Important Bird Areas

Metzger/Ferguson Reservoirs


This IBA consists of two municipal water reservoirs east of Lima, Ohio. Metzger Reservoir covers 167 acres and is separated from the adjoining Ferguson Reservoir (305 acres) by a causeway approximately one mile long. The nearby Bresler Reservoir (582 acres) is 5 miles west of Metzger/Ferguson.

Ornithological Summary

The IBA attracts waterfowl in spring, fall, and winter until the reservoirs freeze. The smaller Metzger Reservoir is a primary inland staging area for Ruddy Ducks in fall migration-one of the top three such spots in the state, with flocks up to 1,000 in October or November. Scoters appear with regularity in both spring and fall migration (exceptional for an inland site). Surf Scoters were observed here in 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2002, and 2005; Black Scoters in 1993, 1994, 1996, and 2001; and Long-tailed Ducks in 1991, 1993, 1996, 1997, and 2002.
The mowed grass/gravel causeway between the two reservoirs serves as a tundra-type habitat that has attracted Buff-breasted Sandpipers on occasion and Snow Buntings regularly in autumn migration. Two of the four inland records in Ohio for Purple Sandpiper occurred here (Nov 12-13, 1994 and Nov 29,1985). Other rarities have included Western Grebes, Red-necked Grebes, Bald Eagles, Purple Sandpipers, Willets, Ruddy Turnstones, Sanderlings, Merlins, and Short-eared Owls. Summer reveals an occasional non-breeding Common Loon.
Bresler Reservoir has attracted Long-tailed Ducks, Surf Scoters, White-winged Scoters, Red-breasted Mergansers (max. 1,500) in spring, and Ruddy Ducks (max. 750 fall) in spring and fall.

Conservation Issues

These two reservoirs are accessible to fishermen and occasional duck hunters by electric boats only-waterfowl in migration are not disturbed as much in such areas. Considering the relative lack of birding coverage for the reservoirs, there have been significant records. If these reservoirs were birded by competent birders more frequently, maximum numbers of Ruddy Ducks in spring and other rare inland migrants would undoubtedly be found to be regular in occurrence. Increase in subdivisions and additional boating pressures.


Owner: City of Lima, Lima, OH