A huge wetland complex at the mouth of the Huron River bordering Lake Erie.

Ornithological Summary

A premier Michigan wetland of key significance to waterbirds, waterfowl, and shorebirds. Weekly censuses have revealed impressive diversity and numbers including the following high counts: 1,000+ Tundra Swans (Nov-Mar), 5,000 Redheads, 400 Wood Ducks, 11,000 Canvasbacks, 1,000 Gadwall, 1,300+ American Wigeon, 8,200 Mallards, 800 Blue-winged Teal, up to 1,400 Lesser Yellowlegs, up to 671 Short-billed Dowitchers, and good numbers of other arctic shorebird migrants. One of the Great Lakes' top shorebird stopovers.

Breeding waders are well represented with approximately 40 nesting Black-crowned Night-Herons, and several Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons.

Conservation Issues

Primary threats include invasive species, especially Phragmites, which has taken over a large percentage of the available cattail marsh. Disturbance of loafing shorebirds and waterbirds (and waterfowl during fall hunt) are a concern, as this is a major resting point for many thousands of individuals.


Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Division.


Dominated by emergent cattail and Phragmites marsh alternating with open water (highly dependent on water levels). Smaller amounts of deciduous woods (esp. Cottonwoods), shrub, and herbaceous cover intermixed.

Land Use

hunting/fishing, recreation/tourism, wildlife conservation/research

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