Recent eBird Sightings

Notice: Interesting eBird sightings for October 2017, November 2017 and December 2017 are available. Beginning in January 2018, the monthly website eBird summary will only include the very unusual and rare sightings. Earlier reports are available on request from

By January, winter visitors are here and settled in. Waterfowl, specifically Common and Red-breasted mergansers, diving and sea ducks, should still be observed on Lake Michigan and concentrated into smaller areas of unfrozen water in and near channels connected to the lake. They should also be wintering near the warm water outlet near the Campbell Plant at Port Sheldon. Dabbling ducks have mostly left the area, but can still be found in open rivers and small areas of unfrozen water on some inland lakes. Winter gulls should still be seen along the lakeshore and possibly inland landfills. Iceland and Glaucous gulls have been found in the past at the Muskegon Wastewater (can be very tricky travel on the dikes in the winter) and the South Kent landfill. Snowy Owls are in abundance this year as predicted. Check below for locations and click on the county eBird links for the latest reports. Watch for siskins and redpolls at your feeder along with wintering White-crowned and White-throated sparrows. Prolonged frigid weather, as we have been having, can take a toll on even the hardiest of birds so keep your feeders well-stocked, offer suet and raw peanuts and keep your heated bird bath clean and filled.

Allegan County (eBird link)

Snowy Owls have been observed at these locations: one at West Michigan Regional Airport, one at 46th St and 140th Ave, one at 50th St between Fillmore and 140th Ave, one at 140th Ave E of 58th St, one at 140th Ave and M-40, one at 128th Ave E of 24th St. Check the Allegan County eBird link for the latest Snowy Owl reports.

Allegan State Game Area, Todd Farm
Short-eared Owl 1 Jan 15

Kent County (eBird link)

Follow the Peregrine Falcons in downtown Grand Rapids by clicking here.

Snowy Owls have been observed at these locations: one along 52nd St W of M-37, two at Kraft Ave access, Gerald R Ford Int’l Airport, one along Peach Ridge between 9 and 10-Mile Rds, one at Brook View Dairy Farm, Freeport Rd. Check the Kent County eBird link for the latest Snowy Owl reports.

Muskegon County (eBird link)

Snowy Owls have been observed at these locations: up to six at Muskegon Wastewater, up to three at Pere Marquette Park/Muskegon Lake channel area, two at Beachwood Park and White River Light Station Museum, one at Moorland and Cline Rds. Check the Muskegon County eBird link for the latest Snowy Owl reports.

Muskegon Wastewater System
Golden Eagle 2 continuing Jan 14
-- originally found by Katie Bolt and Kathy Haase Jan 9

Ottawa County(eBird link)

Snowy Owls have been observed at these locations: four at 128th Ave/Bingham St area, up to two at Holland State Park, one at 72nd Ave/Cleveland St area, one at 72nd Ave/Taft St area, one at 80th Ave/Taft St area (may be same bird as previous location), one at Coopersville/Garfield farmland area W of 68th Ave, one at Van Buren St/144th Ave, one at 124th Ave S of Van Buren, one at Polk St and 96th Ave, one at Ransom St and Hallacy Dr, one at Coopersville/Garfield farmland E of 68th Ave, one at 78th Ave S of Lake Michigan Dr, one at Randall and State Rd, one at 128th Ave and Blair St, one 116th Ave N of New Holland St, one along Perry St W of 64th Ave. Check the Ottawa County eBird link for the latest Snowy Owl reports.

As usual, Pigeon Lake at Port Sheldon is host to an amazing array of waterfowl this time of year. Click here for Linda Ar’s impressive list of fifteen waterfowl species, plus a Red Crossbill! Trumpeter Swans and an American Wigeon (unusual this time of year) have also been seen here.

Holland State Park (inc. W end of Lake Macatawa)
Harlequin Duck 1 continuing Jan 11
Black-legged Kittiwake 1 continuing Jan 19 (photo)
-- two were originally seen in the parking lot on Dec 19 by Dale and Jeanine Roberts
Glaucous Gull 1 Jan 16
Barrow’s Goldeneye 1 Jan 17
Iceland Gull 1 continuing Jan 19

Hemlock Crossing Park
Northern Mockingbird 1 continuing Jan 7
-- first seen by Curtis Dykstra Jan 3

Port Sheldon, Pigeon Lake
Black Scoter 1 Jan 10
Red Crossbill 1 Jan 10

Port Sheldon, Pigeon River outlet
Red Crossbill 1 Jan 13
-- may be same individual seen at Pigeon Lake Jan 10

128th and Bingham area
Ross’s Goose 1 Jan 13

Private residence (near CRC Conference Grounds)
Varied Thrush 1 continuing Jan 17 (photo)
-- bird first reported by homeowner Jan 15

Sighting Information

Please sign up and report your local birds on eBird. If you have any questions contact us at

Peregrine Falcon sightings in downtown Grand Rapids should be reported to Elaine Kampmueller at

A new "Hall of Fame" of rare bird sightings from Allegan, Kent, Ottawa and Muskegon counties is now available. Click here to view the new page.

Interested in bird migration forecasts? When, where, and how far birds migrate? Bird Cast will answer these questions for the first time.

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Interesting Bird Articles:

1) Citizen Science Reveals Annual Bird Migrations Across Continents