Michigan & Minnesota’s Breeding Birds

Saturday May 27, 2017 – Saturday June 3, 2017

Kirtland's Warbler

My first birding adventure to Michigan was initially limited to a quick run up from Ohio to photograph the endangered Kirtland’s Warbler and was only planned to last for two days.  What I hadn’t bargained for when I started this trip was how good the birding is in the area.  The two day trip ended up lasting a week and resulted in photo opportunities of many colorful birds that I had hoped for down in Ohio during migration.  

Black-billed Cuckoo

Over the years since that first trip we have had the opportunity to share Michigan’s avian bounty with several birders and photographers and the trip has evolved quit a bit. In 2016 we will be expanding the trip to also include Minnesota, another fabulous state for birding. 

Our trip will start with our arrival in Detroit.  From there we will start birding in the southern part of Michigan in search of birds like Hooded, Blue-winged, Yellow, Cerulean and Chestnut-sided Warblers as well as American Redstart, Ovenbird, Northern Parula, Scarlet Tanager, Indigo Bunting, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Black-billed Cuckoo and American Woodcock among others. 

We will then work our way north seeking out Kirtland’s, Golden-winged, Black-and-white, Nashville and Mourning Warbler along with Bobolink, Veery, Brown Thrasher, Gray Catbird, Ruffed Grouse, Great Crested Flycatcher, Alder Flycatcher, Grasshopper, Clay-colored, Savannah and Vesper Sparrow along with several others. 

American Woodcock
Cerulean Warbler

As we continue north we will spend time on the Upper Peninsula where we can search for Blackburnian, Magnolia, Canada, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green and Connecticut Warbler as well as Black-capped Chickadee, Wild Turkey, White-throated Sparrow, Blue-headed, Red-eyed and Yellow-throated Vireo, Hairy Woodpecker and Evening Grosbeak.  With some luck we might even encounter species like Spruce Grouse, Boreal Chickadee, Black-backed Woodpecker, Gray Jay or maybe a late migrant Cape May, Bay-breasted or Tennessee Warbler. 

Kirtland's Warbler

We will work our way across the Upper Peninsula and make our way to north-eastern Minnesota to bird the Duluth are.  Along the way we might encounter breeding Common Loons as well as swans.  Around Duluth we will have our best chance for many of the boreal species as well as one last chance at many of the colorful warblers we have been enjoying throughout the trip. 


When all is done we will fly out of Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport.

In order to provide the maximum opportunity for photographic success for our guests this trip will be limited to four guests. Most of our birding and photography will be done in sight of our van so the trip will not be very physically demanding. The search for the Connecticut Warbler often does involve some walking through marshy areas and can be moderately strenuous. Temperatures on this trip are usually fairly comfortable; however, insects are often abundant but are tolerable with the aid of insect repellant and a mosquito net.


Spruce Grouse
Connecticut Warbler

The cost of the trip is $2000/person for double occupancy, if you prefer a private room there will be an additional $200 fee. 


This includes all ground transportation starting at the hotel near the Detroit airport (DTW) and ending at the hotel at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Airport (MSP).  We have selected hotels that provide shuttles from and to the airport.  All lodging is included starting the night of May 27 and ending the night of June 3.  Guests will be responsible for their own food as well as air transportation. 


Flights should be scheduled to arrive in Detroit Metro Airport (DTW) the afternoon of May 27 and departing from Minneapolis-Saint Paul Airport (MSP) the morning of June 4.

To secure a space on the trip we ask for a deposit of $600.


If you have any questions about the trip or would like to sign up please contact me at greglavaty@yahoo.com or phone Wes Fritz at 805-895-0685