Important Bird Areas

Killbuck Valley


This IBA extends along Killbuck Creek south of Wooster in Wayne County southward to Holmesville in Holmes County. It encompasses the largest wetland complex in Ohio south of Lake Erie. Much of the area of the IBA is in Wayne County and consists of the riparian zone plus the associated marshland of Killbuck Marsh State Wildlife Area and private conservation easement land.

Ornithological Summary

The bird list for Killbuck includes more than 275 species. This wetland complex attracts a large diversity of waterfowl in large numbers during spring and fall migrations. Thousands of Gadwalls, American Wigeons, Northern Shovelers, Redheads, Ring-necked Ducks, and Lesser Scaups are possible any time in spring, with Tundra Swans often seen in large numbers. Rare waterfowl are recorded as well (e.g. Eurasian Wigeon, Long-tailed Duck). Shorebird migration is sporadic, but with seasonal totals of 1,000+ (as many as 800 Pectoral Sandpipers) in one flock.
Bald Eagles nest and in winter Rough-legged Hawks and Northern Harriers are regular. Wetland birds include Sandhill Cranes, which breed here and migrate through in regular flocks. Other wetland species include Common Moorhen, Sora, and Virginia Rail, and occasional Black Terns. Marsh Wrens nest in the marshland (approximately 45-55 singing males - 2001, V.Fazio) and Prothonotary Warblers breed in the swamp forests. Another priority species breeding here is the Yellow-breasted Chat. Approximately 12 pairs of Brown Creepers were recorded as probable breeders in 2001 (V:Fazio)

Conservation Issues

No threats noted. Hydrology of the area is a contributor to nesting success.
Droughts impact surveys of rails and other marsh birds.