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2018-12-05 / News

Eastern U.P. Offers Opportunities for Christmas Bird Counting

Snowy Owl Snowy Owl The National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count has been a holiday season tradition, engaging citizen scientists in bird census efforts since 1901.

Novice, expert and in-between birdwatchers will gather to count numbers of species and individual birds during designated count periods, within numerous count circles, situated across Michigan and the country.

Among these efforts, organizers are recruiting people to join one or more of the half dozen Christmas Bird Counts set for the eastern U.P. in December.

Dates and details provided by organizers:

December 15, Sault Ste. Marie

This exciting count is an international count and includes the twin cities of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and Michigan and the surrounding areas. Contact Dave Euler at davideuler or Carter Dorscht at

December 18, Straits of Mackinac

The center pin for this circle is right on the middle of the Mackinac Bridge. Come bird the areas around St. Ignace, Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island. Contact Steve Baker at

December 19, Les Cheneaux Islands

This count includes the areas around Cedarville, Hessel and Pickford. Expect a great day with friendly people exploring the vast wonders of the north Lake Huron area. Anticipate birds like pine grosbeak, snowy owl, sharp-tailed grouse and many more.

Contact Michigan Sea Grant educator Elliot Nelson at or (906) 322-0353.

December 28, Rudyard

Only in its second year of existence, this exciting count includes open fields, dense forest, an old Air Force base and a landfill (more exciting than you’d think). Contact Steve Baker at

December 29, Neebish Island and Dunbar

Remote Neebish Island is a winter wonderland and the mainland areas around Dunbar and Bruce Township are full of fascinating birding opportunities. Contact Brian Zwiebel at blzwiebel

Date TBD, Whitefish Point

Limited roads are open, but wonderful birds are still found. Occasionally, spruce grouse, gray jays and crossbills are on the list. Contact Charlie Weaver at

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