Birdfinding Guides

ABA Birdfinding Guides

A Birder's Guide to Michigan

5/05 Updates

A Birder's Guide to Michigan

Allen T. Chartier and Jerry Ziarno
Published 2010
660 pages, paper
ISBN 1-878788-13-2
[Buy Book]
[Free PDF version]

Many birders come to Michigan with the intention of adding Kirtland's Warbler to their life lists – but the state should by no means be dismissed as a "one-species wonder." Surrounded by four Great Lakes, Michigan boasts 3,000 miles of shoreline. Add the additional habitat afforded by 11,000 interior lakes, 36,000 miles of rivers and streams, and the largest state forest system in the nation, and it's not surprising that Michigan's official bird list now stands at 421 species.

Boreal breeders include such species as Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker, Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Purple Finch, and Red and White-winged Crossbills. Winter irruptions bring Northern Hawk, Great Gray, and Boreal Owls to the Upper Peninsula, and Snowy Owls statewide. And most winters at least one Gyrfalcon can be found hunting in the UP. A day of birding in May can produce a list of 20 or more warbler species, and summer breeders include Connecticut, Cerulean, and Yellow-throated Warblers, among others. Fall offers the spectacle of numerous loons, grebes, sea ducks, and jaegers at sites such as Whitefish Point, Presque Isle Lighthouse, Port Huron, Manistee, and Alpena, as well as thousands of migrating hawks on western Lake Erie.

A Birder's Guide to Michigan describes over 200 sites, with details on each site's birds, best seasons, and driving directions, accompanied by 200-plus maps. Thoroughly researched bar graphs describe the seasonal status and abundance of the state's regularly occurring species, and an annotated list of specialties will guide birders to some of North America's most sought-after species. A bonus is an appendix listing the state's amphibians and reptiles, butterflies and dragonflies, mammals, and orchids – Michigan is home to a stunning and sometimes rare assortment of these gorgeous plants.

Table of Contents for “A Birder's Guide to Michigan”

 

 

 

 

Note: only major sites are listed here; in most cases, each site listed below includes one or more additional birding areas. The abbreviations used are SGA (State Game Area) and SRA (State Recreation Area).  Michigan's nationally significant Important Bird Areas have a "JBA" notation   following the site name.

 

 

INTRODUCTION

1

SOUTHEASTERN LOWER PENINSULA

28

 

THE LANSING AREA

30

 

 

Carl  G. Fenner  Nature Center, MSU Ponds,  Legg Park, Lake Lansing, Rose Wildlife Area, Sleepy Hollow State  Park, Maple River SGA, Gratiot-Saginaw SGA, Potterville Wastewater Ponds,  Dansville SGA·

 

 

THE JACKSON AREA

49

 

 

Grand River Riparian Forest, Phyllis Haehnle Memorial Sanctuary, Waterloo SRA, Pinckney SRA, Rank Road Grasslands. Nan Weston Nature Preserve, Sharonville SGA, Watkins Lake

 

 

THE HILLSDALE AREA

62

 

 

Saw Beese Lake, Ransom Grasslands, Camden Grasslands, St. Joseph
River, Lost Nation SGA

 

 

THE ANN ARBOR AREA

67

 

 

Stinchfield Woods, Matthaei  Botanical Gardens, Nichols Arboretum, Ba rton  Pond,  Dolph  Nature Area, Swift Run Pond,  Ford  Lake

 

 

THE HURON RIVER, SOUTHWESTERN WAYNE COUNTY                     

82

 

 

Willow Run Airport, Belleville Lake, Lower Huron Metropark. Willow Metropark, Oakwoods Metropark, Crosswinds Marsh

 

 

METRO DETROIT HABITAT ISLANDS                                                                                   

93

 

 

Maybury State  Park, Heritage Park-Farmington  Hills, William Holliday Nature Preserve, University of Michigan-Dearborn  Environmental Study Area, Belle Isle Park

 

 

THE DETROIT RIVER (IBA)

105

 

 

Middle Detroit River, Grosse lie, Lake Erie Metropark, Pointe
Mouillee SGA Headquarters, Huron River Mouth

 

 

THE LAKE ERIE MARSHES

119

 

 

Pointe  Mouillee SGA, South  Rockwood Antenna  Farm and Estral Beach, Sterling State  Park, Monroe Power Plant, Luna Pier Jetty and Allen's Cove,  Whiting  Power Plant and  the Woodtick Peninsula, Erie Township, Erie Marsh Nature Preserve. Petersburg SGA

 

 

THE PONTIAC AREA

138

 

 

West Bloomfield Nature Areas, Proud  Lake SRA, Highland SRA, Kensington  Metropark and Island  Lake SRA, Drayton Plains Nature Center, Pontiac Lake SRA, Indian Springs Metropark, Holly Recreation Area and State  Park, Stony Creek Metropark, Bald Mountain Recreation Area, Oxford Area, Seven Ponds Nature Center

 

 

THE ST. CLAIR MARSHES AND ISLANDS (IBA)

159

 

 

Metro  Beach Metropark,  Anchor Bay, St. John's Marsh Wildlife Area, Harsens  Island, Algonac to Marine City

 

 

THE THUMB

167

 

 

Port Huron and the St. Clair River Mouth, Port Huron SGA. Lakeport State Park, Port Sanilac, Minden City SGA, Harbor  Beach Area, Port Austin Area, Port Crescent State Park, Caseville Area, Bay Port  Area, Fish Point State Wildlife Area, Lapeer SGA

 

 

SAGINAW BAY SOUTH (IBA)

193

 

 

Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, Freeland Sewage Lagoons, Crow Island SGA

 

 

NORTHEASTERN LOWER PENNINSULA

198

 

THE LAKE HURON SHORELINE - SAGINAW BAY NORTH (IBA)

200

 

 

Bay City Area, Bay City SRA. Nayanquing Point SWA, Pinconning County  Park, Northern Bay County, Wigwam Bay Wildlife Area, Au Gres River Mouth, Tawas Area and Tawas Point State Park

 

 

THE LAKE HURON SHORELINE - OSCODA TO ALPENA (IBA)

217

 

 

Oscoda Area, Au Sable River Valley Loop, Harrisville Area, Negwegon State Park, Alpena Area

 

 

THE LAKE HURON SHORELINE - ALPENA TO MACKINAW CITY

228

 

 

Presque Isle Harbor, Thompsons Harbor State Park, Rogers City Area, Cheboygan Area, Bois Blanc Island, Dingman’s Marsh

 

 

THE M-33 CORRIDOR

239

 

 

Rifle River Recreation Area, Mio Area, Clear Lake State Park, Tomahawk Flooding and Sinkholes Area

 

 

KIRTLAND’S WARBLER (IBA)

249

 

THE US- 10, US-127, 1-75 CORRIDOR

253

 

 

Chippewa  Nature Center, Dow Ponds and the Midland Cogeneration Venture  Cooling Pond, Kawkawlin Wildlife Flooding, Houghton  Lake Sewage Ponds, Houghton  Lake Flats, Houghton  Lake Wildlife Research Area, Hartwick Pines State Park

 

NORTHWEATERN LOWER PENINSULA

266

 

THE TIP OF THE MITT

269

 

 

The Headlands Park, French Farm Lake, Wilderness State  Park, Thorne Swift Nature  Preserve, Harbor  Springs to Petoskey. Petoskey Area, Mud and Crooked lakes, Pellston Area

 

 

THE CHARLEVOIX AREA

282

 

 

Fisherman's Island State Park, Jordan River Valley and Pathway, Grass River Natural Area, Lake Skegemog, Petobego SGA. Elk Rapids Harbor

 

 

THE TRAVERSE CITY AREA

290

 

 

Boardman Lake and Logan's Landing, Suttons Bay, Leelanau Peninsula, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore-North of Empire

 

 

THE FRANKFORT AREA

300

 

 

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore-South of Empire, Frankfort and Elberta

 

 

THE ARCADIA AREA

305

 

 

Herring Lakes, Inspiration Point, St. Pierre Road, Arcadia Marsh, Chamberlain Road, Pierport

 

 

THE MANISTEE AREA

311

 

 

Onekama  and Portage Lake, Lake Bluff Audubon  Center, Orchard Beach State Park, Manistee North  and South Piers, Magoon Creek Natural Area, Manistee SGA,  Manistee National Forest,  Hodenpyle Dam and Mesick

 

 

THE LUDINGTON AREA

326

 

 

Stearns  Park and Ludington North  Pier, Ludington Wastewater Treatment Plant, Buttersville Township Park and Ludington South Pier, Ludington State Park, Lake Michigan Recreation  Area and Nordhouse Dunes National Wilderness

 

 

THE OCEANA-NEWAYGO AREA

334

 

 

Longbridge, Charles  Mears State Park, Pentwater Waste Treatment Ponds, Walkinshaw Wetland Preserve, White Cloud Area, Fremont Sewage Ponds

 

SOUTHWESTERN LOWER PENINSULA

342

 

LAKE MICHIGAN BREAKWALL BIRDING

344

 

THE MUSKEGON AREA

346

 

 

Muskegon Wastewater System, Muskegon State Park and Breakwalls, P. J. Hoffmaster State Park, Coopersville Sewage Ponds

 

 

THE GRAND RAPIDS AREA

355

 

 

Blandford Nature Center, Grand River, Howard Christensen Nature Center, Reeds Lake Area, Ada Area, Cannonsburg SGA, Grand River Park

 

 

GRAND HAVEN TO HOLLAND

369

 

 

Grand Haven Area, Rosy Mound Natural Area, Hofma Preserve and Park, Kirk Park, Port Sheldon Area, Holland State Park and Lake Macatawa (West  End), Lake Macatawa (East End)

 

 

THE ALLEGAN AREA

384

 

 

Saugatuck-Douglas Area, Lower Kalamazoo River Backwaters, Allegan SGA (IBA), South Haven Area, Van Buren State Park

 

 

THE SOUTHWESTERN CORNER

406

 

 

Sarren Nature Center, Brown Sanctuary, St. Joseph Waterfront, Grand Mere State Park, Warren Dunes State  Park, New Buffalo Area, Galien River Floodplain, Warren Woods State  Park, Three Oaks Grasslands, Mud Lake Bog Preserve, Topinabee Lake Preserve, Fernwood  Botanical Gardens,  Love Creek  County  Park, Cass County Sites

 

 

THE KALAMAZOO-BATTLE CREEK AREA

426

 

 

Mrozek Sod Farm, Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery,  Kleinstuck Preserve, Asylum Lake Preserve,  AI Sabo Preserve, West Lake Nature  Preserve and Bishop's Bog, Gourdneck SGA, Kalamazoo Nature  Center, W. K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary. W. K. Kellogg Experimental Forest, Fort Custer Recreation Area, On Biological Preserve, Barry SGA, Yankee Springs Recreation Area, Otis Sanctuary, Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, Bernard W. Baker Sanctuary

 

EASTERN UPPER PENINSULA

464

 

NORTHERN LAKE HURON SHORELINE

466

 

 

Pt. La Barbe, Horseshoe Bay, St. Martin Bay, Les Cheneaux Islands to De Tour Village, Drummond Island

 

 

THE SOO

472

 

 

Sault Ste. Marie, South of Sault Ste. Marie, Sugar and Neebish Islands, Munuscong Bay State Wildlife Management Area, Rudyard/ Kinross Area

 

 

HIAWATHA NATIONAL FOREST (IBA)

482

 

 

Hiawatha National Forest-Eastern Section, Hulberg Bog, Taquamenon River Mouth

 

 

WHITEFISH POINT (IBA)

 

 

LAKE SUPERIOR STATE FOREST (IBA)

497

 

 

Vermillion, Taquamenon Falls State Park, Newberry Area

 

WESTERN UPPER PENINSULA

504

 

THE NORTHERN LAKE MICHIGAN SHORELINE

506

 

 

Garden Peninsula, Stonington Peninsula, Escanaba Area, J. W. Wells State Park, City of Menominee

 

 

MENOMINEE RIVER TO LAKE SUPERIOR

517

 

 

Menominee  River Corridor, Fumee Lake Natural  Area, Iron Mountain Area, Crystal  Falls Area, Iron River Area, Watersmeet Area, Ironwood  Area

 

 

SENEY NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE (IBA)

531

 

SENEY TO AU TRAIN

535

 

 

Kingston Plains, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Au Train

 

 

THE MARQUETTE AREA

541

 

 

City of Marquette, Northwest of Marquette, West of Marquette, Michigamme Area

 

 

THE KEWEENAW PENINSULA

553

 

 

Baraga Plains, L'Anse and Baraga, Sturgeon River Sloughs Wildlife Area, Houghton Area, F. J. Mclain State Park, Calumet Area, Eagle Harbor Area, Brockway Mountain, Copper Harbor, Southeastern Keweenaw Peninsula, Isle Royale National Park

 

 

HOUGHTON TO THE PORCUPINE MOUNTAINS

577

 

 

Ontonagon Area, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

 

MICHIGAN SPECIALTIES

581

BAR GRAPHS

597

 

CASUAL AND ACCIDENTAL SPECIES

621

APPENDICES

 

 

ANIMALS

625

 

PLANTS

633

 

CLIMATE CHART

636

 

ABA CODE OF BIRDING ETHICS

637

 

REFERENCES

641

INDEX

647

Birds listed in “A Birder's Guide to Michigan”

A

B

C

Acadian flycatcher
Alder flycatcher
American avocet
American bittern
American black duck
American coot
American crow
American golden-plover
American goldfinch
American kestrel
American pipit
American redstart
American robin
American three-toed woodpecker
American tree sparrow
American white pelican
American wigeon
American woodcock
Ancient murrelet
Anhinga
Anna's hummingbird
Arctic tern
Ash-throated flycatcher

Bachman's sparrow
Baird's sandpiper
Bald eagle
Baltimore oriole
Band-tailed pigeon
Bank swallow
Barn owl
Barn swallow
Barred owl
Barrow's goldeneye
Bay-breasted warbler
Bell's vireo
Belted kingfisher
Berylline hummingbird
Bewick's wren
Black rail
Black scoter
Black tern
Black vulture
Black-and-white warbler
Black-backed woodpecker
Black-bellied plover
Black-bellied whistling duck
Black-billed cuckoo
Black-billed magpie
Blackburnian warbler
Black-capped chickadee
Black-capped vireo
Black-crowned night-heron
Black-headed grosbeak
Black-headed gull
Black-legged kittiwake
Black-necked stilt
Blackpoll warbler
Black-throated blue warbler
Black-throated gray warbler
Black-throated green warbler
Black-throated sparrow
Blue grosbeak
Blue jay
Blue-gray gnatcatcher
Blue-headed vireo
Blue-winged teal
Blue-winged warbler
Boat-tailed/Great-tailed grackle
Bobolink
Bohemian waxwing
Bonaparte's gull
Boreal chickadee
Boreal owl
Brambling
Brant
Brewer's blackbird
Brewer's sparrow
Broad-billed hummingbird
Broad-winged hawk
Brown creeper
Brown pelican
Brown thrasher
Brown-headed cowbird
Buff-breasted sandpiper
Bufflehead
Bullock's oriole
Burrowing owl

Cackling goose
California gull
Canada goose
Canada warbler
Canvasback
Cape May warbler
Carolina chickadee
Carolina wren
Caspian tern
Cassin's sparrow
Cattle egret
Cave swallow
Cedar waxwing
Cerulean warbler
Chestnut-collared longspur
Chestnut-sided warbler
Chimney swift
Chipping sparrow
Chuck-will's-widow
Cinnamon teal
Clark's nutcracker
Clay-colored sparrow
Cliff swallow
Common eider
Common gallinule
Common goldeneye
Common grackle
Common ground-dove
Common loon
Common merganser
Common nighthawk
Common raven
Common redpoll
Common tern
Common yellowthroat
Connecticut warbler
Cooper's hawk
Costa's hummingbird
Couch's kingbird
Curlew sandpiper

D, E & F

G

H

 

Dark-eyed junco
Dickcissel
Double-crested cormorant
Dovekie
Downy woodpecker
Dunlin

Eared grebe
Eastern bluebird
Eastern kingbird
Eastern meadowlark
Eastern phoebe
Eastern screech-owl
Eastern towhee
Eastern whip-poor-will
Eastern wood-pewee
Eskimo curlew
Eurasian collared-dove
Eurasian tree sparrow
Eurasian wigeon
European starling
Evening grosbeak

Ferruginous hawk
Field sparrow
Fish crow
Fork-tailed flycatcher
Forster's tern
Fox sparrow
Franklin's gull
Fulvous whistling duck

 

Gadwall
Garganey
Glaucous gull
Glaucous-winged gull
Glossy ibis
Golden eagle
Golden-crowned kinglet
Golden-crowned sparrow
Golden-fronted woodpecker
Golden-winged warbler
Grasshopper sparrow
Gray catbird
Gray jay
Gray kingbird
Gray-cheeked thrush
Gray-crowned rosy-finch
Great black-backed gull
Great blue heron
Great crested flycatcher
Great egret
Great gray owl
Great horned owl
Great shearwater
Greater prairie-chicken
Greater scaup
Greater white-fronted goose
Greater yellowlegs
Green heron
Green violetear
Green-tailed towhee
Green-winged teal
Groove-billed ani
Gull-billed tern
Gyrfalcon

 

Hairy woodpecker
Hammond's flycatcher
Harlequin duck
Harris's sparrow
Heermann's gull
Henslow's sparrow
Hermit thrush
Herring gull
Hoary redpoll
Hooded merganser
Hooded oriole
Hooded warbler
Horned grebe
Horned lark
House finch
House sparrow
House wren
Hudsonian godwit

I, K & L

M & N

O & P

Iceland gull
Inca dove
Indigo bunting
Ivory gull

Kentucky warbler
Killdeer
King eider
King rail
Kirtland's warbler

 

Lapland longspur
Lark bunting
Lark sparrow
Laughing gull
Lazuli bunting
Le Conte's sparrow
Least bittern
Least flycatcher
Least sandpiper
Least tern
Lesser black-backed gull
Lesser frigatebird
Lesser scaup
Lesser yellowlegs
Lewis's woodpecker
Lincoln's sparrow
Little blue heron
Little gull
Loggerhead shrike
Long-billed curlew
Long-billed dowitcher
Long-eared owl
Long-tailed duck
Long-tailed jaeger
Louisiana waterthrush
Lucy's warbler

Magnolia warbler
Mallard
Manx shearwater
Marbled godwit
Marsh wren
McCown's longspur
Merlin
Mew gull
Mississippi kite
Mountain bluebird
Mourning dove
Mourning warbler
Mute swan

Nashville warbler
Nelson's sparrow
Neotropic cormorant
Northern bobwhite
Northern cardinal
Northern flicker
Northern gannet
Northern goshawk
Northern harrier
Northern hawk owl
Northern mockingbird
Northern parula
Northern pintail
Northern rough-winged swallow
Northern saw-whet owl
Northern shoveler
Northern shrike
Northern waterthrush
Northern wheatear

Olive-sided flycatcher
Orange-crowned warbler
Orchard oriole
Osprey
Ovenbird

Pacific loon
Painted bunting
Painted redstart
Palm warbler
Parasitic jaeger
Passenger pigeon
Pectoral sandpiper
Peregrine falcon
Philadelphia vireo
Pied-billed grebe
Pileated woodpecker
Pine grosbeak
Pine siskin
Pine warbler
Piping plover
Plumbeous vireo
Pomarine jaeger
Prairie falcon
Prairie warbler
Prothonotary warbler
Purple finch
Purple gallinule
Purple martin
Purple sandpiper

R

S

T, U & V

 

Red crossbill
Red knot
Red phalarope
Red-bellied woodpecker
Red-breasted merganser
Red-breasted nuthatch
Reddish egret
Red-eyed vireo
Redhead
Red-headed woodpecker
Red-necked grebe
Red-necked phalarope
Red-shouldered hawk
Red-tailed hawk
Red-throated loon
Red-winged blackbird
Ring-billed gull
Ring-necked duck
Ring-necked pheasant
Rock pigeon
Rock wren
Roseate tern
Rose-breasted grosbeak
Ross's goose
Ross's gull
Rough-legged hawk
Royal tern
Ruby-crowned kinglet
Ruby-throated hummingbird
Ruddy duck
Ruddy turnstone
Ruff
Ruffed grouse
Rufous hummingbird
Rusty blackbird

Sabine's gull
Sage thrasher
Sanderling
Sandhill crane
Sandwich tern
Savannah sparrow
Say's phoebe
Scarlet tanager
Scissor-tailed flycatcher
Sedge wren
Semipalmated plover
Semipalmated sandpiper
Sharp-shinned hawk
Sharp-tailed grouse
Short-billed dowitcher
Short-eared owl
Short-tailed hawk
Slaty-backed gull
Smith's longspur
Snow bunting
Snow goose
Snowy egret
Snowy owl
Snowy plover
Solitary sandpiper
Song sparrow
Sora
Spotted redshank
Spotted sandpiper
Spotted towhee
Sprague's pipit
Spruce grouse
Stilt sandpiper
Summer tanager
Surf scoter
Swainson's hawk
Swainson's thrush
Swainson's warbler
Swallow-tailed kite
Swamp sparrow

Tennessee warbler
Thayer's gull
Thick-billed murre
Townsend's solitaire
Townsend's warbler
Tree swallow
Tricolored heron
Tropical kingbird
Trumpeter swan
Tufted duck
Tufted titmouse
Tundra swan
Turkey vulture
Upland sandpiper
Varied thrush
Veery
Vermilion flycatcher
Vesper sparrow
Violet-green swallow
Virginia rail
Virginia's warbler

W

Y & Z

Warbling vireo
Western grebe
Western kingbird
Western meadowlark
Western sandpiper
Western tanager
Whimbrel
White ibis
White wagtail
White-breasted nuthatch
White-collared swift
White-crowned sparrow
White-eared hummingbird
White-eyed vireo
White-faced ibis
White-rumped sandpiper
White-throated sparrow
White-throated swift
White-winged crossbill
White-winged dove
White-winged scoter
Wild turkey
Willet
Willow flycatcher
Wilson's phalarope
Wilson's plover
Wilson's snipe
Wilson's warbler
Winter wren
Wood duck
Wood stork
Wood thrush
Worm-eating warbler

Yellow rail
Yellow warbler
Yellow-bellied flycatcher
Yellow-bellied sapsucker
Yellow-billed cuckoo
Yellow-billed loon
Yellow-breasted chat
Yellow-crowned night-heron
Yellow-headed blackbird
Yellow-rumped warbler
Yellow-throated vireo
Yellow-throated warbler