About the Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory (WPBO) is the premier migration hot-spot in Michigan. The Observatory is located at Whitefish Point, 11 miles north of Paradise, Michigan. The Point itself juts out in Lake Superior and acts as a natural migration corridor that brings thousands of birds through this migratory flyway every Spring and Fall. With its wooded dune and swale complex, distinctive to the Great Lakes region, Whitefish Point sees a great diversity of migrants and is home to rare breeding birds, and has been designated as an Important Bird Area. Over 340 bird species have been spotted here, and the research conducted at WPBO, including regular migration counts and owl banding, contribute to an ongoing effort to increase knowledge of bird migration, to encourage public awareness of birds and the environment, and to further bird conservation.
The research at WPBO has been conducted for over thirty years and includes seasonal migration counts of waterbirds and raptors. The professional counters hired at WPBO log tens of thousands of migrating birds each season, making it one of the most important spots for documenting migration in the upper Great Lakes. The hawk deck is accessible to the public year-round, and the waterbird count site is accessible to the public during count seasons. WPBO also has conducted an owl banding project since 1988 and currently banding runs during three seasons: Spring, Summer, and Fall. Visit the Research page to see more.
You can also follow updates from WPBO’s research efforts on our blog. Click on the pictures below to visit the different blog categories, or learn more by visiting the Blogs page.
WPBO has been called the crown jewel of birding destinations in Michigan. During the last weekend in April, don’t miss WPBO’s annual celebration of migration, Spring Fling. You can expect excellent birding alongside topnotch programs and bird walks. WPBO also hosts the Birding Michigan Field Trip Series, which offers birders of all skill levels the opportunity to spend time in the field with experienced leaders in some of Michigan’s best birding “hot spots,” while at the same time supporting the Whitefish Point Bird Observatory’s research and education programs. Visit the Events page to learn more.
WPBO welcomes visitors! Whitefish Point is a premier site for observing migrating raptors, waterbirds, and songbirds, and rare species like Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker and Piping Plover can be found here. It is right in the middle of a migratory bird flyway, making it a premier site for observing migrating raptors, waterbirds and songbirds. If you’re planning a visit, be sure to check out the Visit page.
WPBO is owned by Michigan Audubon, a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting birds and people for the benefit of both through conservation, education, and research efforts in the state of Michigan. The Observatory depends on your support to help fund the migration counts, owl bandings, and avian research. Learn how you can support WPBO and Michigan Audubon below.
Sponsor the Birdathon
The Birdathon is an event where WPBO staff and volunteers go out to count as many birds as possible during a certain number of hours. You can pledge to donate per event, or per species. Click for more information.Learn more
Adopt an Owl
Want to personalize your donation? Symbolically adopt an owl to receive a personalized photo of a recently banded owl at WPBO and support the owl banding at the Point. Click to learn more about donation levels and species available for adoption.Learn More
WPBO depends on your support to help fund the bird counts, owl bandings, and avian research. Donate to Michigan Audubon to support WPBO today. Just mention WPBO in your donation description. Donate Now