Birdwatchers flock to Northern Michigan during the migration of birds during the spring. More than twenty nature preserves and parks within a short distance of Charlevoix proper provide for endless hours of birdwatching. These protected habitats have diverse landscapes, waterscapes and topography, which boast sightings of more than 400 species of birds.
The most notable birds found in the Charlevoix area are the Bald Eagle, Common Loon, Sandhill Crane, Snowy Owl, Pileated Woodpecker, Golden-Winged Warbler, Scarlet Tanager, Baltimore Oriel, and Common Loons.
Locations to birdwatch range from open fields and wide beach expanses of Lake Michigan to wooded trails and dense forests in Fishermans Island State Park. Many waterfowl like Blue Heron, bufflehead ducks, and mergansers are found in the inland lakes in Charlevoix County. Rent a few kayaks to launch from the many public access points on Lake Charlevoix, Susan Lake, or the Antrim County Northern Chain of Lakes (Six Mile, Saint Clair, Ellsworth, Wilson, Ben-way, Hanley, Intermediate).
The best resources to plan your next birding excursion are:
The Sunset Coast Birding Trail lists locations throughout Charlevoix, Emmet and Antrim Counties.
The Beaver Island Birding Trail lists areas on Beaver Island to view birds as they stopover in migration over Lake Michigan