Bring your binoculars, bird book and camera
Bird-watchers make daily treks through the Grand Haven Area in search of winged wildlife. Understandable. It’s not uncommon to see 50 or more species of birds and waterfowl, especially on an early spring morning near Harbor Island including the majestic bald eagle. Watch as horned grebes do their courtship dance over Lake Michigan. Catch swans warring for territory. Be lucky enough to see a red-throated loon in flight or a peregrine falcon on the hunt. Many of the area’s state parks and wetlands are noted as prime bird-watching locations. Keep an eye out for the Caspian tern. It’s still listed as a state threatened species.
Peregrine Falcons were listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1970, after their Midwest population was eliminated in the mid-1960s due to problems with the pesticide DDT. In 1999, following extensive restoration efforts, the Peregrine Falcon was removed from the federally endangered species list, but it remains on the Michigan endangered species list. Restoration efforts have come a long way and can be attributed to restrictions on the use of pesticides, including DDT, man-made structures, and hacking programs.
The Grand Haven nest site is currently one of four confirmed Peregrine Falcon nests in the western half of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Grand Haven area birdwatchers can watch the Peregrine Falcons from Linear Park on Harbor Island in Grand Haven. Or you can click the link below to watch the activities of the falcons from the Board of Light & Power chimney cam. To learn more about the Peregrin Falcon and BLP community involvement click here.
See our directory of the best bird-viewing spots in the Grand Haven Area below.