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Birdwatching in the Porcupine Mountains

The Porcupine Mountains offer excellent birding. The old-growth forests that dominate the area support a number of rare woodland birds. Birdwatchers will have a chance to see a variety of warbler species, including black-throated, green, northern parula, Blackburnian and black-throated blue. The forest is also home to Swainson’s thrush, very and hermit thrush. The bluffs and lakeshore habitat attract a number of raptor species, including the bald eagle, merlin and broad-winged hawk. Waterfowl include common merganser, wood duck, great blue heron and American bittern. Other species of note are the barred owl, common raven, pileated woodpecker, whip-poor-will, common nighthawk and northern saw-whet owl.

  • The Porcupine Mountains offer an outstanding variety of bird species.
  • More than 388 species of birds have been spotted in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Porcupine Mountains Area Birdwatching Hotspots:

  • Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park – The park offers more than 60,000 acres of old growth forests and continuous lakeshore habitat. More than 87 miles of hiking trails wind their way through the park, giving birdwatchers access to an incredible variety of habitat types. The sandy beaches attract numerous shorebirds during the spring, summer and fall.
  • Lake of the Clouds – Located within the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, this is an outstanding place to see peregrine falcons, which nest in the escarpment above Lake of the Clouds. From the trail above the ridgeline, you can view their amazing territorial displays.
  • Black River Recreation Area and Black River Harbor – Located north of Bessemer, this area is excellent for birdwatching. The forestland along the river provides good woodland birdwatching. The harbor attracts migrating shorebirds and waterfowl.
  • Ottawa National Forest – The Ottawa National Forest covers much of Ontonagon County, offering nearly endless birdwatching opportunities.
  • Agate Falls State Park and Bond Falls State Park – Located south of Bruce Crossing, both of these parks offer breathtaking waterfalls and great birding.