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Birdwatching trail dedication, event June 10 in Charlevoix

Sunset Coast Birding Trail

The public is invited to the official opening of the Michigan Sunset Coast Birding Trail, on Saturday, June 10 at 11 AM at the Charlevoix Township Hall, 12491 Waller Rd, Charlevoix. There will be a brief presentation, introduction of the team who organized the trail, recognition of trail sponsors and partners and a ribbon cutting.

The trail covers Antrim, Charlevoix and Emmet Counties, as they host a wide variety of protected areas and habitats that attract a large number of Michigan’s 400-plus bird species.  It is not a physical trail, but a collection of local parks, nature preserves, and natural areas where prime birding locations are easily accessible.

The Sunset Coast Birding Trail features 35 primary sites on a website, printed maps, and with signage at location.  Many additional secondary sites which offer great birding opportunities are featured on the website only. A number of birding walks will be offered for a week after the dedication. Visit www.sunsetcoastbirdingtrail.org for details.

Prior to the Trail Dedication, there will be a morning bird walk at nearby Charlevoix Northpoint Nature Area from 8:30am to 10:30am.  Experienced bird guides will lead the first official field trip for the Sunset Coast Birding Trail, and will identify numerous bird species and explore coastal wetlands, forested dunes, sand and cobble beach, and cedar swamp.

Wear appropriate apparel for the weather, bring bug spray, water and binoculars. Contact Darrell Lawson at lawsodw@gmail.com for further details. Meet at the parking lot located behind Mt. McSauba.

A number of key organizations sponsored the trail, they include: Petoskey/Harbor Springs Community Foundation, Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau, Michigan DNR, Charlevoix Area Visitors Bureau and Petoskey Regional Audubon Society. The trail has a number of partners, including: Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, Grass River Natural Area, Little Traverse Conservancy, Michigan Audubon and Walloon Lake Land Trust and Conservancy.

Millions of migratory birds pass through the Great Lakes region during their spring and fall migrations, making Michigan uniquely positioned as a birding destination.  This trail joins the other seven established birding trails in Michigan: Superior Birding Trail in EUP, Saginaw Bay Birding Trail, Sleeping Bear Birding Trail, Beaver Island Birding Trail, Sunrise Coast Trail, North Huron Birding Trail and Sunset Coast Birding Trail.

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