Bird Migration Peaks in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Rare bird(for UP) - Lark Sparrow

Bird Migration in Michigan

As I enter my first week of June, ever, in the UP, and Marquette, MI., the birds are still flowing in, with some moving on to the north. Admittedly, I am surprised at the late arrival of birds here compared to North Carolina, but then it makes perfect sense as well. Bird migration in Michigan is almost two months behind North Carolina. 

Birds need shelter and food. The leaves are only just now completing the sprouting and unfolding process. The insects were nowhere to be found until about 10 days ago. So what bird in its right mind would get here any sooner. When I left North Carolina on April 30 many warbler species had already arrived and resident birds were on the nest. Young hawks and owls were up in the trees screaming for food.

Week Four

Back to the UP, this week things were really jumping and I was able to get some good birds and good images. Still focusing on the local hotspots, it was interesting to see the daily changes, as weather fronts passed, winds shifted,  and time progressed.   

Black-and-white Warbler

Mallard and the family

Magnolia Warbler

Bird Migration in Michigan is an Awesome Event

My best days for warblers and flycatchers were the buggiest. I love bugs, they bring in the birds. Watching the acrobatics of Magnolia Warblers and American Redstart is a joy.  And the flycatchers – what entertainment!  In the Piedmont section of North Carolina, we only reliable get Acadian,  Wood Pee-wee and Eastern Phoebe. On Saturday I found SIX flycatcher species, and they were busy singing, mating and doing what they do best, flycatching.

Best was the Olive-sided Flycatcher, a life bird one day at Presque Isle, and two days later, they put on a mating ritual near Echo Lake. I was really pleased to get a photo of the action, blurry or not, very cool. (Go to Two Talons Up on Facebook to see)

I spent considerable time recording audio of spring singers. And, I was a little disappointed that some of the warblers were not singing much, assumably because they had not yet reached their breeding grounds, most-likely Canada.

Another difference I have noticed between here and North Carolina, fewer woodpeckers. Perhaps they are less able to tolerate the extreme winters?  

Nashville Warbler at Echo Lake

So sweet! A White-throated Sparrow Duet

Click here for more Michigan bird sounds, a new collection that is building fast.

Bird Migration in Michigan – The Locations

I continue to bird close to home. Wandering comes later in June. I birded Echo Lake (where I work), Presque Isle Park, Presque Isle Bog Walk, and Lake Levasseur, Clark Lambros Beach Park, Founders Landing, and the Lower Harbor, and home.  On eleven checklists, I had a total of 18 warbler species, three vireo sp., seven flycatcher sp.,  and seven sparrow sp.  I need to go hunt me up some shorebirds this week.  In the meantime, as migration comes to an end, it is time to look for mating and nesting behaviors. And before we know, the bird migration in Michigan begins again, in reverse.


…and some mammals

What a privilege to watch wild American Otter fish, relax and tease me. And those chipmunks – this week I finally found both species, Eastern and Least (my favorite). And the feisty Red Squirrel, what a posser. 


Least Chipmunk

Northern River Otters

Red Squirrel

Marsh Marigold

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