Important Bird Areas

Maumee River-Lower

Ohio

The Lower Maumee River IBA includes the corridor along the river and extends from the confluence of the Auglaize river in Defiance (Independence Dam east of Defiance) northeast to the mouth at Lake Erie near Toledo. Riparian forest lines the river on both sides and the riparian corridor serves as a migration pathway with a variety of habitats providing river, wet woodlands, and prairie through the northwest agricultural region. This IBA includes the 15-mile stretch of rapids of the Maumee River extending from the city of Grand Rapids to the city of Maumee and also warm water outflows nearer the mouth.

Ornithological Summary

The river provides a migratory corridor for migrant land birds. Migrant warblers are numerous in both spring and fall migrations. As Maumee Bay freezes into winter, bay ducks (e.g. Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers) move to the lower four-mile stretch. With winter freeze-up of Lake Erie, the lower river and the up-river rapids attract gulls as open water in northwest Ohio gradually diminishes. Herring Gulls and Ring-billed Gulls make up the majority, with unusual species having included Glaucous Gulls, Iceland Gulls, Lesser Black?backed Gulls, Great Black-backed Gulls, Bonaparte's Gulls, and rarer Thayer's Gulls and Mew Gulls. The rapids can also attract southbound shorebirds in late summer. Bald Eagles use the Maumee in winter, spring, and fall all the way up to the Independence Dam, and even farther to the west.

Conservation Issues

A number of Metroparks in the Toledo area along the course of the Maumee provide fine opportunities for bird conservation of the forested corridor.