Tawas Bird Fest

The Biggest Little Birding Festival in the Midwest

May 18-20 2017, Iosco County, Michigan

Come to Michigan’s Sunrise Coast to enjoy spring birding at its best, attend presentations on the latest birding topics, hone your birding skills, and learn about avian conservation work in Michigan.

The Tawas Point Birding Festival is a Michigan Audubon Signature Event that is supported by the local chapter, AuSable Valley Audubon.

Festival participants enjoy some of the best birding in the Great Lakes region; Tawas Point is well known for high concentrations of migrating warblers during the month of May. Species highlights have included Kirtland’s Warbler, Cape May Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, White-crowned Sparrow, numerous raptors, shorebirds, and more. Over 160 species were recorded during the festival weekend in 2016. This year’s festival will move headquarters back to the Tawas Bay Beach Resort. Don’t miss out, spots are limited!

Michigan Audubon is excited to welcome Joanna Eckles to the 2017 Tawas Point Bird Festival in May. Eckles has watched, studied and worked with birds all her life. She is currently the conservation program manager at Audubon Minnesota where she leads the Bird-friendly Communities program. We hope you will join us for our catered banquet and this engaging discussion of how we can support the needs of birds while making our own communities stronger, more vibrant, connected and healthy for people and all wildlife.

About

Hosted every year in May on Michigan’s Sunrise Coast, the Tawas Point Birding Festival is a Michigan Audubon Signature Event. This birding festival is made possible by Event Partners like local chapter AuSable Valley Audubon, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and the US Forest Service, and with the support of Event Sponsors and donations from around the state of Michigan.

The Tawas Point Birding Festival features guided birding walks at the area’s best hotspots, programs and talks by some of Michigan’s leading wildlife experts, the Michigan Audubon bookstore, and, of course, the opportunity to enjoy the company of hundreds of your fellow birders. Tawas Point offers a diverse array of bird-rich habitats, from shorebirds and water bird species on Lake Huron to songbirds and marsh species at Tuttle Marsh. High concentrations of migrating warblers make the Point a must-visit for spring birding. With a unique schedule of tours, programs, and presentations by leading experts, you can hone your birding skills and get updates about avian conservation work happening across Michigan.

Tawas Point was a beacon for migrating birds long before lake-going navigators used the Point to negotiate the waters of Lake Huron. Since the event began, birders from around the country and the world have made Tawas Point their destination for Spring birding.

Festival participants enjoy some of the best birding in the Great Lakes region; Tawas Point is well known for high concentrations of migrating warblers during the month of May. Species highlights have included Kirtland’s Warbler, Cape May Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, White-crowned Sparrow, numerous raptors, shorebirds, and more. Over 150 species were recorded during the festival weekend in 2016.

 

Register

Register

To register at the event, please visit the event headquarters at the Tawas Bay Beach Resort and check in at the registration table to see what options are still available.  Space is limited, so early registration is recommended.

Schedule

2017 Schedule
Birder’s Social & Keynote Address

Join us at the Tawas Bay Beach Resort for a buffet dinner, cash bar, and this year’s featured speaker.

Essential elements of a bird-friendly community by Joanna Eckles

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Birds need food, water, shelter and safety to survive and thrive in all parts of their life cycle – during breeding season, on their wintering habitats and on migration. By creating bird-friendly communities we can support the needs of birds while making our own communities stronger, more vibrant, connected and healthy for people and all wildlife. In this program we will discuss best practices for improving habitat, reducing threats and engaging people in conservation and outdoor recreation to benefit birds and their habitats.

Joanna Eckles has watched, studied and worked with birds all her life. She is currently a conservation program manager at Audubon Minnesota where she leads the Bird-friendly Communities program and two projects central to its mission: Transforming the places people live and work into habitats where birds thrive. Project BirdSafe focuses on studying bird-window collisions and promoting solutions and Bird City Minnesota is a municipal recognition and education program. Bird City guides and recognizes communities for the positive actions they take on behalf of birds, including steps to reduce bird-window collisions and other threats, improve habitat and get citizens involved in birding and conservation.

Plan Your Visit

Lodging and Accommodations

2017 Festival Headquarters will be the Tawas Bay Beach Resort.

There are many motels in the Tawas/Oscoda area. Motel information can be found by visiting the Tawas Chamber of CommerceBe sure to mention that you are coming for the Birding Festival as many locations will offer a discount.

Airport Information:

The following airports may provide the most convenient access to Iosco County, depending on your travel plans:

What to bring:

Pack comfortable walking/hiking shoes, raincoat, sweatshirt or medium-weight jacket, reusable water bottle, optics, and cameras. It can be quite cool mornings and evenings so be sure to dress in layers.

Tawas Point has its own micro-climate; please be prepared for windy, cold conditions, often 10-degrees cooler than inland locations.

Questions?

Contact Michigan Audubon Education Coordinator Lindsay Cain at lcain@michiganaudubon.org or call the office at (517) 580-7364.

Checklist

Are you curious to know what was seen in 2016?  Download the 2016 Check List.

Map

Click here to download a map of Tawas Point State Park birding and hiking trails.

Sponsors

Become a Sponsor for the Tawas Point Birding Festival

The Tawas Point Birding Festival has gained nationwide recognition as a key destination for observing spring bird migration. Over the last five years, the event has drawn birders from 17 states and 5 foreign countries to the Tawas and Oscoda communities. The support of residents and local businesses has helped build the excitement for bird watching opportunities in the area. You can help bring even more birders—and tourist dollars—to Iosco County during the 2017 Tawas Point Birding Festival weekend.

2017 Sponsorship Levels

2017 Sponsors

Purple Martin $1000

 

Bald Eagle $500

Consumers EnergyMooney’s Ben Franklin | Oscoda Area EMS

Kirtland’s Warbler $250

Bay Inn | Gilbert Drug Store | Mr. Jack’ss Sports Bar & Grill | Oscoda Area Convention & Visitors Bureau | Oscoda Baptist ChurchStephenson & Company, PCTawas Bay Big Boy & Northwoods Steakhouse | Vanguard

Trumpeter Swan $100

Alpena Alcona Area Credit Union | Barnacle Bills | Big Bob’s Restaurant | Branham’s Jewelry | Camp Inn Lodge | City of East Tawas/East Tawas City Park | Dean Arbour Chevrolet & Quality North Chevy Dealers | Ducks Unlimited | G’s Pizzeria and Deli | Gingerich Feed & Implements, Inc. | Hsing’s Garden Chinese Restaurant | Kocher’s Market | Neiman’s Family Market | O’Connor’s | Peggy Ridgway | Plainfield Township | Rainbow Gardens | Scofield Real Estate | Tawas Hardware, Inc. 1322 | Thunder Bay Audubon | Village Chocolatier | Wiltse’s Brew Pub & Family Restaurant

Baltimore Oriole $75

Always a Holiday! Bed and Breakfast | Arnie Leriche | Cathy’s Hallmark | Freel’s Market | John L. Lesneski D.D.S | Mama’s Country Kitchen | Mangos Mexican Cuisine & Tequila Bar | Whitetail Cafe | Wojahn Floor Covering Inc.

Scarlet Tanager $50

Alward’s Market | Bernard Building Center Inc | Colvin’s Plumbing & Heating | Hale Insurance Agency | Huron Community Bank | Jeffrey M. Chadwick, O.D., P.C. | Kathy Jane’s Boutique | Kirtland’s Warbler Audubon Society | McDonald’s of Tawas | Oscoda/Ausable Chamber of Commerce | Richard Yarsevich | Rogers Family Foods & ACE | Straits Area Audubon Society | Susan & Ed Davis | Tawas Bay Art Gallery | Tri-County Agnecy Inc | Young’s Getaway Beachfront Resort