Clinton-Shiawassee County
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Birding Clinton-Shiawassee County: Hotspots near Owosso & St. Johns


(A) Sleepy Hollow State Park ★★

Surrounding Lake Ovid, Sleepy Hollow State Park features 15 miles of hiking trails and almost 10 miles of horse trails. It is a popular destination for boaters, campers, and hunters. The park is also home to 238 bird species. One rare winter visitor birders should keep their eyes open for is the Northern Shrike. Birders sometimes see the uncommon winter visitors near the toll booth.

The best spot to see birds in Sleepy Hollow State Park is Lake Ovid. Be sure to bring a telescope and scan the waters for dabbling ducks and Pied-billed Grebes. Another locally common bird that can be found in the spring is the Orchard Oriole.

Website: | Map: Click here
Phone: (517) 651-6217
Fees: Recreation Passport required ($11 resident, $31.10 non-resident)
Directions: Click here

Pied-billed GrebePied-billed Grebe


(B) Looking Glass Sanctuary ★★

Recently dedicated in 2008, Looking Glass Sanctuary protects 14.5 acres of wetlands, floodplain forest, prairie habitat, and oak uplands. The Michigan Nature Association is currently restoring the land to its natural state. The preserve's highlight is the Looking Glass River, which runs through the middle of the sanctuary. Sandhill Cranes, Canada Geese, and many other birds nest near the river every year.

Directions: Click here

Canada GeeseCanada Geese

(C) Priggooris Park ★★

Priggooris Park is a 183-acre park that protects part of the original Chandler Marsh, a swampland which once stretched all the way from MSU’s campus to the southern part of Clinton County. Unfortunately, many years ago the government drained the marshes to help control the mosquito population. One of the habitat types present at Priggooris Park is forested wetlands. The park is a good place to search for warblers during spring migration.

The Michigan Audubon's offices are currently located at the Bengel Wildlife Center in Priggooris Park.

Website: | MapClick here
Directions: Click here

Blue-winged WarblerBlue-winged Warbler


(D) Rose Lake Wildlife Research Area ★★

Featuring prime birding habitat, Rose Lake Wildlife Research Area covers almost 6 square miles on the northeast side of Lansing. The second-growth woods on the property create good habitat for finches and other berry-eating birds. Watch for Cedar Waxwings and Purple Finches during wintertime. In the spring, Cerulean Warblers and Acadian Flycatchers can sometimes be heard singing from their tree perches.

There are also many acres of swampland for birders to search. Common Yellowthroats and Swamp Sparrows are easy to find after spring migration takes place.

Website: | Map: Click here
Phone: (517) 641-4903
Directions: Click here

Purple FinchPurple Finch 


(E) DeVries Nature Conservancy ★★

Featuring 136 acres of farmland, prairie, riparian forest, and floodplain, DeVries Nature Conservancy provides access to the majestic Shiawassee River. Birders should visit to look for songbirds—recent sightings include Eastern Bluebirds, Red-eyed Vireos, Song Sparrows, and Indigo Buntings.

There are four miles of trails available, making the conservancy a destination of choice for classroom field trips. Kids will especially enjoy visiting a “nature playscape,” where they can create, explore, and learn about nature. The playscape, which is different from a traditional playground, features dirt pits, climbing trees, and a small creek. There is also a shed available that supplies visitors with bug nets, magnifying lenses, wheelbarrows, and other tools.

Website: | Map: Click here
Directions: Click here

Red-eyed VireoRed-eyed Vireo


(F) Byron Millpond ★

Byron Millpond can conveniently be viewed from a small cemetery nearby. Surrounded by sparse woodlands, most of the 62-acre lake's shoreline is undeveloped. The pond is an excellent place to look for Horned Grebes, Bald Eagles, and Common Loons.

Directions: Click here