Tawas Point Migration 2018, Birders Welcome

Photo by Caleb Putnam, Golden-winged Warbler, Tawas Point State Park, 17 May 2014

This article brought to you by our friends at the AuSable Valley Audubon

In 2006, AuSable Valley Audubon members introduced an event to educate and celebrate with local governing powers and interested nature enthusiasts the impact and importance of a bird migration area named Tawas Point. Tawas Point State Park‘s peninsula is surrounded by sandy beaches and a lengthy two-track trail with various trees, shrubs and grasses along the route. It’s a safe haven for shorebirds, songbirds and raptors, to rest and refuel along their migratory route.

The Tawas Point Birding Festival was the physical result of the desire to educate and involve people in the migration.  Michigan Audubon has been a vital partner in providing well-known speakers, field guide leaders and other resources to festival attendees for over ten years. The communities of Iosco County have enthusiastically welcomed birders from all over the United States and many foreign countries.

The Tawas Point Birding Festival has traditionally happened every year in May. Recently, the Michigan Audubon has opted to oversee an every-other year festival, rather than continue with an annual event. As a result, AuSable Valley Audubon members, who were very interested in continuing to keep birds and habitat a priority, developed an independent plan. It is a simplified event from May 17-19, called Tawas Point Migration 2018. It will offer some of the same high-quality birding experiences as the Tawas Point Birding Festival in a different format and over a shorter time span.  

As always, expert birders will lead walking field trips at Tawas Point, as well as carpools to local Kirtland’s Warbler habitat, Tuttle Marsh and other birding hot spots to find Whip-poor-wills, Redheaded Woodpeckers, Trumpeter Swans and migrating warblers. On Saturday, May 19, there will be indoor activities for families, birders of all ability levels and the general public at the Knights of Columbus Hall in East Tawas. There will be hands-on nature activities for kids as well as the very popular hour-long live birds show “The Wonder of Raptors.” It will be presented twice, plus a session on creating bird and butterfly gardens using native plants (with plants on sale), a program about Peregrine Falcons and an opportunity to learn about bird songs.

Many birders love to gather and tell of their experiences. Thursday evening, from 6pm on, there will be a gathering and dinner (order off the menu at your own expense) at the Northwoods Steak House located on US 23.

Saturday evening at 6pm there will be a closing event at the Knights of Columbus Hall. Further details coming.

Registration for all activities will be online for a mere $15/adult.  Those wishing to attend only the educational activities on Saturday may do so with a walk-in fee of $5 per adult. Anyone under seventeen may attend the educational activities for free if accompanied by a paying adult.  For further information visit our website www.ausablevalleyaudubon.org or our Facebook page.


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