Birds

Birds of Coastal Michigan

More than 140 species of birds depend on Michigan’s coastal habitat during their life cycle. Coastal wetlands, beaches, sand dunes and remote islands provide food and shelter for both resident and migratory species.

Waterfowl such as Canvasback and Scaup are among the many species that use coastal wetlands as stopover sites to rest and refuel. Shorebirds including the endangered piping plover fly thousands of miles to nest on undisturbed beaches and remote Great Lakes islands.

Because of their use of the coastal lands, there are thousands of great locations to see both resident and migratory bird species throughout Michigan and the Great Lakes region. State parks, national parks, wildlife refuges and sanctuaries throughout the state all provide good bird-watching opportunities. Some sites along Michigan’s Great Lakes shoreline are even considered birding “hotspots” due to the number of species that pass through each spring and fall.

Explore this website to learn more about bird species in Michigan and the unique coastal ecosystems that support them.

Byways to Flyways

Thousands of songbirds, waterfowl, shorebirds and raptors pass through the Detroit River, western Lake Erie region each year. The Byways to Flyways map highlights 27 exceptional birding sites in Southeast Michigan and Southwest Ontario, Canada.

The map provides a brief description of each site, amenities, and directions, as well as a sampling of the species documented at each site.

Click the image for more details.