A Birder's Guide to Michigan
Allen T. Chartier & Jerry Ziarno, eds.
American Birding Association (2004)
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.
|Corrections and Updates
If you have any corrections or updates to this guide, please contact
one of the editors:
Allen T. Chartier (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jerry Ziarno (email@example.com)
Additional sites, which could not be published due to space
considerations, or were inadvertently overlooked, can be published in
the state journal Michigan
Birds and Natural History. Contact Allen Chartier if you would
like to write a site guide for publication.
Posted February 22, 2010
Page 78-79 (text and map)
Name of locale should be changed to Ann Arbor Landfill/Wheeler Service
Center in text and on map. Since the area is now being managed as grassland in some areas,
birding in summer can be worthwhile, with Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark,
Field and Savannah Sparrows some of the birds that may be seen. When the
Washtenaw Audubon Society offers field trips into this area from time to
time, very special priviledges are extended and birders get to stroll on
top of the capped areas and park in very convenient sites. Normally this
kind of access is not allowed. Birders are always welcome to visit the
site during regular business hours. Times on non-holiday weekdays have
changed (see below). There are certain rules that all visitors to the
site are expected to follow:
1. All site visitors MUST first check in at the Materials Recovery
Facility (MRF) Scalehouse every time they are on site, and must park
only in designated areas at the MRF.
2. Site access hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday-Friday on
non-holiday weeks. Closed on all holidays. All visitors must be off the
site before 4 p.m. The front gate at 4120 Platt Road will be locked at
all other time. The site may be open on some Saturday mornings until
noon (April to June only).
3. Visitors must drive only on roads and park only in designated
parking lots or pre-approved areas. Do not drive or park on the
shoulders of paved roads.
4. No open firs, smoking, or hunting are allowed at any time.
5. No dumping or removal of items, including vegetation or
compost, are allowed.
6. Visitors must demonstrate extreme caution around equipment
and operations at all times. Do not touch or obstruct equipment or
otherwise interfere with site operators.
Page 251 (Kirtland's Warbler Tours)
The U.S. Forest Service station has moved, and is now located at 107
McKinley Road. Driving northbound on M-33, pass McDonald's, go
down the hill and turn right (east) onto McKinley Road. Turn
left into the first driveway and you'll see the new station tucked
into the woods (Karen Markey, Allen Chartier).
Page 290 (map)
Site numbers in legend for 17 is overlapped with other numbers (Allen
Delete portion of sentence "and you will soon see one of the last
old groves of American Chestnut trees in Michigan." Also delete the
next two sentences. Unfortunately, it appears that these trees all died
sometime before my visit there in 2009 (Allen Chartier).
Page 329 (text and map)
Father Marquette Memorial is on the right side of S. Lakeshore Drive
when going north, not on the left side (Dave Dister).
Correct DeLorme reference to Page 27, A4 and the Lat/Long to 42*24' N,
86*17' W (Greg Bodker).
Insert "(uncommon)" after Alder Flycatcher and Brown Thrasher
in first paragraph (Greg Cleary). Other interesting birds that nest here
include Wood Duck, Virginia Rail, Green Heron, Red-bellied Woodpecker,
Wood Thrush, and Northern Waterthrush. Also possibly insert that the
area bird list currently (Cleary 2009) stands at 173 species. Add to
second paragraph that the area is also locally famous for its orchids,
of which at least 17 species have been recorded to date. Website needs
to be updated at end of paragraph, as it is now www.fumeelakes.org.
Posted January 28, 2008
A very useful Google Map file that pinpoints every one of the 280+
locations described in A Birder's Guide to Michigan was created some
time ago by Karen Cleveland (Michigan DNR). It is really nice and I have
gotten permission from ABA to post it on a website where everyone can
access it. This file can be accessed by clicking here.
You need Google Earth to read it, which can be downloaded free from: http://earth.google.com/
Page 180 (map)
Roads in this area are often poorly marked, and there are some errors on
the map. Cucumber Road is actually Cumber Road. Minden Road does not
continue south of Russell Road.
Page 206 (map)
From location A, there is now a dike going east which separates the
"East Pool" into two ponds. Also, the trail along the east
side of the East Pool is very broken up and difficult to follow now.
This new dike has been good for Least Bittern and Yellow-headed
Blackbird recently, and the east end of this dike can be good for
(Ed Lewandowski, Allen Chartier)
All maps show something different. Brownell Road may actually be
signposted Woods Road, and the habitat there may now be too old for
Kirtland's Warblers. The map on page 216 should also be corrected.
(Brian Allen, Jerry Ziarno)
In the description for Gordon Turner Park, it states that it is located
northwest of the mouth of the Black River. It should read "at
the mouth of the Cheboygan River." The river name is correct
on the map on p. 234.
The first two bullet pointed Kirtland's Warbler areas should have a
reference to the map on page 242 where both locations are shown. In
summer 2006, "Watson and Deyarmond Valley Roads" was good
habitat with warblers present, but "the Mack Lake area" was
too old and did not have warblers. The third bullet point, "North
Down River Road" has caused some confusion. It is also
designated as CO F32, and is signposted as F32. The map on page
253 shows F32 going east from I-75.
(Brian Allen, Jerry Ziarno)
The Sutton's Bay Sewage Ponds were under construction in mid-2006 with
the word that they were planning to fill the ponds in completely.
(Joseph E. Faggan)
There is now a charge to park at Tiscornia Beach, and that may also
apply to Silver Beach County Park.
The New Buffalo Public Beach parking now costs $5 per entry between 9
a.m. and 10 p.m.. Only New Buffalo residents are allowed to purchase a
(Jonathan Wuepper, Madeline Johnston)
Page 482 & 483 (A on map)
As of July 2007, FR 3344 is now marked as the George Roberta Ellis
(Patti and Jerry Calvert)
Posted February 8, 2006
In the second paragraph replace '"take Exit 173 (Rudyard
exit)" with "take Exit 373 (Rudyard exit)".
Posted January 27, 2006
The mileage scale on the map for Lake Lansing (SE-4) The distance shown
on the scale bar is actually 1 mile, not 10 miles.
Posted December 6, 2005
Page 198, 229, 239, 253
The state highway shown on the maps on all these pages as 66 should
actually be 65.
The correct phone number for Grandpa's Barn is (906-289-4377).
Posted October 3, 2005
The exit number off of I-69 is 196, not 198.
The Fremont Sewage Ponds have not been open to birders for some
time. Delete this site from the Guide until further notice.
(Bob Tarte/Bill Sweetman/Janet Skeberdis)
The 52 acres recently received as a gift by the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy
(see original posting/correction below) has now been named the Kesling
Pedestrian access onto this property is via a foot path leading north
from the east side of the bridge where there is a small parking area and
Local Copper Harbor birder Jim Rooks passed away in the spring of 2005.
Delete the second to last paragraph on this page, which reads
"Guided minivan tours led by an experienced and cheerful local
birder, Jim Rooks, can be arranged at the Laughing Loon Gift Shop in
Copper Harbor (906-289-4813)."
(Allen Chartier/Jerry Ziarno/Laurence Binford)
Inside back cover
Clare County is misspelled on the color map.
(Allen Chartier/Jerry Ziarno)
Posted January 14, 2005
The URL for the Stinchfield Woods web page has been changed to: : www.si.umich.edu/~ylime/stinchfield.html
Posted January 12, 2005
Inside back cover
On map, delete location number 42 (in Livingston County) and on the Map Key
to the left change 42 to 43.
The Saginaw Bay Birding website is shown incorrectly. It should be
The Michigan Welcome Center has been closed.
Under "Karn Plant", the Saginaw Bay Birding website is shown
incorrectly. It should be www.saginawbaybirding.org.
Under NE-21 The Mio Area, change the parenthetical page reference to
"(see page 249)".
The Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy
recently received 52 acres on the
north side of Forest Lawn Road near the bridge over the South Branch of
the Galien River as a gift. This new preserve has not yet been named.
Pedestrian access onto this property will be via a foot path leading north
from the east side of the bridge .