Welcome to The Sleeping Bear Birding Trail
Michigan’s Sleeping Bear Birding Trail (“SBBT”) spans an exceptional migratory flyway and thousands of public acres along the Lake Michigan coastline. The Trail is home to the Piping Plover, an endangered shorebird that needs vast stretches of undisturbed beach. The Trail is anchored by Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, a National Park and an Important Bird Area (“IBA”) with 71,000 acres of public land and 35 miles of beaches. The length of the Trail covers all 123 miles of Michigan Highway M-22 which runs from Manistee on the southern end to Traverse City at the north terminus. Michigan Audubon’s Lake Bluff Bird Sanctuary is the southern terminus. The Trail and M-22 outline the ‘baby finger’ of Michigan’s mitten peninsula. The diverse habitat, significant public access, and many miles of shoreline make the Trail a birder’s paradise. There is a lot to experience here and we take pride in our world class lodging and beaches. You deserve the best after all your hard work! The Trail was launched in April, 2013, please follow our Blog as we grow and evolve.
We Need Your Eyes and Ears
The opportunity to make a difference has never been greater. With the exploding evolution and adoption of eBird, digital camera, and GPS technology, we have an unprecedented opportunity to meticulously record what we see and hear. Please visit our eBird page to fully understand our commitment to joining the eBird movement and promoting citizen science. We hope you will help us actively manage our database of sightings and early and late arrival dates. Additionally, help us replace our Bird Search stock photography with your own SBBT photos, with full credit of course. Please help us further the science and our understanding of local abundance and distribution. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
eBird County Observations
The links below will take you to 2020’s observations for the four counties surrounding the Trail. You can also click here for aggregate sightings in our four county region 2020 and 2021 to date.
From the links above, if you want to find a specific bird, scroll down and select the bird and then select MAP and you will be able to see all of the google map balloons which indicate where each of the species has been seen thus far this year. All of these links and data are smartphone compatible so you can use this resource in the field by accessing our website. Check back in soon for more applications of eBird data.