forest with vernal pools

For the Birds

Amidst the urban hustle and bustle of Toledo’s Point Place neighborhood there’s still a place where the sounds of songbirds emanate from tall trees and amphibians breed in wetland pools on the forest floor. It’s here that you’ll find Webber Woods, Black Swamp Conservancy’s newest nature preserve.

With funding from the Clean Ohio Greenspace Program, the Conservancy recently purchased this 15-acre woodland, our first preserve in the Toledo metro area. For a relatively small property, Webber Woods has a lot of biological diversity. The bulk of the preserve contains Category 3 (very high quality) wooded wetlands, as seen in the photo here.

forest with vernal pools

However, the western edge of the site features sandy soils that indicate the location of a historic beach ridge. Well-drained areas such as this tend to foster specialized plant species and distinct microhabitats.

Perhaps most significant is Webber Woods value as a haven for migratory birds. As the only sizeable remnant of natural habitat in the area, preservation of these woods – and the abundant food sources, safe resting spots and suitable nesting sites they provide – is critical to safeguarding bird species within this key migratory corridor.

Over the years, a significant amount of dumping has occurred on the property and invasive plants have gained a foothold, outcompeting native species in some portions of the site. We are now working to clean things up, hauling out the refuse and removing non-native species.

Nonetheless, the Conservancy will be taking advantage of this prime birding habitat during spring migration. Our friend Jeremy Dominguez, ornithologist with the Toledo Zoo, will be leading a bird hike at Webber Woods on May 25th.

We hope you join us for this first look at the new preserve. Email Laura at [email protected] today to reserve your spot!