Five Birdwatching Hot Spots in the U.P.

Posted on March 25th, 2021

Catch a glimpse of some unique bird species while visiting the U.P.

Centuries before vacationers flocked to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, birds began following migratory flight paths across this wilderness region. Nearly 400 distinct bird species have been spotted throughout the U.P., including such rare finds as Kirtland’s Warblers, Western Kingbirds, Brants, Purple Sandpipers, and Boreal Owls. Key times to birdwatch are mid-spring and early-to-mid fall. But many species call the U.P. home year-round so pack binoculars and a bird field guide when you visit. Here are five hot spots:

  • Seney National Wildlife Refuge is part of the Superior Birding Trail and is located in the central part of the U.P. It is a haven to all sorts of bird species including American Bitterns, Northern Saw-whet Owls and Blackburnian Warblers.

    Northern Saw-whet Owl by @flatheadpete

  • Whitefish Point Bird Observatory, located on the eastern side of the U.P., is one of the prime locations for watching bird migrations, More than 340 different bird species have been spotted and recorded in this globally important bird area. Here is your chance to see White-winged Scoters, Red-throated Loons, Boreal Owls, Black-backed Woodpeckers, Boreal Chickadees and Evening Grosbeaks, to name a few!
  • Estivant Pines Nature Sanctuary on the Keweenaw Peninsula is home to the Broad-Winged Hawk, Red Crossbills and 80+ other bird species.
  • North Huron Birding Trail along the U.P.’s southeastern shoreline offers a number of birdwatching spots. Key destinations along the trail include St. Ignace, Les Cheneaux, DeTour, Drummond Island and Pickford. Watch for Indigo Buntings, Common Loons, Red Scarlet Tanagers, Great Blue Herons, Bald Eagles and more.

    Gold Finch by Jennifer VanHouse Cosco

  • Fumee Lake Natural Area, in the central U.P., has both swampland and hardwood forests. This makes it home to a variety of ducks, swans, finches and wood warblers.

To view these locations on a map or check out more birdwatching spots in the Upper Peninsula, visit: https://www.uptravel.com/recreation/birding/.

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