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

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • :
  • Sandhill Crane

    Date: Oct 06, 2020 at 9:30 pm

    Location: The Maple Highlands Trail

    Wildlife Seen: 10-15 Sandhill Crane

    Behavior Observed:

    Flying in a V formation in the Headwaters Park area…looked like they may have been heading south.

  • Northern Flickers

    Date: Oct 05, 2020 at 2:10 pm

    Location: Orchard Hills Park

    Wildlife Seen: 2 Flickers

    Behavior Observed:

    On the harvest trail in the tree tops

  • Bluebirds

    Date: Oct 05, 2020 at 2:10 pm

    Location: Orchard Hills Park

    Wildlife Seen: 4 Bluebirds

    Behavior Observed:

    Two were sitting on bluebird boxes. Two were in the branches of snags.

  • Kingfisher

    Date: Oct 05, 2020 at 1:53 pm

    Location: Orchard Hills Park

    Wildlife Seen: Kingfisher 1

    Behavior Observed:

    Flying by the pond along the isolated edge

  • Mallard Ducks

    Date: Oct 05, 2020 at 1:50 pm

    Location: Orchard Hills Park

    Wildlife Seen: Mallards 5

    Behavior Observed:

    On the pond

  • Cross-line Wave Moth

    Date: Aug 30, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    Location: Mulberry woods road

    Wildlife Seen: 1 Cross-line Wave Moth

    Behavior Observed:

    Sitting on wall

  • Leucistic Hawk

    Date: Aug 21, 2020 at 7:30 pm

    Location: Orchard Hills Park

    Wildlife Seen: 1 Leucistic Hawk

    Behavior Observed:

    Flying the perimeter

  • Bald Eagles

    Date: Dec 31, 1969 at

    Location: Walter C. Best Wildlife Preserve

    Wildlife Seen: 2 Bald eagles

    Behavior Observed:

    While we were walking around the lake, two bald eagles were spotted flying in circles over the lake. We spotted the same two eagles several times during our walk around the lake. Beautiful underbellies very different from hawks or vultures. Tried to get some photos from my phone, but no luck.

    Naturalist's Response

    Thanks for the sighting. It never grows old to see these marvelous and majestic birds soaring overhead.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Denise Wolfe, naturalist

  • Great Blue Heron

    Date: Jul 13, 2020 at 9:15 pm

    Location: Veterans Legacy Woods

    Wildlife Seen: 1 Great Blue Heron

    Behavior Observed:

    Standing on the edge of a small pond, flew away as we approached

  • Turtle

    Date: Jul 13, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Location: Beartown Lakes Reservation

    Wildlife Seen: 1 Turtle

    Behavior Observed:

    I saw a turtle with two very distinct yellow spots on the back of it’s head. I was thinking it was a musk turtle because its shell wasn’t quite like a painted and I could see the yellow stripes along the sides of the head. Then I noted the bright yellow spots one on each side on the top of the head. I am not familiar with that turtle (I am observant but no expert). My ODNR book implies a Ouachita which would be unexpected but fits with my thinking Musk not Painted. We were at the swampy overlook/ bridge at the lower SW corner of Lower Bass Lake. He was in the mucky water plants and was about 6 inches in diameter? Do Paints and Sliders have yellow spots?

    Naturalist's Response

    Thanks for sharing your mystery turtle sighting from Beartown Lakes!

    We love a mystery; here are some potential suspects that fit the description of a small-sized turtle with yellow markings on its head:

    • Common Musk Turtle, Sternotherus odoratus.  These “stinkpots” have high-backed shells (which is consistent with your observation that the shell was different from a painted turtle’s), and are in the category of “less common than painted turtles, but not as rare as a Pegasus.”  This could be a good match for your mystery turtle!
    • Spotted Turtle, Clemmys guttata.   This is a rare turtle, with a constellation of yellow spots over its head and body.  However, since those “all-over” yellow spots are pretty distinctive and you don’t mention them, a Spotted Turtle is not one of my top suspects.
    • Northern Map Turtle, Graptemys geographica.  These are larger and flatter-shelled than Musk Turtles, and are found in Geauga County.  Their distinctive marking is a yellow “moustache” above the mouth; since you didn’t mention this feature, a Northern Map Turtle isn’t my prime suspect.
    • Ouachita Map Turtle, Graptemys ouachitensis.  These have been spotted in adjacent counties, but are rarely seen locally.  It’s not impossible that you spotted a Ouachita Map turtle at Beartown.  However, it’s tricky to spot the difference between Northern and Ouachita Map Turtles unless you’re holding the animal for close-up inspection.


    We’ll all keep an eye out at Beartown, and see if anyone can get a photograph of your mystery turtle.  Good luck!