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  • At-a-Glance
  • What to Look For
  • Noteworthy Rarities
  • Local Resources
  • 36 - Lorain Harbor

    Lorain Port Authority
    611 Broadway Avenue,
    Lorain, OH 44052


    Public Access

    Open from dawn until 11 p.m.


    Restrooms, Picnic Area

    GPS Coordinates

    41° 28'21.25"; W 82° 11'3.94"

    Driving Directions

    From the intersection with SR 2, take SR 58 north until it dead ends at SR 6. Take SR 6 east about two miles to the harbor area.

    What to Look For

    Lorain Harbor reaches its peak as a birding hotspot from November until ice-up of the harbor and adjacent Lake Erie, which usually occurs in late December or January. Thousands of Bonaparte’s Gulls mass in the harbor, often accompanied by much rarer gulls. Likewise, scores of Ring-billed and Herring gulls gather. Good numbers of waterfowl often loaf in the harbor, and staggering numbers of Red-breasted Mergansers can be seen passing by on Lake Erie.

    The spoil impoundment just east of the harbor’s east pier can be good for songbirds in migration. The willows lure many species of warblers, flycatchers, and other species, and oddities such as Barn Owl can even turn up. The dense stands of giant reed (Phragmites) and smartweeds sometimes host large numbers of sparrows of several species in October. Conditions change from year to year, but if mudflats are present nearly every regularly occurring species of shorebird can turn up.

    Noteworthy Rarities

    An impressive list of rarities has been accumulated from Lorain Harbor over the years. These include Ohio’s only records of Heermann’s Gull and Tufted Duck. One of few records of Cinnamon Teal turned up in 2010. Rare gulls such as Black-headed and Little turn up regularly. There are multiple records of Northern Gannet, and Snowy Owls are sometimes found on the breakwalls. Both Le Conte’s and Nelson’s sparrows are possible at the spoil impoundment.