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Chickadee sitting on a branch in the springtime

300+ reasons to bird-watch in Delta County

On any given day, you are likely to see birds flying overhead or hear them chirping outside your window. But have you ever seen a colorful bird and wondered what it was called? Or listened to a songbird and wished you knew the singer’s name? 

Birdwatching opens a world of knowledge to you. Unlike some activities, this is one you can do year-round in just about any locale. It gets you outside which is good for your mental and physical health. Plus it deepens your appreciation of the many wonders and mysteries of nature. 

One of the best places to bird watch is right here in Delta County.  More than 290 different species have been spotted in and around Escanaba. Some birds stay year-round, others pass through on their bi-annual migratory flight path. The video below gives you a glimpse of what you can see in our diverse ecosystem made up of Lake Michigan, the Bays de Noc, marshes, rivers, fields and forests. As you watch the video, see if you can identify the common grackle, sandhill crane, great egret, hooded merganser and bald eagle. Give yourself extra points for identifying the other birds. 

A low-budget pastime, birding doesn’t require a big outlay of money. You simply need a pair of binoculars that are comfortable to carry, a hat to protect you from the sun and a bird field guide. You can use a printed guide or an app on your phone or tablet. Many birders recommend downloading the Cornell Lab Merlin

Other helpful take-alongs include a checklist of Delta County birds to keep track of your sightings, a good pair of shoes or boots, a notebook and pen to journal locations and observations, plus a daypack to carry your water bottle, checklist, snacks, dry socks, etc. 

Where to bird in Delta County. There are more than three dozen bird watching locations that birders frequent here. They range from the mitigation ponds at the Meijer store in Escanaba to Peninsula Point that juts between Little and Big Bays de Noc. Several birders track their findings at ebirdhotspots.com. Click the individual locations below to see a list of different birds observed in the area, photos and directions. The 10 locations marked with an asterisk have reports of 100 or more species.  

*Chase PlaceDays River Nature Trail
Days River PathwayEscanaba boat launch (N. 30th)
Escanaba City ForestEscanaba Meijer mitigation ponds
Escanaba River Hydroelectric DamFairport
*Farmer’s Dock boating access siteFayette Historic State Park
Flat Rock HighveldFord River mouth
Garden BayGladstone Bay Campground
Granskog Creek MarshHaunted Forest Preserve
Hunter’s Point boat launch*Indian Point
*Kipling boating access siteLake 16
*Ludington ParkMartin Bay Nature Preserve
Nahma Marsh Hiking TrailO.B. Fuller County Park
*Ogontz BayOgontz Cemetery Rd.
*Peninsula PointPioneer Trail Park
*Portage Marsh (Portage Point)*Rapid River boating access site
Rapid River Ski TrailsSac Bay Beach County Park
Sand BaySaunders Point/Wilderness Point (Gladstone)
Soderman’s CornerSt. Vital’s Point
Stonington pine barrens*Sylvatica Ecolodge
Veteran’s Park (Butcher’s Creek)Wedens Bay
Whitefish River mouthWilliam Bullen Memorial Fishing Facility

As you can see from the list of locations, bird watching is a great way to explore this beautiful area. Make plans to see our feathered visitors that love this place as much as we do. Tag #visitescananba when you post pictures of the birds on social media. It’s a chance to be featured on our Instagram. Have fun watching!

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