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Staff Picks

Looking for an insider tip? You’ve come to the right place. Take a look at our staff-approved top picks for creating magical Mackinac memories.

The Beautiful Birds of Mackinac Island

Although famous for lilac festivals, yacht races, horses, and fudge, there is another aspect of Mackinac Island that appeals to a select group of enthusiasts – the birders of America. Much of the Island’s terrain is varied, consisting a limestone formations, lake shores, bogs, marshes, fields, and forests. Such an array of terrain creates habitats for a variety of birds, particularly as the majority of it remains under the auspices of Mackinac Island State Park, which protects it from development and makes it ideal for both migratory species and those native to the area.

There are over 160 species of birds on Mackinac Island, and birders arrive during different seasons, hoping to spot red-tailed hawks, bald eagles, yellow warblers, indigo buntings, and more. The few who are fortunate enough to be here in the winter might catch a glimpse of snowy owls direct from the icy reaches of the arctic. Due to the access to deep water, there are many varieties of waterfowl, such as loons, long-tailed ducks, and many others.