Is this one on your Birders Life List?

The Kirtland’s Warbler is one of the rarest warblers in the world and is recognized on Michigan’s endangered species list. This guided tour begins at Hartwick Pines State Park, where participants will meet for a brief presentation about the warbler, followed by driving in their own vehicles to an area where the Tour Guide will lead the group to hopefully hear and see one of these elusive birds. Both times that I’ve gone, I’ve been fortunate enough to see one. The reason that the tours only run until the end of June, is because the males sing only during nesting season and that is how these reclusive birds are sighted. Guided tours are required, as the nesting locations are off-limits to everyone but the guided tours. Be sure to take along some good binoculars or spotting scopes and bug repellant. Wear comfortable shoes because you’ll be walking in the sand. I know 7am is early, but the birds hide during the heat of the day, so an early start is necessary. Visitors have traveled from all over the world, just to get a glimpse of this little fellow.

Hartwick Pines State Park near Grayling, MI is hosting the Kirtland’s Warbler Tours in cooperation with Michigan Audubon. Tours are offered May 25th-June 30th, 2024 at 7:00 am. There is an additional tour on Saturdays and Sundays at 11:00 am. Cost is $15 per person plus you need to have a State Park Recreation Permit - Tour sizes will be limited to 25 people, and participants must pre-register (registration opens February 2). 

Groups of 10 or more participants should contact Michigan Audubon directly at to schedule a private 11 a.m. tour during the week.

Preregister at