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The Beaver Island Birding Trail Memorial Day Festival is on for 2024

After 10 wonderful years we are undergoing a leadership transition, and with limited time constraints, we are having a smaller festival this year: the Birding Foray on the Beaver. Beaver Island is in northern Lake Michigan. The island is a spring migratory song and shore bird mecca with over 200 species of birds recorded from the island. Registration is limited and birders are encouraged to register early through the Beaver Island Birding Trail website at Registration will open at noon on April 8th.

Accomplished field trip leaders and speakers will be providing information for everyone whether a novice or an expert in the birding field.

Featured speakers will include Darrell Lawson speaking on identifying shorebirds in flight and Terry Grabill will be giving his Big Talk. Darrell Lawson as well as Terry and Andrea Grabill will also be leading field trips to Protar’s Tomb, Barney’s, Lake Kuebler Trail and McCauleys Point. Dr. Tim Lamey will lead a field trip to Little Sand Bay and an evening excursion to Gull Harbor.

Transportation to the island is via ferry or air taxi. Lodging is available on the island and transportation for the field trips will be provided to registered participants. More information about transportation and lodging is available on the website.

After this year of transition with the Birding Foray on the Beaver, our full event will return next year as Warblers on the Water 2025. 

For more information the island, visit the Chamber of Commerce’s web site at The Beaver Island Birding Trail, Warblers on the Water and Birding Foray on the Beaver are projects of the Beaver Island Association.

Featured Presenters:

Darrell Lawson Darrell has been birding since 2012 and has been leading field trips since 2014 for BIBT’s Warblers on the Water. He is a past president (and current vice-president) of the Petoskey Regional Audubon Society, has co-chaired the Sunset Coast Birding Trail Development team, and is a past member of the Michigan Bird Records Committee. He routinely leads field trips around Michigan.

Terry Grabill is a recently retired middle school teacher and West Michigan birder who made a Michigan Big Year run in 2021. On his way to recording a whopping 323 species for the year, he logged an obscene number of miles, had some great adventures, and met many amazing people along the way. Terry’s talk will describe Tales from the Road of his Mitten Big Year!

Dr. Tim Lamey first visited the Beaver Island Archipelago for field work on High Island on Common and Caspian Terns in 1982 and 1983. Tim earned an Master’s in Biology from University of Minnesota, Duluth, and a Doctorate in Zoology from the University of Oklahoma. In addition to High Island, he conducted field work in Colorado (Orioles), Texas (Great Egrets), Oklahoma (Cattle Egrets), Washington (Glaucous-winged Gulls), northern Manitoba (Ring-billed Gulls), New Zealand (Snares Penguins), and the Falkland Islands (Rockhopper Penguins). In the early 1980s he also was a counter at Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve and Whitefish Point Bird Observatory.

A full calendar of events is available on the Beaver Island Association website at  Kick off Memorial Weekend and summer with a birding trip to Michigan’s Birding Secret: Beaver Island, Warblers on the Water!

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The Beaver Island Birding Trails includes a variety of marked birding sites on the island, which serves as a migratory stop-over for many species. Information about the sites on the trail and a self-guided tour of it are available on the trail website at Warblers on the Water is the annual spring birding festival organized by the Beaver Island Association, which lead the development of the Trail.


The Beaver Island Association, a 501 (c) 3, is located on Beaver Island, Michigan. It was established in 1988 to support the environmental and economic sustainability of the islands. The BIA represents the combined interests of our membership on issues that affect the fundamental character and beauty of Beaver Island. Working with other island organizations, local government and mainland interests, we strive to support both environmental and economic sustainability on our island home. You can learn more about the BIA and our work at  


Birding Events
Cheryl Oster Kern,

Dick Mulvihill,

Beaver Island Chamber of Commerce

Paul Cole, Director

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