Birds and Botany: Experience Nature in Beautiful Presque Isle County, MI

Kirtlands Warbler
Kirtlands Warbler
Photo By Matthew Studebaker

Bird List

Schedule 2015

May 24th - 28th
This workshop fills quickly contact us immediately for reservations.

Scarlet Tanager
Scarlet Tanager
Photo By Matthew Studebaker

$625.00 per person
Field trip transportation is included.


  • Instructor Lead Field Trip
  • Lodging
  • Meals
  • $150.00 non-refundable deposit required.

Jim McCormack Birding WorkshopLocated in the northeastern corner of Michigan's upper Lower Peninsula, Presque Isle County is a nature enthusiast's paradise. Spruce and tamarack bogs, kettle lakes, jack pine forests, rich deciduous woodlands, fens, and pristine Lake Huron beaches create a staggering array of habitats that support an astonishing variety of flora and fauna. Birders will not be disappointed: over 160 species are possible. Common loons yodel from the lakes, nearly every wetland has American bitterns and displaying Wilson's snipe, and the forests are filled with songbirds. At least 19 warbler species nest locally, including golden-winged, the Brewster's hybrid, magnolia, black-throated blue, Blackburnian, mourning, and Canada. The federally endangered Kirtland's warbler breeds within 25 minutes of NettieBay Lodge, in an outstanding jack pine forest seldom if ever visited by birders. Seeing the warblers is easy, along with other jack pine species such as clay-colored, vesper, and Lincoln's sparrows, Nashville warbler, and hermit thrush.

Late May is fantastic for wildflowers in Presque Isle County. Common species include rose
twisted-stalk, starflower, bunchflower, bluebead lily, yellow lady's-slipper, gaywings, and scores more. We'll also find rarer species, including bird's-eye primrose, lake iris, and ram's-head orchid.

Presque Isle County ranks near the top of the Great Lakes' most spectacular regions,
and participants in the NettieBay Birds & Botany Workshop are sure to greatly enrich their
knowledge of natural history. And probably add a few birds and plants to their life lists!

Instructor: Jim McCormac
Jim works for the Ohio Division of Wildlife, specializing in nongame wildlife diversity issues,
especially birds. Prior to that, he was a botanist with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

He was inaugural president of the Ohio Ornithological Society, and served for seven years
as secretary of the Ohio Bird Records Committee. Jim was the 2009 recipient of the Ludlow
Griscom award, given annually by the American Birding Association to individuals who have
made significant regional contributions to ornithology. He is author of Birds of Ohio (Lone
Pine 2004); The Great Lakes Nature Guide (Lone Pine 2009); and Wild Ohio: The Best of
Our Natural Heritage (Kent State University Press 2009). The latter won the 2010 Ohioana
Book award. Jim writes a column, Nature, for the Columbus Dispatch, and has authored or co-authored over 100 scientific and popular articles in a variety of publications. He leads numerous natural history forays throughout the Great Lakes region and well beyond.

You can learn more about Jim, follow his travels and speaking engagements on his blog.
Barred Owl @ NettieBay Lodge
Barred Owl at NettieBay Lodge Photograph by Chas Glatzer

WHAT TO BRING: Classes are outdoors and hands on. Tennis shoes or hiking boots are appropriate. Long pants encouraged against brambles and bugs. Bring a heavy coat for the early morning field trips and you may also want rain gear, insect repellent, shoes you can get wet, sunscreen and a water bottle. If you have need of purchasing binoculars, you might want to borrow a pair until after your classes, we will have some suggestions in your selection process. Bedding, towels and meals are included starting with the Early Bird Breakfast. Birders will be staying in lakeside cottages.

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