MI Birds

Michigan’s Bird-Friendly Communities

You can help birds in your own backyard!

Spring migration is a special time, particularly in Michigan! Michigan lies at the intersection of the Atlantic and Mississippi migratory flyways, or super highways, which bring over 340 bird species to the state each spring and fall. Just like you, these birds love a great garden, particularly if it is full of native plants! Native plants produce four times the amount of insect biomass as non-native plants, which are an excellent food source for baby birds each summer. In fact, 96% of our land birds rely on insects to feed their hatchlings! Growing bird-friendly native plants will attract and protect the birds you love while making your space beautiful and easy to care for.

Audubon’s Bird-Friendly Communities program is comprised of several components which all contribute to creating safe spaces for birds to thrive in urban areas, including Plants for Birds!

In the Lansing area, Michigan Audubon, is working with local schools, the public library system, the City of Lansing Parks and Recreation Department, and a local church to develop native gardens that will support birds and pollinators with native food and shelter. There are several opportunities to become involved with planting and upkeep of these native landscapes or learn about how to create your very own bird oasis on your property:

  • Wednesday Volunteer Workdays at Capital City Bird Sanctuary, each Wednesday beginning April 3rd, 9 a.m. to noon. Address: 6001 Delta River Drive, Lansing, MI 48906. Contact Linnea Rowse if interested in participating in these workdays!
  • Backyard Bird Habitat Workshop on May 11th, from 9am – 3pm in Okemos, MI. Come learn how to select native plants to fit your desired design aesthetic and still support birds, pollinators, and wildlife. This workshop incudes an indoor education session, outdoor walk, and native plant nursery tour! Register here.

In Metro Detroit, Detroit Audubon, Detroit City General Services Department, and Parks and Recreation Department partnered to create the Detroit Bird City project, which will restore five under-utilized city-owned parks into intentional native meadows. These meadows will provide essential habitat for migrating songbirds, grassland birds (including the local Ring-necked Pheasant population!), and pollinators. If you are interested in volunteering for the Detroit Bird City project as a meadow steward at one of 5 pilot parks this spring, please contact Ava Landgraf.  

In Lapeer, Gratiot and Tuscola counties, The DNR, Michigan United Conservation Clubs and the Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative will host free habitat workshops in April. Get event details and register here

Can’t attend a workshop or volunteer? Want to learn more about starting your own bird-friendly garden but don’t know where to start? Check out Audubon’s Plants for Birds Resources, including a database of plants native to your area!

MI Birds is a public outreach and education program created by Audubon Great Lakes and Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Birders and hunters share similar conservation values, but rarely cross paths. MI Birds aims to bridge the divide, and deepen all Michiganders engagement in the understanding, care, and stewardship of public lands that are important for birds and local communities.

How you can help, right now