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Bird Watching in Mackinac County

Indigo BuntingThe perfect place for bird watching is Mackinac County, a place rich in marshes, rocky peninsulas and sandy coves. Forests of white cedar, balsam fir, white birch and quaking aspen dominate the shores. Hardwood forests of sugar maple and beech favor the deeper soils inland.

Wetlands range from marshes along Lake Huron with their neighboring sedge meadows, to bogs with tamarack and black spruce and white cedar swamps. White and red pine tower above sand ridges and old beaches near the lake meadows and other grasslands can be found just inland.

This area is a migratory stopover site and significant nesting area for over 275 bird species. The forested shoreline and peninsulas provide landing and launching habitat for birds crossing over the straits in the spring and fall. Inventories have shown a wide variety of bird species including neo-tropical warblers, waterfowl and arctic species.

The rich diversity of habitats and the changing seasons provide a constantly varying panorama for bird watchers. Many species of birds found in Mackinac County remain here all year. Some migrate through our area, others breed here and winter far south, while still others breed as far north as the arctic and come south to winter here.

R.V. Dietrich is an avid bird watcher in Mackinac County. His website includes a photo album and an A.O.U. (Audubon Ornithologist’s Union) checklist.

North Huron Birding Trail

12x18-NHBT Sign-FINALWith over two dozen prime birding locations, the North Huron Birding Trail covers 150 miles on the north side of Lake Huron along Michigan’s Scenic Byway M-134.  The trail runs from St. Ignace on the western end, along the southern coast of the Eastern Upper Peninsula, through the towns of the Les Cheneaux area to DeTour Village, up to the Pickford Grassland Area, and all of Drummond Island.  The distinct changes in seasons, diverse habitats, sprawling miles of shoreline, plus extensive natural areas with public access make the North Huron Birding Trail a birder’s paradise.

North Huron Birding Trail, Interactive Map

The above map contains green numbered icons that give you area/bird species information.