2018 Field Trip Schedule

Detroit Audubon field trips offer fantastic year-round birding opportunities! We visit renowned regional hotspots during the migration season, and other trips focus on the many interesting resident species. All trips are free unless otherwise noted. Everyone is welcome, especially beginning birders, and you can always bring a friend. We’re always adding more field trips, too, so check back frequently!

Before each trip, reserve or purchase your tickets by following the links below. Even if the event is FREE, please reserve a space–then we know how many people to expect.

If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to staff@detroitaudubon.org or call us at 313-960-3399.

Please note that the schedule is subject to change. Please confirm all dates and times before the event.
For maps of all Metroparks, see http://www.metroparks.com/ParkMaps

A note on park entrance fees:
Many of our programs take place on the wonderful public lands we have available to us here in Michigan and the surrounding area! There are a variety of different park entrance fees that may be required in order to enter these areas, and they are not covered in the cost of the program.
Belle Isle: Parking a vehicle on Belle Isle requires having a Michigan Recreation Passport ($11/year when paid with your car registration, or $16/year when purchased separately). This pass is valid at all Michigan State Parks, State Recreation areas, trailheads, camping areas, and more.
Huron-Clinton Metroparks: In order to enter a Huron-Clinton Metropark, you must either pay a daily fee ($10) or have an annual pass for your vehicle ($35).


REGISTRATION CLOSED: Point Pelee Campout

May 17th through May 20th
Leader: Mike Fitzpatrick and Lee Burton
Location: Point Pelee National Park

What a great opportunity to spend several 24 hours days birding at one of North America’s premier birding hot spots!  Cost is $18 per night and you can stay the whole time or come for just one or two nights. Only groups are allowed to camp at Point Pelee and only a few groups get that privilege–we are lucky to be one of the groups that gets to go back year after year.

To RSVP: Email michaeldfitz44@gmail.com for more information.


Swift Night Out

Saturday, May 19th, 7:30 pm to just after sunset
Leader: Jim Bull
Location: Swift Sanctuary and Historic Winery (Farmington, MI)

Join us with our partners at the Swift Sanctuary to watch the spectacular show as up to 50,000 Chimney Swifts swirl around and down into this historic winery–the largest roost of Chimney Swifts in North America! Bring a lawn chair to watch this incredible show. This is a smaller, quieter event in comparison to our 2-day fall event.

To RSVP: Click here to reserve your FREE tickets.


Elmwood Cemetery

Saturday, June 2nd, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Leader: Detroit Audubon
Location: Elmwood Cemetery, Detroit, MI
For GPS, use 1000 Robert Bradby Drive, Detroit, MI 48207. The entrance to the cemetery is just past this address on the right. Please park by the side of the pond, which is downhill and to the left of the main building at the entrance.

This is one in a series of walk to explore the birds, unique landmarks, and history of this beautiful 86-acre cemetery which is among the top “must-see” historic sites in Detroit.  Designed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead and dedicated in 1846, the cemetery provides a unique opportunity to experience the nature, culture, and history of Detroit. This event is great for beginning birders, young birders, or anyone just trying to get outside and explore a new part of the city!

To RSVP: Click here to reserve your FREE tickets.


Eliza Howell Park Walk

Saturday, June 9th, 8 am to 11 am
Leader: Leonard Weber
Location: Eliza Howell Park

This walk will be led by Leonard Weber, the resident expert on all things nature in Eliza Howell Park. Taking a walk with Leonard through Eliza Howell is an experience everyone should have! Over 30 species of songbirds nest in Eliza Howell Park in Detroit. At the peak of their breeding season, we will view some of their nests. In a typical year, on this walk we see active nests of at least six species. This walk is good for participants of all ages.

To RSVP: Click here to reserve your FREE tickets.


Oak Openings Metropark

Saturday, June 16th, 8:00 am
Leader: Jim Bull
Fee: $10 per person
Location: Oak Openings Metropark (Swanton, OH)

Looking for a special way to spend Father’s Day weekend? Join us for a trip down to beautiful Oak Openings Metropark just over the border in Ohio. Famous for its rare oak savannas and prairies, this Toledo area Metropark is a mecca for specialty breeding birds. Often seen are Lark Sparrow, Blue Grosbeak, Summer Tanager, Eastern Whip-poor-will, Read-headed Woodpecker, Alder Flycatcher, and Henslow’s Sparrow.

Directions: From I-75, merge onto I-475 W (Exit 204) toward US-23/Maumee/Ann Arbor, then left onto US-23 S/I-475 S toward Maumee/Dayton. Merge onto Airport Hwy/OH-2 W (Exit 8B) toward Airport/Swanton. Turn left onto Girdham Rd. until it dead-ends into Oak Openings Parkway. Turn left (east) onto Oak Openings Parkway and proceed about a half to three quarters of a mile. The turnoff for the Buehner Center will be on the left. Meet in parking lot.

TRIP MINIMUM: In order for this field trip to run, we must have a miniumum of 8 participants. In the event that the field trip does not run, you will receive a refund.

To RSVP: Click here to purchase your ticket.


Belle Isle Walk

Saturday, June 23rd, 8:30 am & 11:00 am
Leaders: Melissa McLeod and Bailey Lininger
Location: Belle Isle State Park, Detroit, MI

Join lifelong Detroiter and amateur naturalist Melissa McLeod and Detroit Audubon Program Coordinator Bailey Lininger on a morning walk through the beautiful forests of Belle Isle. You’ll learn all about the natural history of Belle Isle and look for birds and other wildlife along the way.
We’ll meet at the parking lot by the Athletic Shelter (click here to see on Google Maps) and walk along the Nashua Creek Trail for approximately 1-2 hours. The trail is paved but uneven.
This event is great for beginning birders and families, and we have binoculars available to borrow if you don’t have your own!

To RSVP: These walks are FULL! Click here to get on the waitlist.


Elmwood Cemetery

Friday, July 6th at 9:00 am
Leader: Detroit Audubon
Location: Elmwood Cemetery, Detroit, MI
For GPS, use 1000 Robert Bradby Drive, Detroit, MI 48207. The entrance to the cemetery is just past this address on the right. Please park by the side of the pond, which is downhill and to the left of the main building at the entrance.

This is one in a series of walk to explore the birds, unique landmarks, and history of this beautiful 86-acre cemetery which is among the top “must-see” historic sites in Detroit.  Designed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead and dedicated in 1846, the cemetery provides a unique opportunity to experience the nature, culture, and history of Detroit. This event is great for beginning birders, young birders, or anyone just trying to get outside and explore a new part of the city!

To RSVP: Click here to reserve your FREE tickets.


Pointe Mouillee

Saturday, August 4th, 8:00 am
Leader: Jim Fowler
Fee: $20 per person.
Location: Pointe Mouillee State Game Area

This is one of the premier shore birding areas in the interior of the continent when water levels are favorable. Join us for a day by the water! There are limited vehicles permitted to go onto the dikes, so we will carpool and rent a van. Advance RSVP is required.

To RSVP: Click here to purchase your tickets.


Eliza Howell Park Walk

Saturday, September 8th, 8 am to 11 am
Leader: Leonard Weber
Location: Eliza Howell Park, Detroit, MI
We will meet about halfway along the loop road that begins on Fenkell Road.

This walk will be led by Leonard Weber, the resident expert on all things nature in Eliza Howell Park, and is good for all ages. The focus of this walk is on the early fall migrants, including warblers. One never knows exactly when the migrating birds will be present in great numbers, but at this time of the year and of the month there are often as many species present as at the middle of the spring/May migration.

To RSVP: Click here to reserve your FREE tickets.


Swift Night Out Festival

Saturday, September 22nd and Sunday, September 23rd from 6:00 pm to just after sunset
Location: Swift Sanctuary and Historic Winery, Farmington, MI (31505 Grand River Ave, Farmington, MI 48336)

Join us with our partners at the Swift Sanctuary to watch this spectacular show as up to 50,000 Chimney Swifts swirl around and down into this historic winery–THE largest roost of Chimney Swifts in North America!

To RSVP: Click here to reserve your FREE tickets.


Lake Erie Metropark

Saturday, October 6th, 8 am to 1 pm
Leader: Jim Bull
Location: Lake Erie Metropark (38421 W Jefferson Ave, Brownstown, MI 48173)

Lake Erie Metropark is one of the best places for hawk migration in North America if the winds are right, and this is a good time for migration of songbirds and waterbirds, too. We will traverse woodlands, boardwalks, and observation platforms looking for warblers, other songbirds and migrating water birds. We will also go down to the boat launch to observe the hawk migration for a while. Some years the number of hawks can be spectacular!

To RSVP: Click here to reserve your FREE tickets.


Elmwood Cemetery Bird Walk

Friday, October 19th, 9 am to 11 am
Leader: Detroit Audubon
Location: Elmwood Cemetery, Detroit, MI
For GPS, use 1000 Robert Bradby Drive, Detroit, MI 48207. The entrance to the cemetery is just past this address on the right. Please park by the side of the pond, which is downhill and to the left of the main building at the entrance.

This is one in a series of walk to explore the birds, unique landmarks, and history of this beautiful 86-acre cemetery which is among the top “must-see” historic sites in Detroit.  Designed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead and dedicated in 1846, the cemetery provides a unique opportunity to experience the nature, culture, and history of Detroit. This event is great for beginning birders, young birders, or anyone just trying to get outside and explore a new part of the city!

To RSVP: Not available yet–check back later!


Eliza Howell Park Walk

Saturday, October 20th, 8 am to 11 am
Leader: Leonard Weber
Location: Eliza Howell Park (meet halfway down the loop drive off Fenkell Road)

Fall migration continues, though the species are different from early September. A variety of sparrows are moving through the park (seeing SEVEN species on one walk is quite possible). Purple Finches are among the other birds we will be looking for.

To RSVP: Not available yet–check back later!


Owl Prowl

Friday, November 2nd at 7 pm
Leaders: Oakwoods Metropark Naturalist and Jim Bull
Location: Oakwoods Metropark Nature Center
Directions: From I-75, exit at West Road and go west to Telegraph (M-24). Turn left on Telegraph, right (west) on Van Horn (which becomes Huron River Drive), then left on Willow Road to Oakwoods Metropark (32901 Willow Road, New Boston) on the left. Meet at the Nature Center. Annual Metropark sticker or daily pass required.

We will call for owls and expect to hear them call back, and maybe call them in close where we can see them. This program is especially good for families with children!

To RSVP: Not available yet–check back later!


Elmwood Cemetery Bird Walk

Friday, November 9th, 9 am to 11 am
Leader: Detroit Audubon
Location: Elmwood Cemetery, Detroit, MI
For GPS, use 1000 Robert Bradby Drive, Detroit, MI 48207. The entrance to the cemetery is just past this address on the right. Please park by the side of the pond, which is downhill and to the left of the main building at the entrance.

This is one in a series of walk to explore the birds, unique landmarks, and history of this beautiful 86-acre cemetery which is among the top “must-see” historic sites in Detroit.  Designed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead and dedicated in 1846, the cemetery provides a unique opportunity to experience the nature, culture, and history of Detroit. This event is great for beginning birders, young birders, or anyone just trying to get outside and explore a new part of the city!

To RSVP: Not available yet–check back later!


Point Edward and Lake Huron Shore

Saturday, November 10th, 9 am to 4 pm
Leader: Jim Bull
Location: Meet at Ontario Travel Information Center (1455 Venetian Blvd, Point Edward, ON N7T 7W7, Canada)
Price: TBD

The focus of this trip is on water birds and early winter arrivals. In the past, we have seen Bohemian Waxwings, Common Loons, Red-throated Loons, all three species of Scoters, Little Gulls, Mergansers, Longtailed Ducks, Evening Grosbeaks, and multiple species of Grebes. This is a car caravan, stopping at multiple locations We will stop for lunch at a restaurant along the way. Lunch is not included. There is no limit for the number of cars for the locations we have planned. This will not be a strenuous field trip–we will walk approximately half a mile at two locations on level ground.

To RSVP: Not available yet–check back later!


Sandhill Cranes at Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area

Saturday, November 17th, 11 am to 2 am
Leader: Jim Bull
Location: Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area (5822 N. Fish and Wildlife Lane, Medaryville, IN 47957)
Price: TBD

Yes, this is a long trip to this northern Indiana refuge, but it is well worth it to see 8,000-20,000 Sandhill Cranes, including cranes from Michigan which stop over here on their way to the Gulf Coast and Florida wintering grounds. We will look for cranes in the surrounding fields, and do some other birding before the cranes show up. About one hour before sunset, flocks of cranes kite into Goose Pasture Viewing Area. Inspiring and comical, they socialize and dance before returning to roosting marshes at dusk. We will stop for lunch on the way down, and for dinner on the way home (food costs not included). We will rent a 15-passenger van, and others can caravan or meet us there. Meeting spot for departure TBA.

To RSVP: Not available yet–check back later!


Belle Isle Waterfowl Tour

Saturday, November 24th, 9 am to 11 am
Leader: Jim Bull
Location:  Meet at Belle Isle Nature Center (176 Lakeside Dr, Detroit, MI 48207)

This gem of Detroit’s park system–and Michigan’s state parks system!–is an excellent birding location for viewing migrant and wintering waterfowl. This will be a car caravan tour of the island, and will not be a strenuous walking trip.

To RSVP: Not available yet–check back later!


Elmwood Cemetery Bird Walk

Saturday, December 1st, 9 am to 11 am
Leader: Detroit Audubon
Location: Elmwood Cemetery, Detroit, MI
For GPS, use 1000 Robert Bradby Drive, Detroit, MI 48207. The entrance to the cemetery is just past this address on the right. Please park by the side of the pond, which is downhill and to the left of the main building at the entrance.

This is one in a series of walk to explore the birds, unique landmarks, and history of this beautiful 86-acre cemetery which is among the top “must-see” historic sites in Detroit.  Designed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead and dedicated in 1846, the cemetery provides a unique opportunity to experience the nature, culture, and history of Detroit. This event is great for beginning birders, young birders, or anyone just trying to get outside and explore a new part of the city!

To RSVP: Not available yet–check back later!


Detroit Audubon Christmas Bird Count

Sunday, December 16th
Leader: Tim Nowicki

This is one of the oldest Christmas Bird Counts, part of counts all over North America used to study bird populations. Birders spend the entire day covering a 15-mile diameter circle in parts of northern Oaklant County to count as many birds as possible. Meet for pizza and count wrap-up at day’s end.

To participate: Call Tim Nowicki at (734) 525-8630, email tnowick@gmail.com, or contact us at staff@detroitaudubon.org.


Rockwood Christmas Bird Count

Saturday, December 22nd
Leader: Detroit Audubon

Detroit Audubon cosponsors this all-day annual count of the 15-diameter circle which includes Grosse Ile, Lake Erie Metropark, Trenton, Rockwood, South Rockwood, Newport, and Oakwoods Metropark.

To participate: Please contact us at staff@detroitaudubon.org.


Can’t find the event you’re looking for? It probably hasn’t been added to the website yet, but will be very soon! Thank you for your patience as we update our website as quickly as we can. If you have a question about a field trip, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at staff@detroitaudubon.org.