Sunday, April 25, 2010

National Geographic Guide to Birdwatching Sites

National Geographic Guide to Birdwatching Sites: Eastern U.S.
by Mel White

This guidebook, illustrated with impressive photographs, covers the Eastern United States from Texas to Maine. The book presents specific birding locations in each of several regions. Their North Central region includes Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky & W. Virginia. I've selected some sites relatively close to Kalamazoo.

"The [Great Lakes] are a barrier, too-- a fact that birders put to good use in spring migration. Northbound land birds arrive at the lakes, look out over seemingly endless stretches of water offering no food, no place to rest, and often decide to take a break before continuing. As a result, impressive numbers of birds can pile up along shorelines, especially at isolated patches of trees such as Indiana's famous Migrant Trap, in Hammond, or Ohio's equally famous Crane Creek boardwalk, east of Toledo. In places like these, on any day from mid-April through May one is likely to find birders scanning the trees in anticipation of a 'fallout' day when 20 or more species of warblers may be found in just a few hours."

Birding locations near Kalamazoo

1. Warren Woods State Natural Area
migrant songbirds in spring

2. Warren Dunes State Park

spring migrants
raptors (fall or spring migrations)
waterbirds (summer)

3. Migrant Trap (Lakeshore Park and Sanctuary) Hammond, IN
(parking lot west of Hammond Marina
flycatchers, vireos, thrushes, warblers, sparrows

4. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore & Indiana Dunes State Park

spring & fall migrants

5. Washington Park Michigan City , IN


6. Kingsbury Fish and Wildlife Area, IN

"top inland shorebirding site"

7. Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife Area, IN
marsh birds

8. Maple River State Game Area, MI

wading birds

9. Lake Erie Metropark and Point Mouillee State Game Area
Fall hawk migration (late September)

10. Chicago lakeshore, IL

Montrose Point "Magic Hedge"
Lincoln Park Bird Sanctuary
Paul Douglas Nature Sanctuary
Spring & Fall migrants

11. Point Pelee, Ontario
famous birding spot
mid-April to early June: "breathtaking number" of songbirds

Available from public libraries, or from booksellers like Amazon

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