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 4, 7:00 p.m. Birding in Borneo: Rescheduled to March 1 due to weather!
Join us at the Tribal Outpost as we kick off the year with Brian Allen as he describes many of the exotic birds that he encountered in Borneo.
Thursday, March 1, 7:00 p.m. Birding in Borneo
Join us at the Tribal Outpost as we explore Borneo--the land of orangutans, gibbons, hornbills and pygmy elephants--with local birder Brian Allen.
Saturday, March 10, 8:00 a.m. Early Spring Arrivals
Meet Doug Cook (231-930-8722) at the trailhead of the Betsie Valley Trail in Elberta. We will survey the marsh and bay and possibly carpool to other nearby sites looking for early spring migrants and waterfowl.
Saturday, April 14, 8:00 a.m.Spring Birding at Arcadia Marsh
Carl Freeman (231-352-4739) will lead our annual April field trip at the Arcadia Marsh.
Saturday, April 28, 8:15 p.m. Woodcocks and Frogs
Carl Freeman (231-352-4739) will lead this evening trip at the Upper Herring Lake Preserve to see displaying woodcocks and singing frogs.
Wednesday, May 2, 10:00 a.m. Wildflowers at Pete's Woods
This is the first of two trips that Preserve Steward Paula Dreeszen will lead at Pete's Woods.
Thursday, May 3, 7:00 p.m. Dragonflies
Join us at the Tribal Outpost for Carl Freemanís presentation
on one of his favorite subjects: dragonflies.
Wednesday, May 9, 10:00 a.m. Wildflowers at Pete's Woods
This is the second of the two trips that Paula Dreeszen will lead for spring wildflowers.
Saturday, May 12, 8:00 a.m. Spring Migrants at Otter Creek
We will meet at the trailhead of the Otter Creek Trail on the two-track off of Esch Road. Doug Cook (231-930-8722) will lead us as we hike part of the trail adjacent to the creek, survey Lake Michigan, and also carpool to nearby spots in search of spring migrants--including waterfowl, warblers and grassland birds. Bring your Park pass.
Saturday, May 19, 8:00 a.m. Big Day Event
At this annual event we bird wherever we choose, counting species rather than individual birds. At 1:00 p.m. we get together for a brown bag lunch and tally at the home of Doug and Sally Cook at 155 Beech Street in Frankfort (between M-22 and Michigan Ave north of town). In the afternoon those interested will search for birds that were missed in the morning. To be put together with a group contact John Ester (231-325-2445).
Saturday, June 2, 8:00 a.m. Beginning Birding on the BVT
We will meet in the parking area at the Adams Road boat launch off of River Road east of Frankfort. Doug Cook (231-930-8722) will lead us on a leisurely hike along the Betsie Valley Trail. Doug will provide basic birding instruction for beginning birders, but people of all skill levels are welcome and encouraged to attend.
Saturday, June 9, 8:00 a.m. Birding by Ear at Otter Creek
We will meet at the trailhead of the Otter Creek Trail on the two-track off of Esch Road (bring your Park pass). Doug Cook (231-930-8722) will lead a hike along part of the trail adjacent to the creek, providing basic instruction and tips for identification of birds by call and song. Birders of all skill levels are welcome and encouraged to attend (last year a Yellow-breasted Chat showed up on this trip!).
Wednesday, June 13, 10:00 a.m. Dune Wildflowers at Baldy
Preserve Steward Paula Dreeszen will lead this hike.
Wednesday, June 20, 10:00 a.m. Dragonflies
Carl Freeman (231-352-4739) will lead this trip within SBDNL (bring your Park pass).
Thursday, July 5, 7:00 p.m. Flora and Fauna of the National Parks
Bring the family to the Tribal Outpost as Charles St. Charles will present his acclaimed program on the nature of our national parks.
Wednesday, July 11, 8:00 a.m. Birds & Butterflies at Arcadia Marsh
We will meet at the parking area for the trail at Arcadia Marsh, where Carl Freeman (231-352-4739) will take us on a hike looking for birds, insects, mammals and anything else of interest.
Saturday, July 21, 8:00 a.m. General Nature Hike
We will meet at the trailhead to the Betsie Valley Trail in Elberta, where Doug Cook (231-930-8722) will lead a trip for all ages. We will explore the area around Betsie Bay and the marsh, looking for examples of the unique flora and fauna coexisting and flourishing there.
Wednesday, August 15, 10:00 a.m. Dragonflies
Carl Freeman (231-352-4739) will lead this hike within the Park (bring your pass).
Thursday, September 6, 7:00 p.m. Waterfowl 101
Ever have difficulty identifying ducks and other waterfowl? Join us at the Tribal Outpost as Dave Dister gives us a primer on waterfowl ID.
Saturday, September 8, 8:00 a.m. Arcadia Grasslands
Brian Allen will lead this annual trip to the GTRLC Arcadia Grasslands. On past trips we have seen everything from sparrows and warblers to hawks and owls. We will meet at the kiosk off of Keillor Road.
Wednesday, September 12, 8:00 a.m. Fall Birding
We will meet at the Elberta trailhead for the Betsie Valley Trail, where Carl Freeman (231-352-4739) will lead this hike.
Saturday, October 13, 8:00 a.m. Fall Birding
Meet Doug Cook (231-930-8722) at the trailhead to the Betsie Valley Trail in Elberta to survey the marsh and bay and possibly carpool to nearby sites looking for fall migrant waterfowl and songbirds.
Saturday, October 27, 8:00 a.m. Waterfowl at Point Betsie
Bring your Park pass to Point Betsie, where Carl Freeman (231-352-4739) will lead this field trip. We will check out the lake shore first and then look for birds in the adjacent territory.
Thursday, November 1, 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 annual Members Photo Show. Note the early starting time!
Saturday, November 27, 8:00 a.m. Late Autumn Birding
We will meet leader Doug Cook (231-930-8722) at the parking lot for the Point Betsie Lighthouse. We will examine the lakeshore for late-migrating waterfowl, possibly carpooling to nearby sites to further our search. Please note that, due to the time of year, this trip is highly weather dependent. Please be prepared for the climate and bring your Park pass.