Photos courtesy of Doug Leffler
From warblers in Waterloo Recreation Area to Sandhill Cranes at Haehnle Sanctuary, there are many excellent birding opportunities for birding in the Jackson area. Here is a list of JAS members' picks for local and regional birding hot spots.
Lists! Bird species for Jackson area. Species List-PDF
Hot Spots and Local Parks
Ella Sharp Park
Falling Waters Trail
Hotspot: From the parking lot on Teft Road, walk westward on the trail toward Concord. Less than a mile and on your left (South) you'll see a pond. Keep walking until you see a bench on your right that looks out onto the pond.
GPS: 42.185165 , -84.565911
Phyllis Haehnle Sanctuary
Jackson Intercity Trail
9243 Skiff Lake Rd
6 miles south of Jackson, MI. In Liberty Township between Myers and Skiff Roads.
Kate Palmer Sanctuary
Peregrine Falcon nest watch
While you cannot go there in person, you can view the Peregrine Falcon nest on the top for the historic Jackson County Tower Building.
Waterloo Recreation Area
The Waterloo-Pinckney recreation Area is the largest state park system in Michigan. A multitude of habitats can be found in the park including wetlands, oak-hickory & beech maple forests, oak savanna, and prairie. There is even a Black Spruce bog! Glenn Road area and Reithmiller Rd. are two local favorites.
Glen Road between Mt. Hope and Maute, pullout on north side of road near Mt. Hope. Hiking trails bisect the road.
Excellent warblers in summer.
Reithmiller Rd. west of Waterloo Munith Road, parking lot on north side of road about 4 miles from Waterloo Munith Rd.
This is a popular spot for watching the annual mating ritual of the American Woodcock.
Watkins Lake State Park & County Preserve
Arnold Road, north of Thorn Rd.
Now a Michigan State Park and Washtenaw County Preserve!
Straddling the border between Jackson and Washtenaw counties, this little gem never disappoints. Arnold Road bisects the lake so access to the water is excellent. Huge numbers of ducks and geese can be seen during fall and spring migrations Some water is generally open throughout the winter.
While definitely not in the Jackson area, the following are favorite regional birding spots of JAS members.
Near Toledo, OH
THE spot for Midwest spring warblers.
Tawas Point State Park
North of Tawas/East Tawas, MI
Excellent location for watching the spring warbler migration across Saginaw Bay. Hosts of the annual Tawas Birding Point Festival held in mid May.