Important Bird Areas

Port Huron Hawk Watch

Michigan

The Port Huron Hawk Watch (Lakeport, MI) is on the southwestern shore of Lake Huron just north of Port Huron, MI. The primary focus of the count is to document the reverse migration of diurnal raptors in the spring. Banding is also a part of the study to further the data base of raptor migration throughout the Great Lakes area.

Ornithological Summary

Supports a large annual spring migration of thousands of diurnal raptors working their way north along the Lake Huron shoreline.

Conservation Issues

The primary threat to hawks migrating through this area is the construction of wind turbine fields on or near the coast of the thumb. Additional data showing where these hawks fly when north and south of the hawk watch site are urgently required. Close monitoring of mortality at windfarms and immediate mitigation are high targets. Policy setting at the local level should concentrate on keeping windfarms as far inland as is feasible to avoid raptor concentration points.

Ownership

Mostly privately-owned, with a small fraction within Lakeport State Park (Michigan Department of Natural Resources).

Habitat

Mostly agricultural land, with a moderate proportion of forested inholdings.

Land Use

Primary use is agricultural crops, with tourism/sightseeing and hunting and other recreational use secondary.