Birding is fun for all ages. It’s free and you can do it anywhere! Another bonus is – it will get everyone outside! What a healthy way to spend an afternoon.
The best way to see and watch birds is through binoculars. There are many types but they can be relatively inexpensive and so worth it! I bought mine for $15 and they work great. It can be pretty cold in the winter but if you bundle up and hike on our trails using snowshoes or cross country skis and you are very quiet…you will hear and see different kinds of birds. They are fascinating! Even watching out the window with your binoculars is pretty great.
Yes, many birds migrate south for the winter. Why? Survival and food. Geese, ducks and most waterfowl migrate south to find open water. Some species will migrate to South America, Mexico and the Caribbean.
Hummingbirds, mosts robins, sparrows and warblers head south in search of warmer weather too.
Some birds migrate to Michigan from Canada such as the Dark Eyed Junco (cutest little bird ever!), pine siskins and snow buntings but they are only here in the winter until they fly north again.
Dark Eyed Junco
And some birds stay put all winter long. For example, the woodpeckers are very territorial and monogamous. Cardinals, nuthatches and blue jays are also here year round.
But as the weather warms up, the bird songs can be heard much more. It is one of those reminders that spring is nearby and many birds will start to return.
The weekend of April 3-5 is the Mackinac Raptor Fest. When dawn rises, hawks, eagles and falcons will migrate north over the Straits of Mackinac. Sandhill cranes will also join the other flocks to make their way over the water. Hundreds of birds will take flight until the daylight is over and they will try again the next morning. What an experience to watch these birds!
So your “take away” from reading our Blog is that this activity can be done anywhere and all year long. Families can enjoy this together but it is also a great solitary hobby. Check out our Birding Page for all sorts of information on the best places to bird and links to even more.
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