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 313-588-1015.

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).


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.


Elmwood Cemetery Bird Walk

Saturday, September 15th, 9 am to 11 am
Leader: Bailey Lininger
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.


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.


Crosswinds Marsh 

Saturday, October 13th, 9 am to 12:00 pm
Leader: Jim Bull
Location: Crosswinds Marsh (27600 Haggerty Rd, New Boston, MI 48164)

Crosswinds Marsh boasts over 230 species of waterfowl, upland birds and raptors, including resident nesting Bald Eagles.  Spring and fall migration are best for songbirds, waterfowl, and sometimes shorebirds. It has beautiful boardwalks crossing extensive wetlands which are great for waterfowl and other water and marsh birds. Adjoining woods are good for woodpeckers, warblers, thrushes, and a plethora of songbirds. You might consider packing a lunch to have after the trip in the picnic area overlooking the marsh.

Terrain: Easy walking on board walk or level trail. Moderately very slight uphill– maybe a foot or two climb on one of the woodland trails.  (The boardwalk is wheel chair accessible).

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: Click here to reserve your FREE tickets.


Eliza Howell Park Walk

Saturday, October 20th, 9 am to 12 pm
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: Click here to reserve your FREE tickets.


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.