The Keweenaw Peninsula is a migrating bird magnet and most of the activity winds up in Copper Harbor! It is an amazing place for watching birds all year long and hundreds of species will delight birders of all ages. Brockway Mountain is home to a spectacular spring migration with a massive raptor movement. Read More About Our Spectacular Spring Migration
Some migratory birds stay and nest here. A few of our more common summer residents that are easy to find (or at least hear) include: Broad-winged Hawk, Merlin, Sharp-shinned Hawk, American Kestrel, Turkey Vulture, American Robin, Eastern Bluebird, Hermit Thrush, Gray Catbird, Great Blue Heron, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Chipping Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Indigo Bunting, Eastern Phoebe, Belted Kingfisher, Northern Flicker, Spotted Sandpiper, Common Nighthawk, American Woodcock, Common Loon, Common Merganser, Mallard, Canada Goose, Red-eyed Vireo, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Northern Parula and other warblers such as Yellow-rumped, Black-throated Green, Bay-breasted, Pine, Palm and Blackburnian.
Copper Harbor’s more common ‘year round’ residents include: Red-breasted Nuthatch, Blue Jay, Pileated Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Black-capped Chickadee, American Goldfinch, Pine Siskin, Purple Finch, Ruffed Grouse, Northern Shrike, Great Gray Owl, Great Horned Owl, Barred Owl, American Bald Eagle, Common Raven, and Dark-eyed Junco.
Birding in the area during winter can be very exciting and rewarding. Winter brings the birds from the north that “fly south” from their summer homes. Snow Bunting, Lapland Longspur and Horned Lark always come through along with many other fall migrants and are a sure sign that winter is just around the corner.
Irruptions occur and bring us a variety of “winter birds”. Common and Hoary Redpoll, Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch and Evening Grosbeak visit each year. Pine Grosbeak, White-winged Crossbill, Bohemian Waxwing and Red Crossbill often spend part of the winter here and are always a possibility.
As long as the harbor has open water the a variety of water foul abound. Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Pied-billed Grebe, Lesser and Greater Scaup are common visitors. In the past years sea ducks such as Harlequin Duck, Long-tailed Duck and Common Eider have been observed. Horned and Western Grebe have been sighted over many years now.
American Bald Eagles are around all winter. They fish in the harbor as long as there is some open water. Rough-legged Hawk is one of the raptors that visit in winter. Sharp-shinned Hawk are frequently seen stalking area bird feeders.
If you step outside during the day in Copper Harbor, your birding. There is not a bad bird watching spot as you can catch some species or another just about everywhere. However, there are some great trails which offer a variety of features making several habitats accessible (and convenient). All the summer trails are not accessible in winter. However, a good way to do some birding is on the cross-country trails and on snowshoes.