top black bar Egret in flight, black bird on top chasing




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Detroit Audubon field trips offer fantastic year-round birding opportunities. We visit renowned hotspots in Michigan, Ohio and Ontario during songbird, shorebird and raptor migration seasons. Other trips focus on the many interesting resident species in our area. All trips are free except as noted. Everyone is welcome, especially beginning birders.
NOTE: Schedule is subject to change. Please contact the Detroit Audubon office at (248) 354-5804 or email the trip leader by 5:00 PM at least two days before each field trip so we’ll know how many to expect and can contact you about any changes. Leave your name, address, number coming, phone number, and email address.
If you can carpool or give folks a ride, let us know.
For maps of all Metroparks, see


Point Pelee, Ontario
April 25, 2015 (Saturday) 8:00 a.m.
Leader: Richard Quick

Pelee in the spring! It does not get better for a birder. We will be there for the beginning of migration but there is plenty to see, including shorebirds in the Hillman Marsh area north of the park.
Directions: Cross the Ambassador Bridge and follow Rte. 3 to Leamington. Follow signs to Point Pelee National Park (entrance fee required: about $8). Meet in the Visitor Center parking area. Be prepared for chilly temps and bring a lunch.  Bring passport for entry into Canada and back into the U.S.

Lake St. Clair Metropark (formerly Metro Beach)
May 3, 2015 (Sunday) 8:00 a.m.
Leader: Cathy Carroll

This Metropark is a justly famous migrant trap. A good list of warblers, as well as many other nesting and migrant birds, will be seen.
Directions: Take I-94 east and exit on Metropolitan Parkway. Drive east into the park (entrance fee) and park on west side of the main parking lot. Meet at the Nature Center.

Suburban Park Hop
May 6, 2015 (Wednesday) 8:00 a.m.
Leader: Richard Quick

This is a chance to explore close to home, with the prospect of interesting birds in unlikely locations. We will visit a series of parks in Southfield, Farmington Hills and Commerce Township.
Directions: Meet at the parking lot of Carpenter Lake Park on 10 Mile Road about a quarter mile east of Inkster Road, Southfield.

Magee Marsh Wildlife Area - Joint Trip with Young Birders Club (Oak Harbor, OH)
May 9, 2015 (Saturday) 7 a.m.—4 p.m.
Leader: Jim Bull
This is THE biggest weekend in birding at one of THE best sites in North America to see warblers and other songbird migrants—sometimes up close and personal.  In recent years we have also had nesting Bald Eagles, Woodcock, Common Nighthawk, and Screech Owls. Meet at the beginning of the Birding boardwalk trail on the deck with the warbler display (west end of the parking lot). Get there early for a good parking spot.
Directions:  Take I-75 to Toledo; go south on I-280 to Highway 2. Follow Hwy 2 east about 18 miles and turn north at the Magee Marsh entrance. Follow signs to the preserve parking lot. Drive to the west end of the beach parking lot at the beginning of Birding Trail.
For details and to RSVP, Young Birders should email with the names of the young people coming, your phone number, and email address.

Wetzel State Recreation Area, Macomb County
May 16, 2015 (Saturday) 8:00 a.m.
Leaders: Richard Quick
This trip offers a nice mixture of habitat. Breeding birds regularly observed include: Sedge and Marsh Wrens, Harriers, Forster’s and Caspian Terns, Clay-colored, Savannah, Song and Grasshopper Sparrows, Bobolink, Meadowlark, Orchard Oriole, Brown Thrasher, Eastern Towhee, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Blue-winged Warbler, and Willow Flycatchers, Ruddy Ducks, Redheads and Pied-billed Grebes. This 4-hour trip will require walking 3 to 4 miles. Be prepared for wet trails.

Directions: Take I-94 east to Exit 247 (M-19/New Haven Rd.). Take M-19 north to 27 Mile Road. Go west on 27 Mile past Werderman Rd. Meet in the parking lot at the end of 27 Mile Road.

Gibraltar Bay Unit of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge
May 17, 2015 (Sunday) 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Leader: Jim Bull

See this natural gem of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge in spring.
Directions: Take Grosse Ile Parkway across the bridge (just north of Van Horn Road and Jefferson). Go right on Meridian Road until it ends. Turn left on Groh Road, then right on East River Road. The entrance is about 1.5 miles down on the right past the airport at 28820 East River Road, Grosse Ile, MI 48183. Meet in the parking lot.

Detroit Audubon Memorial Weekend
Nature Getaway
May 22-25, 2015 (Friday through Monday)
Coordinator: Jim Bull

Don’t miss this weekend with wonderful people and fine birds at the Loon Lake Lutheran Retreat Center, and areas nearby like the Kirtland’s Warbler Management Area and Tawas Point. As the date approaches, check the website for further details and to download the registration form.

Saturday, May 23, 2015 (Memorial Day Weekend)
Leader: Leonard Weber

We are once again extremely lucky to have Leonard Weber guiding our tour for this very exciting event at a legendary birding hotspot during the peak of spring migration. For details and to RSVP, email with the names of the young people coming, your phone number, and email address. We will be sending out reminders with location information and meeting time.

Breeding Birds at Kensington Metropark  
May 31, 2015 (Sunday) 8 a.m.
Leaders: Curt and Kathy Hofer

Kensington Metropark is known for the long-standing Great Blue Heron Rookery in Wildwing Lake, roaming Sandhill Cranes, and nesting Ospreys. Other species likely to be observed are Acadian Flycatcher, Great-crested Flycatcher, Yellow-throated Vireo, Scarlet Tanager, Hooded Warbler, Wood Thrush, and all of our local swallows. Also seen occasionally are Pileated Woodpecker, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and Henslow’s Sparrow.
Some of the trails can be soggy, depending upon the recent weather, so wear appropriate footwear. The trip will last about four hours.
Directions: Take I-96 west toward Lansing to Exit 151, Kensington Road. Proceed across Kensington Road into the Metropark on Highridge Drive. Follow Highridge Drive to the Nature Center, about 1/2 mile past the tollbooth. Meet in the Nature Center parking lot. Metropark pass or entry fee required.
Park Map HERE

Eliza Howell Park
June 6, 2015 (Saturday) 9:00 a.m.
Leader: Leonard Weber

Join us on this trip to see over 30 species of songbirds in Eliza Howell Park at the peak of their breeding season. We will look for nests of Baltimore Orioles, Eastern Bluebirds, Barn Swallows, and others. We can expect to watch birds feeding their young.
Directions: Eliza Howell Park is on Fenkell (Five Mile Road) in Detroit, about one block east of Telegraph Rd. Enter the park and drive about ½ mile around the loop and park near the nature trail.

Oak Openings Metropark, Toledo  
June 20, 2015 (Saturday) 8 a.m.
Leader: Jim Bull

Famous for its rare oak savannas and prairies, this Toledo area Metropark is a mecca for specialty breeding birds. Often seen here are Lark Sparrows, Blue Grosbeak, Summer Tanager, Eastern Whip-poor-will, Red-headed Woodpecker, Alder Flycatcher, and Henslow’s Sparrow. We had such a great day here in 2014, our first time in many years, that we have to go back!! 
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.




Historic Elmwood Cemetery (no more than 2 hours)
9 a.m. Friday April 17
Leaders: Detroit Audubon President, Dr. James (Jim ) Bull. While not required it would be helpful if you could RSVP to

Established in 1846 Elmwood is the oldest continuously operating, non-denominational cemetery in Michigan. The final resting-place of tycoon and laborer alike, it was was the first fully integrated cemetery in the Midwest. It contains the graves of many famous men and women including civil war dead, Michigan's first territorial governor Lewis Cass, Michigan's first geologist Douglas Houghton, and Detroit's first Black mayor, Coleman Young. Famed Landscape Architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed Central Park in New York City and drew up the original plans for Belle Isle, redesigned the cemetery in 1890. Thanks to Olmsted, a stone's throw away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Detroit, you will find 86 acres of graceful hills and a valley surrounding a calmly flowing stream, complete with large stands of trees and roads that follow the natural slope of the land, blending with the surrounding environment and architecture, creating a haven of peace for the living to enjoy. And we, the living, have been invited by Elmwood to enjoy birding in this special place. This hopefully will become a regular event-monthly or maybe more frequently. We'll experiment with different days of the weeks and weekends in the future.
Location: 1200 Elmwood Avenue, Detroit 48207 at Lafayette and Robert Bradby Drive immediately adjacent to Cavalry Baptist Church. Meet at the gatehouse for Elmwood Cemetery and park along the pond drive.

Owl Prowl - Grosse Ile, MI
March 7, 2015 (Saturday) 7:30 p.m.
Leader: Jim Bull

Great Horned Owls will have been nesting since early February, Barred Owls will just be beginning, and Screech Owls will be getting ready to nest. Since they are defending territories, playing an owl tape or imitating their calls will likely bring them in where we can see them by lantern light. Meet at St. James Episcopal Church for a brief slide program on owls. Please contact Jim Bull or the Detroit Audubon office (248-354-5804) by March 5th to make reservations.
Directions: Take I-75 to West Road (exit 32A) and take West Road into Trenton. Turn right at Jefferson, then left at Grosse Ile Parkway. Cross the bridge and, when you come to a “T,” turn right on East River Road. St. James is on your right at 25150 East River Rd., Grosse Ile Township. Use the driveway on the north end of the church (don’t go past it) and come in the side entrance.

Woodcock Watch—Oakwoods Metropark
April 3, 2015 (Friday) 7:30 p.m.
Leaders: Park Naturalist and Jim Bull

Right at dusk, this sandpiper with a long bill and huge comical eyes does its spectacular aerial courtship display in open areas. This program is great for families with children.
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.

Frog Symphony, West Bloomfield Nature Preserve
April 10, 2015 (Friday) 7:30 p.m.
Leaders: Sally Petrella (Friends of the Rouge), West Bloomfield Naturalist Lauren Azoury, and Jim Bull

Join us for an evening of listening to, and searching for, frogs. We often see salamanders, Wood Ducks, herons and owls. Co-sponsored by Detroit Audubon and Friends of the Rouge, this program is especially good for children.
Directions: From Telegraph Road, go west on Long Lake Road to where it dead-ends at Orchard Lake. Turn left. At the next traffic light, turn right onto Pontiac Trail and look for the sign “West Bloomfield Nature Preserve” at Arrowhead Road. Follow signs to the preserve parking lot.










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Copyright 2006 Detroit Audubon. All rights reserved. Egret Photo Credit: James N. Bull. Site Design: Allen Licari- Tellus Networks

Udated: March 11, 2015 12:19