Conservation district releases ‘A Birding Guide to Oceana County, Mich.’

Following a two-year effort to document the birds of Oceana County and identify the best local birding locations, the Oceana Conservation District recently released its newest publication, “A Birding Guide to Oceana County, Mich.”

In 2015, the conservation district initiated an effort to document the birds of Oceana County with the intent of publishing a birding guide for local residents and visiting birders that features birds that call the area home as well as local birding hot spots. 

A project committee was formed to begin planning and compiling information for the publication. The project committee conducted bird surveys to provide additional records and to identify birding hot spots described in the book.

“The purpose of “A Birding Guide to Oceana County, Mich.” is to promote birding in Oceana County,” Oceana Conservation District Executive Director Suzie Knoll said. “This publication is the first attempt to compile bird data for Oceana County and is meant to serve as a baseline document. The authors encourage all birders to help fill in gaps in the birding data by entering their sightings on eBird (www.ebird.org) or reporting their observations to the Oceana Conservation District.”

Books can currently be purchased for $12.50 at the conservation district office, 1064 Industrial Park Dr., in Shelby. The conservation district hopes to soon be able to sell the books via its website, www.oceanaconservation.org.

To celebrate the debut of the publication, the conservation district will be kicking off a year-long series of birding field trips in 2018. “We plan to host a field trip to each of the identified birding hot spots during each season of the year,” Knoll said. 

Oceana Conservation District birding field trips will include, a spring trip to the Silver Lake State Park and Gales Pond to view songbirds and warblers; a summer trip to the White River with hopes of viewing breeding birds; a fall trip to the Lake Michigan shoreline and the Hart BioPure Treatment Facility to view shorebirds and waterfowl; and a winter trip to various location for the annual Christmas Bird Count survey.

Beginner and experienced birders are welcome and invited to attend.