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Category:Michigan - BirdForum Opus

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Photo by jimprichards
Sturgeon Point Lighthouse, Lake Huron, July 2014


Michigan is an absolute birders' paradise. Our huge tracts of hardwoods are home to many upland game birds, diurnal raptors, and cavity nesters; our marshes support many waterfowl species and passerines; and our beaches invite many shorebirds and waders. Michigan's diverse habitat is home to roughly 414 species of avifauna. Michigan also has more public/state owned land than any other state in the U.S. so that adds up to many places to bird:

  • Michigan has 90 state parks, six state forests, three national forests and three national parks.
  • Michigan has more freshwater coastline than any other state.
  • Stand anywhere in Michigan and you are within 85 miles of one of the Great Lakes. (The Great Lakes account for one-fifth of the world's surface freshwater supply.) You are never more than six miles from a lake or stream in Michigan.


Photo by jimprichards
Central Michigan Famland, USA, September 2010

Notable Species

Nearly the entire world population of Kirtland's Warbler nests in Michigan's jack pine forests.


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Birds you can see here include:

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Areas of Interest

The Upper Peninsula is a place truly rich in bird life, with a good mix of boreal birds as well as many species at the northern or eastern extremes of their ranges. Following are a few sites in the UP well worth visiting for any serious birder.

  • Whitefish Point is located in the northeastern UP. It is the best spot in the Upper midwest for viewing migration. In the spring huge flocks of raptors and waterfowl pass by here. Rarities such as the Boreal Owl and jaegers are occassionally seen as well.
  • The endangered Kirtland's Warbler, a bird that formally only inhabited the Lower Peninsula is now found in the UP as well. Although still rare, there are now a few Jack Pine forests near Gwinn and Rapid River that have hosted a few of the warblers for a few years now.
  • One site not covered in a lot of books is the city of Marquette. In the summer Merlin and other birds of prey like American Goshawk breed here and in the winter rare gulls and owls can be seen in the lower harbor.

quoted from: Birding in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

During the autumn months, the skies over southeast Michigan are alive with tens of thousands of hawks, eagles, falcons, and other birds of prey.

In the fall of 1983, the Lake Erie Metropark Hawk Watch began recording this fall hawk migration over Lake Erie Metropark and Pointe Mouillee State Game Area. Incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1998 under a new name, Southeastern Michigan Raptor Research (SMRR) continues to monitor one of the largest hawk migration corridors in the western hemisphere. (quoted from:) Southeastern Michigan Raptor Research Website

Kirtland's Warbler, a Michigan specialty.
Photo by kegressy

Here are a few links to our favorite local areas:

and here are some others listed by county:


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External Links

Content and images originally posted by Steve

Pages in category ‘Michigan’

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