Activities
Keweenaw Convention & Visitor's Bureau

Activities » Bird Watching

Bird Watching

  • Keweenaw Birding
    The boreal forests, wetlands, shoreline and harbors and backyard habitats of the Keweenaw make bird watching a year round activity. Over 300 species have been counted by the Audubon Society with at least 85 species found in the Estivant Pines Nature Sanctuary alone. Migrating birds by the thousands pass over the Keweenaw on their spring flight to northern nesting areas. Over 15 different kinds of hawks, falcons, turkey vultures, owls and eagles have been identified by ornithologists who have traveled from as far away as Florida. 26 productive eagle nests were counted by the Gratiot Lake Conservancy in 2010. Robins, sandhill cranes, goldfinches, juncos, the common raven, the common loon and blue herons are just a minute fraction of the many species that “summer” on the Keweenaw. Many of the Nature Association and Audubon sanctuaries have marked trails to follow and are good places to start your search, but roadside, backyard and shoreline sightings are also common. Guided ‘birding walks’ are sometimes offered by local birders and sanctuary officials. Although winters can sometimes be severe, some hearty species call the Keweenaw home on a year round basis. These include black-capped chickadees, blue jays, pileated woodpeckers, common ravens and even eagles if there is open water available. Birds such as the pine grosbeak, white-winged crossbill, common redpoll and rough-legged hawk come to the area only in the winter. So, whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a novice beginner, grab those binoculars and come to the Keweenaw for a truly rare birding experience.
  • Hawk Migration
    Migrating birds - some from as far away as South America - use the Keweenaw as a bridge in their flight to Canada over Lake Superior. Counters have recorded up to 15 different kinds of hawks, falcons, turkey vultures, owls and even eagles passing in numbers upwards of 20,000. Ornithologists from as far away as South Carolina and Florida make their way to Brockway Mountain for the annual "Hawk Watch". Birds start arriving around the middle of April and the migration continues through the end of May. Depending on the weather, peak viewing time is usually around the middle of May.
  • Brockway Mountain Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary
    The 1/2 mile Oren Krumm Trail is located within the Brockway Mountain Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary. Hiking is moderately difficult with gently rolling hills to steep inclines with loose footing. Great views of Lake Superior, and abundant bird and wildlife. Twinflower, many orchids, plants of rock outcrops and wet forest are found here.  Hunting, trapping, pets, camping, fires, ORV's, motorcycles and snowmobiles are prohibited. The taking of any specimens is restricted.
  • Lake Bailey Audubon Sanctuary
    The Lake Bailey Audubon Sanctuary is located just 3.5 miles east of Eagle Harbor along M-26, just past the Lake Bailey public access at the east end of Lake Bailey. There is a large sign and parking area on the south side of the road. A hiking trail is about 2 miles up and back and goes through dense woods. Views are spectacular and birds abundant. The sanctuary is entirely wooded by a mixture of northern conifers & hardwoods. Twinflower, many orchids, plants of rock outcrops and wet forest floor are common. Notable are rare and threatened plants. Hunting, trapping, pets, camping, fires, ORV's, motorcycles and snowmobiles are prohibited. The taking of any specimens is restricted.

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