Wildlife Sightings

Spot some local wildlife? Tell us about it!

Use the form below – including photos, if you have them – to let us know the date, time and location of your sighting (be it in the parks or in your own backyard), as well as what type of wildlife you spotted and the behavior you observed.

Your regular reports will help populate this page for the enjoyment of your community of fellow Nature lovers and the interests of our Natural Resource Management team. Thanks in advance!

Please note that while this form does collect your name and contact information, those items will not be posted with your sighting, only used in case we need to contact you for additional details.

Report Your Findings

Step 1 of 4 - Sighting Date & Time

  • MM slash DD slash YYYY
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  • Turtle

    Date: Jun 25, 2022 at 4:40 pm

    Location: The Maple Highlands Trail

    Wildlife Seen: 1 Turtle

    Behavior Observed:

    Took a tiny turtle off the trail to the direction it was headed so it would not get ran over. About 5” round.

  • A variety of wildlife

    Date: May 30, 2022 at 5:30 pm

    Location: Greenway Bike Trail--Orwell Public Hunting Area

    Wildlife Seen: 3 Dame's Rocket/Bumblebee Species/Female Hummingbird

    Behavior Observed:

    I was fitness bike riding and studying nature simultaneously on the Greenway Bike Trail near Orwell Public Hunting Area in Ashtabula County. I photographed a Dame’s Rocket wildflower (Hesperis matronalis) while (what I believe to be) a Bumble bee (Bombus spp.) was nectaring on it, and (what I believe to be) a female Hummingbird bird (Archilocus colubris) was behind it. See attached photograph. This same ecological scenario was also observed on the Bike Trail at Swine Creek Reservation in Geauga County. More people should “bike and study nature”–this exercises the body and mind.

  • A variety of wildlife

    Date: May 26, 2022 at 10:30 pm

    Location: Swine Creek Reservation

    Wildlife Seen: Three fish and large nest Studying ichthyology of Lodge Pond

    Behavior Observed:

    I carried out a brief, personal ichthyological study of Lodge Pond at Swine Creek Reservation. First, I found a large potential fish breeding nest in the shallows — the algae was cleared away by a either a big Sunfish species or a Largemouth Bass in order to make a stone/gravel bed to deposit eggs. See attached photograph. By fly fishing with a small ant imitation, I wanted to see what type of Sunfish/Panfish species were in the pond. I caught one 4 1/2-inch Black Crappie and two 4-inch Red Ear Sunfish (Lepomis microlophus). See attached photo of the Red Ear Sunfish. All fish were identified to species and then returned to the pond unharmed.

  • A variety of wildlife

    Date: May 25, 2022 at 9:20 pm

    Location: Beartown Lakes Reservation

    Wildlife Seen: many species of birds Bird Watching, one of each Tall Buttercup/Black Squirrel, Many Bluegills Bluegill Fish

    Behavior Observed:

    While bird watching, I photographed a Great Blue Heron. See attached photos. I also saw one Vesper Sparrow; two male Red-Winged Blackbirds; two male Robins; one male and one female Northern Cardinal; one Blue Jay; two Canada Goose; and one male House Finch. I heard a Great Crested Fly Catcher and a Red-Bellied Woodpecker. My observations were submitted to “ebird,” the Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology, and I suggested this as a “birding hotspot.” While doing some nature study, I photographed a Tall Buttercup (which is in bloom) and saw a Black Squirrel. While fly fishing for Largemouth Bass, I caught numerous Bluegills instead. See attached photograph. All of the fish were studied, then put back in the pond unharmed.

  • A variety of birds

    Date: May 24, 2022 at 5:40 pm

    Location: Swine Creek Reservation

    Wildlife Seen: Seven different birds Bird watching while bike riding

    Behavior Observed:

    I was bird watching while I was fitness bike riding on the bike trail. The biking exercises my body and the study of birds exercises my mind. I suggest others do the same. I saw an Eastern Kingbird; an Eastern Bluebird; a Killdeer; two American Robins; one male Brownheaded Cowbird; and numerous Sparrows that I could not precisely identify because I only got a brief glance. I submitted my observations to “ebird,” the Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology, and I suggested to them that this is “birding hotspot.” Hopefully, others will “bird and bike” and send their data to “ebird” so as to make a contribution to ornithology.

  • A variety of birds

    Date: May 23, 2022 at 9:40 pm

    Location: Swine Creek Reservation

    Wildlife Seen: various bird species Bird watching at Lodge Pond

    Behavior Observed:

    I saw a Gray Catbird; heard Black Capped Chickadees; heard Northern Cardinals; heard a White-Breasted Nuthatch; and heard an American Crow in just a short time by Lodge Pond. This data was submitted to “ebird,” Cornell University’s Laboratory of Ornithology.

    Naturalist's Response

    Thank you for your report, and for reporting to eBird that’s great!

  • Deceased snake

    Date: May 15, 2022 at 5:33 pm

    Location: The Maple Highlands Trail

    Wildlife Seen: 1 Snake, 24-36 inches long, deceased

    Behavior Observed:

    While hiking The Maple Highlands Trail northwest of Middlefield, south of Tare Creek, I found a dead snake. I had never seen a snake with that coloring, size or pattern in Ohio before so I looked more closely and felt it might be an Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake after googling Ohio snakes. Unfortunately I did not get a picture of the tail and the head was smashed so it was not readily identifiable. I was wondering if the snake has been found in that area.

    Naturalist's Response

    The snake in question is a Northern Water Snake – a harmless, albeit defensive, and very common snake in our county. Being stocky and gray with dark blotches makes it the most similar snake in Ohio to an Eastern Massasauga, however, the blotch pattern differs between the two species. Northern Water Snakes have bands circling the body near the head which turn into alternating, but touching, blotches on the body. This pattern can be seen in your pictures. Eastern Massasaugas have blotches along the neck and body that never, or rarely, ever touch other blotches. Eastern Massasaugas are also highly endangered and have never been officially documented in Geauga County.

    Hope this answers your question, and feel free to contact me if you have any other snake inquiries!

    -Naturalist Andy Avram

  • Baltimore Orioles

    Date: May 02, 2022 at 5:30 pm

    Location: The Rookery

    Wildlife Seen: 2 Baltimore Orioles

    Behavior Observed:

    Looks like a mating couple of baltimore orioles. Saw a flash of goldish orange underbelly flying across path. The sun light lit him up like a bolt of lightning. Just beautiful to see.

  • Eastern Towhees

    Date: Apr 30, 2022 at 2:00 pm

    Location: Southern Munson Twp

    Wildlife Seen: 2 Eastern Towhee

    Behavior Observed:

    Pair appear to be looking for a nesting spot.

  • Bald Eagles

    Date: Jun 22, 2021 at 2:21 pm

    Location: 10684 Stafford Rd

    Wildlife Seen: 2 Bald Eagles

    Behavior Observed:

    One Eagle eating a dead opossum on the ground, while the second Eagle sits in a near by tree. After awhile they switch places.