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Birdwatching at the Zoo

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is a great hotspot for birds – both exotic and local. As part of the larger Metroparks family of reservations, the Zoo is directly adjacent to Brookside Reservation, which according to the Metroparks website, “serves as a refuge for diverse wildlife in an urban setting.”


If you look carefully around in the foliage and water features within the Zoo, you might see several local birds you never even knew existed. Great Blue Herons have been seen fishing in Big Creek, the river that runs through the Zoo. Local waterfowl, such as Hooded Mergansers, can be found year-round at the aptly named Waterfowl Lake.

Not only does the collection pond behind The RainForest help filter pollutants out of run-off water as part of the Big Creek Water Improvement Project, it also can host American Goldfinches and Cedar Waxwings that can be seen from the parking lot on your walk to the Zoo entrance in the summer.

Stopping at Free Flight Falls on your way to the Wolf Lodge could prove fruitful in spotting a foraging Black-capped Chickadee. Even Ruby-throated Hummingbirds can be seen flitting around from potted plant to potted plant drinking the nectar of bright flowers.

The Zoo is a great place to take a stroll to see some uncommon local birds that stick around all year. The Northern Mockingbird has been spotted this past winter, and if you’re lucky to find one you may be treated to a few songs and sounds they’ve learned.

See below for more information about these birds, as well as a couple others.


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