookery, with over 75 pairs, is one of the largest in the state.
Migrant priority species include Pied-billed Grebe, Least Bittern, American Black Duck, Northern Pintail, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Common Moorhen, American Coot, Piping Plover, Common Tern, Black Tern, Long-eared Owl, Short-eared Owl, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Winter Wren, Hermit Thrush, Magnolia Warbler, Canada Warbler, and Dark-eyed Junco.

Conservation Issues

Threats to the loss of agricultural lands and riparian habitats is a focus of the Three Valley Conservation Trust.


Owner: Hueston Woods State Park

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