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Migration Patters Make Michigan A Prime Birding State
Wednesday April 11, 2018   |

Eastern phoebes, tree swallows, yellow-rumped warblers, piping plovers and many other birdsmay soon be in your sightline! Springtime in Michigan offers plenty of opportunities to watch for migrating birds, as long-distance migrants are poised to return in May from their winter locations in the southern United States. 

Caleb Putnam, Michigan’s bird conservation coordinator with the Michigan DNR and Audubon Great Lakes, said our state’s plentiful Great Lakes shoreline makes it even easier to spot birds because they tend to concentrate along shore areas. Michigan also stands at a key migration point for ducks heading for the Great Plains and Hudson Bay. 

"In addition, Michigan’s well-managed public lands – in state parks, state game areas and state forests, for example – provide excellent wetlands, forests and grasslands that are used by both game and nongame species, and managed for both by the DNR's highly knowledgeable biologists and foresters,” Putnam said.

These feathered friends are a big draw, too. Putnam pointed to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2011 report, “Birding in the United States: A Demographic and Economic Analysis," which ranked Michigan as the nation’s 18th most avid state, based on days per year spent birding.

Want to try to spy some birds even earlier? Check out upcoming tours starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 14, at three of Michigan’s Wetland Wonders locations: 

  • Muskegon County Wastewater System. Meet at the Muskegon State Game Area office, 7600 E. Messinger Road, Twin Lake, 231-788-5055. 
  • Pointe Mouillee State Game Area, 37025 Mouillee Road, Rockwood, 734-379-9692.
  • Nayanquing Point State Wildlife Area, 1570 Tower Beach Road, Pinconning, 989-697-5101.

Get more information on these and other birding tours on the DNR website or by contacting Holly Vaughn at 313-396-6863. Learn more about birding and birds in general at the MI Birds Facebook page

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