Birding in Benzie County

Wood Duck (Photo by Carl Freeman)

With its rolling hills covered by forests and fields, and interspersed with numerous lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, marshes, and a long coastline along Lake Michigan, Benzie County is ideally situated for spring and fall migrants.

The spring migration begins slowly in March, builds from mid-April until early May and peaks in the middle of May. The Benzie Audubon Club hosts a Big Day Count each year and has recorded, as a group, as many as 168 species on one day. Individual birders have recorded as many as 132 species in a day. The Benzie Audubon Club and the Manistee Audubon Society just to the south have consistently recorded the highest species total on their Christmas bird counts of any other count in northern Michigan. After the peak, the migration winds up quickly so that by the end of May it is essentially over.

In the fall, migration actually begins as early as July when a few shorebirds, having already completed their nesting in the tundra, begin a leisurely southward trek. The entire fall migration is much less frenetic than the spring migration and will actually last into December. The peak migration now is difficult to define as different species seem to peak at different times, but usually the best overall birding may be had from mid-September through mid-November.

Through the early part of the spring migration and most of the fall migration, weather is extremely variable and birders should be prepared for a wide variety of conditions.

Narrow result by letter:
Found 5 Businesses in 1 page(s)

Showing records 1 to 5

Benzie Audubon Club

P.O. Box 804
Frankfort, MI 49635

Betsie River Pathway - Pere Marquette State Forest

King Road & Longstreet Road
Thompsonville, MI 49683
Phone: 231-922-5280

Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy - Coastal Nature Preserve Trails

3860 N Long Lake Rd., Suite D.
Traverse City, MI 49684
Phone: 231-929-7911

Sleeping Bear Birding Trail

Walks & Trails
County, MI 49635
Phone: 231-929-7485

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Outdoor Activities

Empire, MI 49630
Narrow result by letter:


Download a Map and Guide for Birding in Benzie County.


Scarlet Tanager (

Benzie County, the smallest of the 83 counties in Michigan, offers wonderful birding opportunities throughout the year, especially in the spring and fall.  About 270 species have  been recorded in the county and about 220 of these may be seen in a given year.

For additional information, please contact the following:

Benzie County Visitors Bureau

P.O. Box 204 • Benzonia, MI 49616 • 800-882-5801

Copyright © 2018, Benzie Country Visitors Bureau. All Rights Reserved. Produced by Gaslight Media