Benzie Audubon Club

2017 Schedule


Remember to dress appropriately for Field Trips (described in black) and that vehicle passes are required for any trips within the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Programs (described in red) are usually held the first Thursday of each odd month at the Tribal Outpost at 7282 Hoadley Road in Benzonia (see map). All field trips and programs are open to the public without charge; everyone is welcome!

For last minute updates or more information contact a Board member: Sally Cook (871-0503), John Ester (325-2445), Carl Freeman (352-4739), Jackie Jackson (616-560-2693), Char Ester (325-2445), Tom Jackson (616-874-7143), Wes Blizzard (882-7277), Greg Miller (325-4883), Doug Cook (231-930-8722) or Emily Cook (616-902-3437).

Thursday, January 5, 7:00 p.m. Passenger Pigeons
Join us at the
Tribal Outpost as we kick off the year with Stewart McFerran's PowerPoint program on the now-extinct species that once darkened the skies in these parts..

Thursday, March 2, 7:00 p.m. Eyes on the Forest
Join us at the Tribal Outpost as Kama Ross of the Leelanau Conservation District presents a program on the state of the trees of our area.

Saturday, April 15, 8:00 a.m. Spring Arcadia Birding
This trip is a perennial favorite to see waterfowl and returning spring migrants. We will meet at Arcadia Beach at the west end of Lake Street in Arcadia, and
John Ester (231-325-2445) and Tim Granger (231-723-9822) will lead the trip as we car pool to hot spots in the area.

Tuesday, May 2, 10:00 a.m. Wildflowers at Pete's Woods
This is the first of two weekly trips to Pete's Woods, a place known for its incredible display of spring ephemeral wildflowers. We will meet at the Swamp Road Parking lot south of Joyfield Road, and Arcadia Dunes Preserve Steward Paula Dreeszen (231-275-7199) will be our leader. The hike will cover about 1.5 miles and will conclude around noon.

Thursday, May 4, 7:00 p.m. Tom Ford on Native Plants
Join us at the Tribal Outpost as noted expert on all things natural Tom Ford talks about our native plants.

Tuesday, May 9, 10:00 a.m. Wildflowers at Pete's Woods
See description above for May 2 trip.

Saturday, May 13, North American Migratory Count --Manistee County--Cancelled

Friday, May 19, 8:00 a.m. Warblers along the Coast
Paula Dreeszen (231-275-7199) will lead participants on a tour along the coast in search of warblers and other species of interest. We will meet at Arcadia Beach at the west end of Lake Street in Arcadia.

Saturday, May 20  Big Day Bird Count
We will count all bird species we can find-anywhere we'd like to look--and then gather at the home of Doug and Sally Cook (
231-930-8722) at 1:00 p.m. for a bag lunch/tally. Those interested will head out in the afternoon to find missing species. The Cooks live at 155 Beech Street, which is west off M-22 north of Frankfort (the third house from the end on the north side of the street). Contact John Ester (231-325-2445) to join a group in the field.

Saturday, May 20 10:00 a.m Birding Crystal Lake for Kids!
Join Stewart McFerran (231-774-6194) and Emily Cook (616-902-3437) at the Darcy Library in Beulah for a beginner lesson on the birds of northern Michigan and how to identify them. After a brief talk, we'll wander down to Crystal Lake to see what we can find. The excursion will be over by noon.

Saturday, June 3, 8:00 a.m. Beginning Birding
Doug Cook (
231-930-8722) will lead this trip to help birders develop their identification skills. There should be enough warblers around to challenge everyone, beginner or not. We will meet at the Adams Road parking lot on River Road.

Saturday, June 10, 8:00 a.m. Birding by Ear
We will meet at the Esch Road parking in SBDNL near Otter Creek (a National Park pass is required). Doug Cook (
231-930-8722) will lead this hike to help you hone your ability to identify birds through their calls and songs.

Wednesday, June 14, 10:00 a.m. Dune Wildflowers
Mid-June is peak bloom-time for dune wildflowers. Join Preserve Steward Paula Dreeszen
(231-275-7199) on this hike to Baldy, where we'll see Yellow Puccoon, Coreopsis, Orange Wood Lily, Blue Hairbells and endangered Pitcher's Thistle. We will meet at the Baldy Trailhead parking lot in the Arcadia Dunes Preserve on M-22, 0.8 miles south of Joyfield Road. Wear sun protection and be prepared for a 1.5-mile hike through the woods on an undulating trail. We'll conclude by noon.

Thursday, July 6, 7:00 p.m. Aquatics
Bring the kids and join us at the Tribal Outpost as Dan Mays, Aquatic Biologist for the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, presents a program for attendees of all ages.

Thursday, September 7, 7:00 p.m. Mushrooms
Join us at the Tribal Outpost as Josh Shields of the Manistee Conservation District and Kama Ross of the Leelanau Conservation District present a program on mushrooms.

Saturday, September 9, 8:00 a.m. Fall Birding at Arcadia
Brian Allen will lead us on this trip looking for migrating sparrows, confusing fall warblers and possible rarities. We will meet at the kiosk for the Arcadia Dunes Grassland Preserve on Keillor Road, and we will check out Arcadia Marsh after the Grassland.

Thursday, November 2, 6:00 p.m. Potluck Dinner, Annual Meeting and Members Photo Night
Bring a dish to share and table service for our annual get-together, featuring a potluck meal, followed by a brief business meeting and our Fifth Members Photo Show. Note the early starting time!

Sunday, December 17, 8:00 a.m. Christmas Bird Count
Join us for this great exercise of citizen science! Contact Carl Freeman to count birds with a group in the field or John Ester to tally birds at your feeders at home. Then join us at the end of the day for a potluck supper and tally.


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