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 Jackson Audubon Society

 The Audubon Society of Jackson County, Michigan

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Muskegon Wastewater System Tour

Tuesday, April 16, 2024 7:00 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

We had great weather for our tour of the Muskegon Wastewater Treatment System.   Eight JAS members drove over to the facility to drive the ponds.

Our last JAS tour was in 2018 where we recorded 32 species. This year we got 47, including 17 species of wildfowl, 5 gulls, and 2 shorebirds. There were large numbers of Northern Shoveler, American Wigeon, Lesser Scaup, and Bufflehead.   Lots of the usual species including Canada Goose.  This one has  made what might look like a safe nest site from predation,  but that's an aerator blade she's picked.

 The facility is a series of ponds processing water at various stages of the treatment program.   Several ponds contain aerators which are just giant blenders that add oxygen to the water, while others are static pools, some very large.


While our shorebird count here was a bit skinny, we did get 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull and a Glaucus Gull.  This is a fabulous place to see waterfowl, gulls, and shorebirds.   At times you may find yourself between a landfill and treated wastewater, the birds are so very happy to be there.  And it is know for hosting many, many species-it is rate #5 in Michigan by eBird data.

After the pond tours, we headed down for lunch at Turk's Tavern.  It's a great place to eat and should be a required stop after a hard morning under the sun and against the wind.

The Jackson contingent of the group headed back to the carpool lot but then stopped for a few pond visits in Calhoun county on the way (see shorebird count of 2, above).  We picked up Trumpeter Swan, Dunlin, Yellowlegs (Lesser & Greater) and Pectoral Sandpiper.

Our total stats for the day were 55 species including 19 waterfowl, 6 shorebirds,  & 5 gulls.

Our Trip Report is available at

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