Join Matt and Ben Hack of Washtenaw Audubon, as they recount their record-breaking Big Day of 143 bird species seen in 24 hours on May 16, 2020. Matt and Ben demolished the old record, of 141 species, set by Washtenaw Audubon members Don Chalfant, Jacco Gelderloos, Matt Hysell, and Hein Prinsen, which had stood for 18 years.

Presented virtually via Zoom on May 27, 2020. 

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Popular Washtenaw Audubon speaker and noted humorist Don Chalfant talks about the birding delights of his second home, Florida. Don has spent his winters in Florida pursuing and photographing some of the more unlikely species to show up there, as well as more common species such as Painted Bunting, Limpkin, Crested Caracara, and Swallow-tailed Kite. Don Chalfant is a resident of Ann Arbor and New Smyrna Beach, a retired teacher, an avid photographer, and an ace birder.

Presented virtually via Zoom on June 17, 2020.'s%20Lifers%20in%20Florida%20-%20Washtenaw%20Audubon%206.17.2020.mp4


Washtenaw Audubon Society stands solidly with ALL birders, and we support the recent statement by the American Birding Association, below. 

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Join Matt and Ben Hack of Washtenaw Audubon, as they recount their record-breaking Big Day of 143 bird species seen in 24 hours on May 16. Matt and Ben demolished the old record, of 141 species, set by Washtenaw Audubon members Don Chalfant, Jacco Gelderloos, Matt Hysell, and Hein Prinsen, which had stood for 18 years.

As all public gatherings are on hold due to the virus, this program will be presented on line via the Zoom meeting program. To view it, and participate in the question and answer session following the program, you will need access to an internet capable computer or phone. To access the Zoom program, go to

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Meeting ID: 953 0065 4830

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Enjoy tasty snacks and beverages before and after the program, provided by yourself in the delightful confines of your own home. Hope to see you online Wednesday night at 8:00pm.

These adorable chicks were found in Webster Township by Faye Stoner during the May Count. Keep an eye on this site for the full results of the May Count. 


Note: This event will proceed, but participants are to minimize travel and the only people allowed in a vehicle together will be members of the same household who agree to to do so.

With spring finally here, birders’ thoughts turn to spring birding. As you think about the ways you will bird in the county this spring, please consider participating in the Washtenaw County May Count, on International Migratory Bird Day.

Juliet Berger is the Compiler for this informal count. The Compiler divides the county into townships, each of which has an Area Leader. Leaders recruit additional volunteers to count birds throughout their area. For names and contact information for the Compiler and the Area Leaders, visit our website (check back here), and please consider volunteering.

This year, the May Count will continue to be a Washtenaw County only event, as our state wide compilers have retired. All Washtenaw County birders are welcome to bird all or part of the day. We will post detailed instructions right here on count day logistics. Please check back here for more information about how to participate as the date gets closer.

Please contact an Area Leader or the Compiler to help out!

NEW! Please see these new documents describing the count procedures:

Washtenaw County Coordinator/Compiler: Juliet Berger

Area Leaders (click names for contact details)

 Township Area Leader  eBird Username
 Scio Tim Gacioch WasMayCount-Sci
 Lodi Juliet Berger WasMayCount-Lod
 Sharon Dave Borneman WasMayCount-Sha
 Lima & Freedom John Mills WasMayCount-Fre
 Manchester Silas Bialecki WasMayCount-Man
 Salem & Superior Dan Thiry


 York, Augusta, & Northfield Greg Jacks


 Webster Juliet Berger


 Dexter Rob French WasMayCount-Dex
 Pittsfield & Ypsilanti Mike Sefton


 Bridgewater & Saline Roger Wykes


 Ann Arbor Juliet Berger WasMayCount-Ann
 Lyndon & Sylvan Ben Hack


Please note that most field trips are canceled until further notice. Some, where social distancing can be observed, may take place. Check back here or on our Facebood Page for updates. More information on our COVID-19 response can be found here.

Washtenaw Audubon would like to invite you to join us on another international field trip this year; this time to the beautiful country of New Zealand!  We will be traveling and birding for 13 days (August 3-15, 2020) with Wrybill Birding Tours. We look forward to seeing 115+ species of birds, including most of the endemics only found there. Highlights are 3 species of Penguins, 3 species of Kiwis, some of the rarest shorebirds in the world and a large number of seabirds on multiple pelagic trips, including enormous Albatrosses seen at arms-length. If you are interested in joining us or just simply asking questions or getting more information, please contact  Bryn Martin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Bryn can send you a very detailed itinerary with pricing, as well as a checklist of birds we plan/hope to see. We are limited to 9 participants and the trip is already filled over half-way, so let us know ASAP if you want to be included! Hope you can join us.

Come join us for winter walk for birds through Nichols Arboretum. We will meet at the usual location on the east side of the Arboretum on Riverview Dr off of Geddes Road.

The event previously advertised as the "Mystery Trip" was looking like a Saturday evening owling trip until the unfavorable weakend weather forecast arrived. Due to the heavy rains forecast for Friday and Saturday, we thought it might be best to postpone an owling event. Sunday's forecast looks favorable, but a Sunday evening owl outing is likely not the best for those that work, have kids in school, etc. We have not done a walk at the Nichols Arboretum for a while and it is always a great place to see birds. So, we will head to the Arb. See the calendar for details. 

(Adapted from a note from Big Sitter Extraordinaire, Don Chalfant)

Thanks to all who skipped the UM football game on TV to participate in this year’s BIGSIT. Without you, there would be no BIGSIT. Eyes and ears younger and more finely tuned than mine are certainly in evidence, as the results indicate. Results will be posted to the national sponsor of the BIGSIT, Bird Watcher’s Digest; and the results of all Sits nationally will be included on their website. Again, a grateful thank you to all.

Species seen (heard), not in taxonomic order:

Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Mute Swan
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper’s Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Bald Eagle
A. Coot
Sandhill Crane
Black Duck
Blue-winged Teal
Ring-billed Gull
Rock Dove
Mourning Dove
E. Screech-Owl
Great Horned Owl
Belted Kingfisher
N. Flicker
Blue Jay
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
A. Crow
Cedar Waxwing
E. Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
A. Robin
E. Phoebe
European Starling
Horned Lark
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Winter Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Song Sparrow
Ruby-cr. Kinglet
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
A. Goldfinch
House Finch
E. Towhee
N. Cardinal
Rusty Blackbird
C. Grackle
Swamp Sparrow
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Yellow-rumped Warbler
White-throated Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird

57 Species Seen (Heard), over the 22-year average of 53.
Nine participants.
One species not seen in previous 21 Sits: Winter Wren
Comments: We had eight species I’d consider unusual for our Sits: Peregrine, 2 previously
Pileated Woodpecker, 2 previously
Swamp Sparrow, 3 previously
Towhee, 5 previously
Blue-winged Teal, 3 previously
Black Duck, 4 previously
E. Phoebe, 5 previously

Misses? Based on previous Sit results, the following might be considered misses:
Ring-necked Duck, seen of 11 of previous 21 Sits
Great Egret, 8
Woodcock, 7
Herring Gull, 15
Bonaparte’s Gull, 10
Gray Catbird, 9
Dark-eyed Junco, 9
Brown-headed Cowbird, 15