Bird-watching opportunities in Michigan are as varied as the state’s topography. They range from the chance to see an abundance and variety of majestic waterfowl at wetlands in all parts of the state to catching a rare sighting of the Kirtland’s warbler in its Northern Michigan nesting area.
Throughout Michigan, increasing numbers of people are taking to our forests and waters with the goal of observing any of the more than 400 species of birds that live here. About 2 million state residents now classify themselves as birders, highlighting the importance of managing our natural resources both for their enjoyment and for future generations.
How does conservation benefit bird-watchers?
From creating suitable nesting habitat to maintaining healthy forests and aquatic systems, conservation and wildlife management play critical roles in ensuring robust bird populations in Michigan.
Managing our aquatic systems
Michigan is a national pioneer in managing its wetlands, recognizing the multiple roles that wetlands play in sustaining a healthy environment. Among other management practices that benefit waterfowl, wetlands managers will regularly clear brush to encourage nesting.
Managing our forests
Michigan’s woods are home to several bird species, including the rare Kirtland’s warbler, which prefers nesting under young jack pines. Because jack pines do not grow in shade and are fire-dependent, forest management techniques are used to help create sunlit areas that allow jack pines to thrive.
Enhancing bird-watchers’ experiences
Birding trails that promote wildlife viewing and conservation education – as well as provide economic benefit to local communities – are being created along Michigan’s scenic roadways.
You can learn more about these and many other conservation practices on our Wildlife Conservation page.