In summer, the Traverse City area is filled with birdsong -- forest birds like pewees, phoebes and woodpeckers; summer nesters like flycatchers, orioles, warblers, vireos, cuckoos and hummingbirds; and a bewildering number of aquatic birds including gulls, terns, loons and the rare piping plover. There are raptors -- from hawks and owls to majestic bald eagles.
Traverse City itself is a year-round birding area, thanks to its location on the shore of Grand Traverse Bay and a significant number of parklands, preserves and greenways. The Traverse City area has an astoundingly diverse array of natural habitats for birds -- all located fairly close to one another, and almost all on public land to which birders have easy access. They’re easy to find, too -- thanks to tools like the Sleeping Bear Birding Trail, an Internet-based 123-mile “road map” to over 27 birding sites west of Traverse City.