Located 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 the golden-winged, the Brewster's hybrid,

Instructor: Jim McCormac-Retired from the Ohio Division of Wildlife, he was also a botanist with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

School of Birding

Jim worked for 31 years for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, specializing in wildlife diversity issues, especially birds, and as a botanist. He has authored or coauthored six books, including Birds of Ohio (Lone Pine 2004); and Wild Ohio: The Best of Our Natural Heritage (Kent State University Press 2009). The latter won the 2010 Ohioana Book award. He is a coauthor of the recently released Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas II book. Jim writes a column, Nature, for the Columbus Dispatch, and regularly publishes a natural history blog. He has written scores of articles in a variety of publications, has delivered hundreds of presentations throughout the eastern United States, and led countless field trips far and wide. He was named 2014 Conservation Communicator of the Year by the Ohio League of Sportsmen.

You can learn more about Jim, follow his travels and speaking engagements on his blog.

Kirtlands Warbler

Photo by: Matthew Studebaker

NettieBay's ​​2021

School of Birding

May 20-23


May 25-28

Call for questions

and to reserve


A Barred Owl at NettieBay Lodge by: Chas Glatzer


On the Shore of Beautiful ~ Quiet ~ Calming ~ Natural ~ Lake Nettie

  • Instructor Lead Field Trip
  • Lodging
  • Meals

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!


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 a 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. 

Scarlet Tanager

Photo by Matthew Studebaker