This year will mark the 30th Annual Spring Fling: WPBO’s Celebration of Bird Migration when members and their guests “migrate” to Paradise, Michigan and the Whitefish Point area to visit with old friends, both human and avian. Many activities are being planned for another refreshing weekend of birding experiences.

We are looking forward to a very special celebration of spring migration this year at Whitefish Point Bird Observatory. This year we are excited to mark some important milestones as we prepare to welcome birds and birders back for another spectacular season of birding at the Point, arguably one of Michigan’s most beloved birding destinations. Not only does 2018 mark the 30th anniversary of Spring Fling, but it also marks the 30th spring season of the official owl banding program. In honor of these achievements, our speakers, presentations, tours and other activities will highlight the uniqueness of the Point, celebrate the achievements of the observatory’s past, and explore exciting new developments in its future.

 

>> Click here to register for Spring Fling 2018

 

Banquet and Keynote Address

The Owls of Whitefish Point Bird Observatory by Nova Mackentley and Chris Neri

Following a full day of birding bliss at the Point, the annual banquet offers a wonderful opportunity to warm up while enjoying excellent food, good friends old and new, and the opportunity to share great birding escapades from days past or from just hours before.

In celebration of the 30th year of the owl banding program at WPBO, we will welcome Nova Mackentley and Chris Neri as our speakers for the evening. Chris has been banding owls at WPBO since 1999 and Nova since 2005.  After dinner and socializing, they will share an engaging program about the owls of Whitefish Point.

Workshops and Tours

  • Motus Towers in Michigan by Rich Keith
  • Climate Change by Alec Lindsay
  • Botany Walks by Susan Kielb
  • Guided Birds Walks on Whitefish Point Trails
  • Evening Owl Flight at the Hawk Deck

 

Pre and Post Spring Fling Field Trips

Birding in Paradise

Trip Date: April 27, 2018

Leader(s): Skye Haas and TBD

If you plan to attend the 2018 Spring Fling, why not get a head start on the weekend with this pre-Spring Fling trip? The focus of the trip will be spring migration at the point including raptors, waterbirds, and early passerines. A lot of birding will be done at Whitefish Point itself, and this includes spending some time on the hawk deck.

This is one of the most diverse times for raptors and double-digit numbers of raptors for the day is quite possible. Bald Eagles, Northern Harriers, Rough-legged Hawks, Kestrels, Red-tailed Hawks, and Sharpies are very likely, along with other raptor species, including the chance to see a Golden Eagle.

The characteristic sound of flocks of Sandhill Cranes flying overhead will almost surely accompany our trip. Waterfowl are also in good variety with Common Loons, Red-necked and Horned Grebes expected, along with the opportunity for Red-throated Loons (flying by) and other dabbling ducks. The feeders at Whitefish Point are often rather active at this time of year, with many species of sparrows. Some sparrow species possible include Vesper, Lincoln’s and Fox. Overall, a wide diversity of species is found on this trip.

Expect to spend time at the Point, on the hawk platform and at other birding spots in the WPBO vicinity. This trip will begin at dawn, or thereabouts, and last until mid to late afternoon.

Additional details:

This is an all-day trip that will begin in Paradise, MI. You will be notified beforehand about the exact details and directions to the meeting location.
Transportation during the field trip is via personal vehicles.
This trip does not include meals, nor is this trip included in the registration costs for Spring Fling.

Searching for the Spruce Grouse

Trip Date: April 29, 2018

Leader(s): Skye Haas and TBD

Spruce Grouse is on the “most wanted” list for many birders and can be notoriously difficult to find on your own. On this half day trip we will combine our knowledge and expertise, and the advantage of the collective eyes of a group, in an attempt to locate one or more of these birds while taking in the other birds and sights of the Whitefish Point area. No guarantees, but we usually turn up one or more grouse. And we always have a good time.

Additional details:

The trip will begin Sunday morning in Paradise, MI and last about three hours. You will be notified beforehand about the exact details and directions to the meeting location.
Transportation during the field trip is via personal vehicles.
This trip does not include meals, nor is this trip included in the registration costs for Spring Fling.

These field trips are not part of your basic Spring Fling registration, but you can register for them along with your Spring Fling registration, or separately.