Important Bird Areas

Pickerington Ponds

Ohio

This IBA, located approximately five miles southeast of Columbus, is part of
the Metro Park system in Franklin County, and the Pickerington Ponds Wetland Wildlife Refuge includes one of the last remaining glacial kettle lakes in Central Ohio. Associated with the lake are a large cattail marsh, a buttonbush swamp, and numerous small ponds. This area also has several glacial features. Also included is one small woodlot and approximately 60-70 acres of managed grasslands. In all 416 acres of this IBA is a dedicated state nature preserve.

Ornithological Summary

This is an important migrating bird stopover site and provides unique nesting bird habitat. Over 260 species of birds have been recorded at this site. Numerous seasonal ponds combined with the associated rich wetland vegetation, all bordered by woodlands attracting migrating waterfowl, shorebirds, and land birds. Wetland habitats like Pickerington Ponds are somewhat rare in Ohio, with a number of species requiring just this sort of habitat. A Great Blue Heron rookery with up to 50 nests was active until the early 2000s. A nesting pair of Ospreys is present.

Conservation Issues

Pickerington Ponds Wetland Wildlife Refuge features unique natural wetland habitat, complete with ponds, swamps, islands, mud flats, and open waters. Located about 2.5 miles SW of the city of Pickerington, it is one of the last natural wetlands in Central Ohio, and developers are threatening its existence. Adjacent land-use practices and development could pose threats to this area, including the groundwater. Metro Parks has significantly increased its land holdings since 1997 to protect the entire surface watershed of the area, provide additional buffer, and provide opportunities to restore wetlands.