Because of the diversity of ecological zones at Presque Isle State Park, many different species of plants and wildlife inhabit the park from the shoreline to the climax forest. Of all the plants and animals on Presque Isle, birds are the most studied and understood. The peninsula’s location along the Atlantic Flyway and the diversity of natural habitats make Presque Isle State Park a haven for bird life. Migrating birds, including several species of special concern, rest, feed, and nest here. Over 320 species of birds have been recorded on Presque Isle; at least 39 of these are listed as species of special concern.
Presque Isle State Park has been rated by Birder’s World magazine as one of the top birding spots in the country. Presque Isle’s location on the Atlantic Flyway makes it a favorable spot for birds to stop to feed and rest on their migration across Lake Erie. Waterfowl migration occurs in March and in late November through December. Shorebird migration peaks in April and in September. Warbler migration is observed in mid-May and in September. Over 320 different species of birds have been identified on the peninsula. A bird checklist is available at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center/Nature Shop, Ranger Station or the park office.
Common species are perch, bass, walleye, trout and steelhead in Lake Erie, and panfish, perch, bass, muskellunge, walleye, northern pike, crappies, smelt and steelhead in Presque Isle Bay. Bowfishing is permitted. Popular shore fishing locations are Waterworks and Ferry Dock ponds, East and West piers, Perry Monument, North Pier, lagoons and all boat landings.
April to May: Early spring migrants and shorebirds, osprey and bald eagle sighted during migration (May) Peak of warbler migration
June to July: Shorebird migration begins
August: Young herons seen in lagoons
September: Fall warbler migration through month; bird banding; osprey and bald eagle often sighted
October: Waterfowl migration; monarch butterfly migration, foliage best in second week
December: Christmas Bird Count within 10 days of Christmas