By Howard Meyerson
It is getting to be that time of year when migratory birds return to Michigan in abundance, a period when fields, forests and meadows are thawing, when early spring plants begin to show, and when breeding birds, just returning from the their winter travels, begin to look for suitable nesting sites and habitat.
More than 500 bird species return to the Upper Midwest each spring, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Great flocks pour into the region following historic flight paths, called flyways. They sweep in along the Great Lakes and Michigan shorelines, bound for points north, often stopping to rest on prominent points of land. Others arrive as a wide front spread over the landscape. They too will find respite in the forests, farm fields and marshes along the route.
Any and all of those locations can be a good for seeing birds. Michigan, and nearby states and provinces, offer numerous opportunities for excellent spring birdwatching. Allegan State Game Area alone is reported to have 136 different bird species, while Metro Beach Park, on Lake St Clair, has been reported by birdwatchers to have 227 species.
That says nothing of Pointe Mouillee State Game Area, in Monroe County which is considered one of the top birding spots in the state – or Whitefish Point Bird Observatory, near Paradise in the Upper Peninsula, which is known to be one of the best in the country. Tens of thousands of birds arrive at Whitefish Point every spring during their migration north. Continue reading