Local Birding Spots

The Audubon Society of Kalamazoo values its birding areas and does not condone the use of any device used to entice birds into view.  We appreciate your cooperation in protecting our birds in this regard.

Kleinstuck Preserve – City of Kalamazoo

From the I-94/Oakland Drive exit  (#75) drive north on Oakland Drive about 1-3/4  miles and turn right at Chevy Chase; drive 1/4 mile and park on the street at the bottom of the hill. Kleinstuck is the place to be in spring, from the first of April to late May, with the peak time late April and early May, before trees leaf out. Take the trail behind the guardrail; this meets the main loop trail that goes around the wetland. There are several side trails as well. In 31 years of spring surveys, 205 species have been recorded, including 38 warbler species. On a good day in May, 60-70 species can be found. Fall and winter can also be pretty good.

Asylum Lake Preserve – City of Kalamazoo

From US-131, take Stadium Drive east about 1-1/4 miles. Turn right at Rambling Road (stoplight). Follow Rambling Road about ¾ of a mile and turn right onto Winchell Avenue. The entrance is just under two miles on Winchell Avenue and is on the left. Park along the street. Habitats include lake, deciduous woods, restored native grassland, and some marsh area.  Many trails.   Due to the variety of habitats, bird diversity is often good from spring through fall, though spring has the largest number and variety.

Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery – M-43 and Fish Hatchery Road

Located on M-43 about six miles west of the M-43/US-131 interchange. Turn left at Fish Hatchery Road and park at the Visitor Center. Walk the dikes of the ponds behind the Visitor Center. Best in spring and late summer-early winter for ducks and other migrants. Shorebirds are mainly found in spring and late summer through fall when and if a pond is drawn down. The shrubby dikes and edges of the woods host a number of migrant songbirds. In recent years 196 species have been recorded here, including almost 30 species of warblers.

Birding the Bog at West Lake Nature Preserve Photo by Larry Wolf

Birding the Bog at West Lake Nature Preserve
Photo by Larry Wolf

West Lake Nature Preserve – City of Portage

Located near the intersection of South Westnedge Avenue and South Shore Drive. Drive 3-2/3 miles south of I-94 on South Westnedge to South Shore Drive (about 1-1/4 miles south of Centre Street), turn left and park in parking lot (on the left). Shallow pond, marsh, deciduous woods, nice tamarack bog with boardwalk, and a view of west side of West Lake.  Spring and fall can be good for warblers and other passerines and for waterbirds.


Kal-Haven Trail State Park – North 10th Street

10th Street is the first traffic light on M-43 west of the M-43/US-131 interchange. Drive north on 10th Street about 1-3/4 miles, and the entrance will be on the left. A good stretch of diverse habitats is from the trailhead to the 8th Street marsh, about five miles round trip. Additionally, the trail can be accessed from most intersections all the way to South Haven. There is no access fee. The trail is mostly wooded and/or shrubby. Good for perching birds. In recent years 156 species, including 30 warbler species, have been recorded from the first 2.5 miles of the trail.

Portage Creek Bicentennial Pathway – City of Portage

Off South Westnedge Avenue on Garden Lane. Main entrance: Take South Westnedge 1-3/4 miles south of I-94 to Garden Lane and turn east. Parking area is 1/4 mile on the left. Paved pathway along Portage Creek, about three miles round trip. Lots of wet, shrubby habitat. In nice weather it is best to go early. May be busy late in the day. Mostly perching birds and is best from spring through fall.