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Welcome to Birding Foray on the Beaver events for 2024 featuring field trips on the Beaver Island Birding Trail. Our community is eager to share our beautiful island, which hosts a rich array of migratory and resident nesting birds. Affectionately, Beaver Island is known as the Emerald Isle of American Birding.

This is a year of transition for our event with a change in coordinators. To help with the transition, we will have a more limited number of events this year. We plan to return with our traditional schedule in 2025. For 2024, we have arranged four special field trips and two presentations for Saturday, May 25th and Sunday, May 26th. The full schedule is just below. We also have a handy copy you can download and print: 2024 Foray Schedule

We have invited a group of wonderful leaders who will guide us on a weekend of discovery. A full calendar of events is presented below. Guided field trips require registration, but the Sunday afternoon presentation is free and open to the public. No registration is required.

Our headquarters for the weekend will be the Beaver Island Community Center. The BIC Center is conveniently located in town right across from the ferry dock.  It serves as the trail head for the Beaver Island Birding trail as well as other island trails. Registration for field trips is available in a special section of the BIC Center online ticket store at this link: 

Please make your plans early. More information including a calendar all Memorial Day Weekend event son the island, a Beaver Island Birding Trail Map and travel and lodging information can be found by scrolling down. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Registration for ticketed events is now open here. Events at the BIC Center do not require advance registration.

2024 Beaver Island Birding Trail Speakers and Field Trip Leaders

We have invited a group of wonderful speakers and expert field trip guides who will lead us on a weekend of discovery on the Beaver Island Archipelago. The weekend is intended to celebrate our island’s natural resources and inspire others to become active conservation partners.  Please welcome:


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.

Dr. Tim Lamey

Tim 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.

Tim and his partner recently purchased a home on Beaver Island and look forward to moving to the island year-round in the near future. 

Terry and Andrea Grabill

The Grabills have dedicated countless hours to developing beginning birders with their “Beaver Island Group” program through Fremont Middle School. Most of Terry’s introductory birding experiences happened on Beaver Island while he was a Central Michigan University student studying at the CMU Biological Station on Beaver in 1989.  He then discovered that there were other individuals, groups even, interested in birding. He has maintained life-long relationships with these people. He and Andrea have developed young birders for 20 years with the groups they’ve brought to CMU’s Biological Station and birding events down-state.


Other Island Events

In addition to Warblers on the Water events, there are lots of other things to do on the Island during the Memorial Day Weekend.  Here’s a full schedule:

Getting to the Island

Beaver Island can be reached by either ferry or plane from Charlevoix Michigan. There are two airlines serving Beaver Island daily year round and ferry service runs from April to around Christmas.

Beaver Island Boat Company
103 Bridge Park Drive Charlevoix, MI 49720
Phone: 231-547-2311 or 1-888-446-4095

Fresh Air Aviation
06918 Old Norwood Rd. (PO Box 328) Charlevoix, MI 49720
Phone: 1-888-FLY-RGHT (359-7448) or 231-237-9482

Island Airways
111 Airport Drive Charlevoix, MI 49720
Phone: 800-524-6895

Beaver Island Birding Sites

The Beaver Island Birding Trail includes a variety of sites for your enjoyment.  This map presents an overview.  Full details are here.

Where to stay

There are a variety of housing options on the island ranging from primitive camping to large custom built lodges. In between are a range of options including glamping, hotel rooms, condo units and cottages. The Beaver Island Chamber site has complete info:

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