from Song of Hiawatha
Give me of your bark, O Birch-tree!
Of your yellow bark, O Birch-tree!
Growing by the rushing river,
Tall and stately in the valley
I a light canoe will build me,
Build a swift Cheemaun for sailing,
Thus aloud cried Hiawatha
In the solitary forest,
By the rushing Taquamenaw,
When the birds were singing gayly,
In the Moon of Leaves were singing,
And the sun, from sleep awaking,
Started up and said, "Behold me
Gheezis, the great Sun, behold me.
from ABA "A Birder's Guide to Michigan",
Allen T. Chartier and Jerry Ziarno
Many birders come to Michigan with the intention of adding Kirtland's Warbler to their life lists – but the state should by no means be dismissed as a "one-species wonder." Surrounded by four Great Lakes, Michigan boasts 3,000 miles of shoreline. Add the additional habitat afforded by 11,000 interior lakes, 36,000 miles of rivers and streams, and the largest state forest system in the nation, and it's not surprising that Michigan's official bird list now stands at 421 species.
Boreal breeders include such species as Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker, Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Purple Finch, and Red and White-winged Crossbills. Winter irruptions bring Northern Hawk, Great Gray, and Boreal Owls to the Upper Peninsula, and Snowy Owls statewide. And most winters at least one Gyrfalcon can be found hunting in the UP. A day of birding in May can produce a list of 20 or more warbler species, and summer breeders include Connecticut, Cerulean, and Yellow-throated Warblers, among others. Fall offers the spectacle of numerous loons, grebes, sea ducks, and jaegers at sites such as Whitefish Point, Presque Isle Lighthouse, Port Huron, Manistee, and Alpena, as well as thousands of migrating hawks on western Lake Erie.
A Birder's Guide to Michigan describes over 200 sites, with details on each site's birds, best seasons, and driving directions, accompanied by 200-plus maps. Thoroughly researched bar graphs describe the seasonal status and abundance of the state's regularly occurring species, and an annotated list of specialties will guide birders to some of North America's most sought-after species. A bonus is an appendix listing the state's amphibians and reptiles, butterflies and dragonflies, mammals, and orchids – Michigan is home to a stunning and sometimes rare assortment of these gorgeous plants.