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2023 Winter Snowy Owl UP Tour

February 3, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - February 5, 2023 @ 10:00 pm EST

Head to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in search of Snowy Owls!

Indiana Audubon is pleased to offer another adventure for winter specialties of the northwoods in winter 2022. The trip is led by IAS member and guide, Matt Igleski, who has toured the UP area, and is familiar with the locations and birding areas around the eastern Michigan UP area. The trip is offered for a maximum of 10 people. The trip is shorter and less species rich then the Sax-Zim Bog area of Minnesota, but more economical for some birders on a tight budget or less time available. Additionally, Snowy Owls are much more dependable here, with some years seeing in excess of 20 owls in one day. Winter finch sightings can be a real treat as well during irruption years.

IAS Trip Ratings

Birding Pace: 3- Moderate Multi-Day Trip. This trip begins before sunrise and birds until sunset, often with an afternoon break. Birding is mainly by car, visiting multiple sites within the eastern UP each day. We may do extended periods of feeder watching, but quickly shift gears if one of our targets appears in a different area.

Physical Requirements: 3- Medium. Most of the physical toll comes from going in and out of the car in very cold temperatures (wind chills often below zero). So, while you do not need to be ready to hike long distances, be prepared for your body to be exhausted at the end of each day. Most birding is done by car but we will do some light hiking, averaging around 1/2- 1 mile per day, depending on weather. Some elevation gain may occur, and trails may be a single-file, snowpack through the wilderness.

Birding Skill Level: 2-Beginner. Our target list of species is smaller than other IAS trips, which is helpful for beginning birders. We will often have both beginners and more experienced birders targeting the Northwoods specialties. Birding focus involves extended views of species being seen. Having some knowledge of which species may be seen before attending the trip is helpful.

The trip involves single day drives with limited birding to and from the Mackinac/St. Ignace area the first and last day.

Lodging both nights will be in Mackinaw City or St. Ignace which offers complimentary breakfast for participants. A rough itinerary is below.

Day 1: Participants should arrive before 6pm.. Check in and dinner in St. Ignace on your own. Short intro offered in lobby after dark.

Day 2: Depart hotel before 8am. Bird by car to Rudyard for Snowy Owls. Also visit Pickford, Hulbert Bog, Whitefish Point. Lunch in Sault. Ste. Marie, MI. Dinner on your own in Mackinaw City.

Day 3: Morning birding for missing targets, leave for home by noon.

TOTAL COST per person: $396.00. Single Supplement: $130.00. Non-Member Cost: $448.00

Trip costs includes all guiding, lodging, breakfast, and lunch on Day 2. All other food and drinks, and travel are the responsibility of the participant. Carpooling can be arranged between participants but cannot be guaranteed. All participants must read and agree to the IAS Field Trip Release to participate in IAS led events and trips.  Questions, message Matt Here.

Cover Photo: Snowy Owl by Shari McCollough


February 3, 2023 @ 7:00 pm EST
February 5, 2023 @ 10:00 pm EST
Event Category:


Indiana Audubon Society
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Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry Mackinaw City
801 South Huron Avenue, Mackinaw City, MI 49721
Mackinaw City, MI 49721 US
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