Tawas Birding

Enjoy some of the best birding in the Great Lakes region. Tawas Point and surrounding areas are known worldwide for having more than 200 species during peak migration times and high concentrations of migrating warblers. Tuttle Marsh WIldlife Area is a birder's paradise only seven miles north of town. Bald eagles, Trumpeter swans, Piping Plovers and Kirtland Warblers can be sighted in many areas of Iosco County and along the newly dedicated Sunrise Coast Birding Trail.

Tawas Point Birding Festival

Annual Tawas Point Birding Festival

AuSable Valley Audubon


Beginner’s Guide to Bird Watching


See the Guide

Tawas Point Migration 2020

May 14-16, 2020

Canceled due to coronavirus

Tawas Point on the shore of Lake Huron is a natural birding hot spot in the Spring as migrating birds follow the shoreline to their summer nesting habitats. Songbirds, shore birds and raptors all may be seen at this location and throughout Iosco County at forest, wetland and lake sites during May.

Since 2006 AuSable Valley Audubon, a chapter of Michigan Audubon, has hosted an event to both educate and celebrate with local government, businesses and interested nature enthusiasts the impact and importance of bird migration in this area. The program has attracted a growing participation from throughout Michigan and a broader, even international area.

The Tawas Point Migration 2020 program offers a combination of high-quality guided birding opportunities for small groups coupled with indoor educational sessions designed for birders of all ages.

Go to www.ausablevalleyaudubon.org for a full description and registration for the event. The May 15 Friday evening program is free and open to the public. The registration fee is $25 per adult for all activities May 14-16. Additional fees are listed for field trips/transportation. Adults age 18 and older attending only the educational program on May 16 may register at the door for $5. Birders age 17 and under participate for free when accompanied by a paying adult.

Tawas Point Migration

Tawas Point Migration 2020

May 14-16

A birding adventure from AuSable Valley Audubon
15th Spring Birding Event at Tawas Point, Iosco County, MI

  • • Field trips include trails at Tawas Point State Park and car-pool/bus destinations in Iosco County. Participants can expect to see Whip-poor-wills, Redheaded Woodpeckers, Trumpeter Swans, migrating warblers and our featured Scarlet Tanagers. Some field trips focus on the unique Kirtland’s Warbler habitat.
  • • The educational program includes hands-on nature activities for kids as well as two new hour-long live birds of prey shows. Other sessions include Monarch Butterfly raising, Trumpeter Swans, and Eagle Research.
  • • Food Service offers a Welcome Birders Dinner on Thursday May 14, dining options among Migration sponsors and a buffet dinner on Saturday evening
  • Note: Rising Lake Huron water levels have affected Tawas Point State Park. You might need boots if you plan to walk along the shore or the Two-Track Trail to the tip of the Point.

Sunrise Coast Birding Trail

The Sunrise Coast Birding Trail incorporates 145 miles along U.S. 23. The trail takes flight at the mouth of the famed AuSable River in Oscoda and wings its way north all along the Lake Huron coast to Mackinaw City.Birders will delight in observing the common, threatened, or endangered birds of Michigan’s coastal and inland locations. The Audubon chapters with the help of Consumers Energy and the Northeast Michigan Council of Governments developed a four-color map showing the route and birding locations. A copy can be downloaded from the trail website.

Sunrise Coast Birding Trail

Sunrise Coast Birding Trail


Michigan Audubon

Michigan Audubon


Birding Maps

Self-guided tour of Scenic Overlooks for Bald Eagle Viewing

From US-23 in Oscoda, turn at traffic light on River Road in the middle of town. Go west 8 miles to the scenic overlook of Foote Pond. Next, proceed 6 more miles west to Lumberman's Monument overlook. Next, approximately 2 miles further west on River Road is the Canoer's Memorial overlook. Another 0.5 miles is the Iargo Springs overlook. Finally go 1.5 miles west to the end of River Road and turn left onto highway M-65. Go 4 miles to the Westgate overlook, which has two viewing platforms.
In the spring of the year it is possible to witness courtship flights by Bald Eagles. In these displays the mates fly together from opposite directions, grasp talons, and plunge in a spiraling dive towards the water below. With their feet locked together and wings set, the eagles can reach high speeds. More than once, caught up in the moment, the eagles have failed to release their mates and plunged to their deaths.
The AuSable River valley contains 19 active bald eagle nests.

See Map

Self-guided Birding at Clark's Marsh

From Oscoda, Michigan, take F-41 north to Skeel Avenue, turn left onto Parimeter Road. Go straight to edge of runway. Continue on pavement and turn left onto forest trail that parallels chainlink fence. Go south ¼ mile to parking area at end of trail.

See Map

Humes Marsh

From the south: go north to Oscoda and go to the second traffic light, which is the intersection with F-41. Go left on F-41 for several blocks to a traffic light at the intersection with Cedar Lake Road. Go right (north) 5.3 miles to the end of Lakewood Shores Golf courses. Turn left (west) on King's Corner Rd. Go 1.2 miles to County Link Elementary School parking lot. Group will drive to Humes Marsh from there.

See Map

Self-guided Birding to Trumpeter Swan Nest

From US-23 in Oscoda, Michigan, turn at traffic light on River Road in the middle of town. Go west 6 miles, just past the village of Foote Site. At the Foote Site Park, go to the west end beyong the boat launch ramp. The swan nest island is in shallow water about 100 yards from shore.
Please do not feed the swans. however, they are curious and seem to be very comfortable around people. Should you invade their space, the male Trumpeter will challenge you.

See Map

Self-guided Tour of Tuttle Marsh

From US-23 in Tawas, turn west onto M-55 and go approximately 0.5 miles to Wilber Road and turn right. Go 5 miles north to Galion Road & turn right. Go 0.5 miles to Old US-23 and turn left. Proceed north 1.5 miles to May Road. Turn right onto May Road. Go 0.5 miles to Brooks Road and turn right. Go 0.25 miles on Brooks which turns into Davidson Road. Continue going east on Davidson until the intersection with Tuttle Marsh Road and turn left.
The following 7 miles is a mixture of wetlands and dry uplands. The ponds along both sides of the road contain a variety of wildlife. Once you come to the impoundment, the ponds on the right have the greatest variety of wildlife.

See Map

Birding &
Watchable Wildlife

Tawas Point State Park

Tawas Beach Road, East Tawas
This is a geographical feature that can be seen and recognized from space with the naked eye! Excellent migrating bird area in spring, great for shore birds as well.

Tawas Lake

Tawas Bay Shoreline

Along US-23. Eagles, swans, and variety of waterfowl. See Purple Martin houses along the highway as well as Chimney Swifts in Tawas City.

Three Mile Beach Park

Corsair Skiing & Hiking Trails

River Road Scenic Overlooks (Bald Eagle viewing)

Tuttle Marsh Wildlife Area

In Wilber Township, site of the first Ducks Unlimited project in Michigan. From your car, view an assortment of songbirds and waterfowl at impounded ponds. Osprey nesting in the area.

Eagle Run

Lumberman's Monument

Iargo Springs

Au Sable River & Au Sable River Mouth Area

Along River Road, west of Oscoda and at Lake Huron beach along US -23. Bald eagle, trumpeter swan and Caspian Tern frequent the area as do other waterfowl and songbirds.

Au Sable Shoreline Park

Oscoda- Au Sable Chamber of Commerce Office, south of the bridge on US -23. Enclosed bird-viewing platform with a paved walkway down to the shore of Lake Huron.

The Jack Pines @ Rollway Road

(Kirtland Warbler nesting area)

Foote Pond

West of Oscoda, on River Road. Numerous species of ducks plus Trumpeter Swans' nest.

Clark's Marsh Foot Site Park (Trumpeter Swan Nest)

Oscoda, on edge of former U.S. Air Force property, wooded area along ox-bows of Au Sable River, impounded ponds offer a variety of waterfowl and woodland birds.

Sandy Hook Nature Trail

Loon Lake Nature Area

M-65 just north of Hale a mile on the left at the Lutheran Camp. Has a nature trail with a boardwalk connecting Loon Lake to Mud Lake, a boat launch, picnic area, bathroom, and drinking water also available. Loons, Kingfisher and water birds and woodland birds abound in the area.

Huron Manistee National Forest

Bird watching in
Tawas, MI