Certificate of appreciation from USGS

Bill received this certificate for spotting the swan with the tag at Alcona Pond
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Tawas Point Migration 2020

Scarlet Tanager

Registration for the Tawas Point Migration 2020 is now open.

For registering information click here

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Mackinaw Raptor Fest and Mackinaw Raptor Watch

23d Great Backyard Bird Count

February 14-17,2020

Tuesday, February 4, 2020, Public Information Meeting

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Rifle River Feast

August 27th, 2019

A Good time was had by all
Wildflower walk
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Tawas point trip Saturday May 11,2019p

Our trip to Tawas Point was on a cold, intermittent rainy day, May 13. However, many birds were seen and enjoyed and good learning was going on because of our wonderful guide, Sam Burckhardt. Sam is a professional guide, who is truly a great asset to us! Many Thanks to Sam and all that attended.

Dear AVA Members,

To all those who braved the cold wind during this morning’s field trip lead by Sam Burckhardt and all those who stayed home in their warm beds at 7 am, here is a list of the different species that were observed.

This eBird list was compiled by Larry VanWagoner.

My thanks to all who braved the cold weather.


Tawas Point State Park, East Tawas US-MI (44.2538,-83.4483), Iosco, Michigan, US

May 13, 2019 7:02 AM – 9:35 AM

Protocol: Traveling

1.459 mile(s)

Comments:     AVA field trip, cloudy and drizzle at times, winds out of North, 42 F

51 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  5

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  1

Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)  1

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  2

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)  1

Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)  4

Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)  9

Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia)  2

Common Loon (Gavia immer)  1

Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)  12

Green Heron (Butorides virescens)  1

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  2

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)  1

Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)  1

Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus)  2

Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)  1

Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) (Colaptes auratus auratus/luteus)  4

Merlin (Falco columbarius)  2

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)  12

Purple Martin (Progne subis)  1

Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)  20

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)  20

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  3

Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)  8

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea)  1

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  5

Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)  3

Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum)  1

European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  12

Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus)  2

American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  1

Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina)  1

Clay-colored Sparrow (Spizella pallida)  2

American Tree Sparrow (Spizelloides arborea)  1

White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)  6

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  4

Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)  9

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  40

Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)  6

Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)  20

Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia)  3

Tennessee Warbler (Oreothlypis peregrina)  1

American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla)  6

Cape May Warbler (Setophaga tigrina)  9

Northern Parula (Setophaga americana)  2

Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia)  1

Black-throated Blue Warbler (Setophaga caerulescens)  1

Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum)  20

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)  30

Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea)  3

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)  5

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Road cleanup

A small but efficient and hardworking team of 9 met for the spring clean up on M-55 west of Tawas on Saturday, May 4, 2019. Their task was to address two miles of highway which had missed a fall 2018 cleaning. It took two hours of sunshine and walking to complete the two miles under AVA care. Eighteen bags of trash, some lumber, a full and complete car bumper and a number of ‘roadies” (ten cent refundable cans) were collected. Thanks to folks like this, AVA has 227 bags of trash removed to their credit. These efforts give us all a healthier habitat, a more attractive landscape and a fine sense of accomplishment.
Thanks to ALL our Road Clean Up Teams Present and Past!

Hard workers

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Tawas Festival attendant’s notice!

For you early birders: Big Boy in Tawas will open early just for you. At 6:00AM so that you won’t be hungry on your tour. It will also not chase the birds away with your growling stomach.

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The Biggest Little Birding Festival in the Midwest

May 16-18, 2019

Registration is now open!

To Register click Here

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Outing to Sam Burkhardt’s Sanctuary

A Walk In the Woods with Friends…

A number of lucky AVA folks walked in a beautiful forest, marveled at an ingenious dam structure and generally loved every minute of being outdoors on a cool, blue sky, early fall morning with Sam Burckhardt on Saturday, September 8, 2018.  It was wonderful to be there to smell the fragrant soil and sweet fern, to see the towering trees and hear the birds and leaves rustle in the wind to believe it!  In addition, a fascinating history of home ownership and property acquisition was shared.  Wow! Thank you BIG TIME to Sam and Richard for sharing their ‘Sanctuary” with  AVA.

Sue Duncan


Photo contributed by Moira

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Pine River Campground Potluck Picnic

Pine River Campground Picnic

Our first unofficial activity of the new birding year took place on Friday, August 24 at Pine River Campground. It was a gorgeous mild evening, with very few bugs, and 20 AVA members. 😁 A veritable feast was enjoyed; complete with hotdogs, chips, many tasty salads and truly delicious desserts.   It doesn’t get any better than that!

A short, but pleasant walk to view the river followed the wonderful meal. Arnie was able to share many interesting facts about the area due to its connection with Huron Pines and the Kirtland’s Warbler tours as well as learning about the trout fishery that was once active on the river. Gary Wall and Carol Wells camped the night proceeding our get together and had the place to themselves! It is certainly a beautiful and peaceful place to be.
A few of us spotted Redheaded Woodpeckers and other birds on the drive to the campground. The enthusiastic conversations about birds, family, summer activities, upcoming trips etc. never slowed down until all departed by 7:15.



I wish you all could’ve been with us.
Hopefully, we will all be together on September 11, in East Tawas for thefirst official meeting of the new AVA birding year.
Best regards,

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