Spring Fling: WPBO’s Annual Celebration of Spring Migration
April 26-28, 2019
This year will mark the 31st 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.
Banquet and Keynote Address
The Role of the National Wildlife System in Conservation with Pam Repp
Join Keynote Speaker Pam Repp as she discusses the role the national wildlife system plays in conservation and the necessary collaboration of numerous organizations, both large and small. She’ll give an insider’s look at what it takes to manage the 10,000 acres of marsh, bottomland hardwood forest, and grasslands of Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge — a designated United States Important Bird Area for its global significance to migratory waterfowl. Pam will also highlight ways that others can and do support conservation efforts.
Pam has been the Refuge Manager of the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge since December 2016. She has over 30 years of experience working as both a biologist and manager within the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Seminars and Tours
Detroit River Hawk Watch – Citizen Science at its Best by Jerry Jourdan
The Migratory Mindset of Mackinac Straits Raptor Watch by Richard Couse
Guided Birds Walks on Whitefish Point Trails
Evening Owl Flight at the Hawk Deck
Local Lodging Options
Pre- and Post Spring Fling Field Trips
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.
Trip Date: April 26, 2019
Leader(s): Mike Bishop and Charlotte Catalano
If you plan to attend the 2019 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 Eagle, Northern Harrier, Rough-legged Hawk, American Kestrel, Red-tailed Hawk, and Sharp-shinned Hawk are very likely, along with other raptor species, including the chance to see a Golden Eagle.
The characteristic sound of flocks of Sandhill Crane flying overhead will almost surely accompany our trip. Waterfowl are also in good variety with Common Loon, Red-necked and Horned Grebe expected, along with the opportunity for Red-throated Loon (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. 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.
Trip Date: April 28, 2019
Leader(s): Elliot Nelson and Charlotte Catalano
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 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.