Raptors in flight bring a sense of wonder and struggle to birders, especially when it comes to identifying them at a distance. Field marks are not enough when back-lit conditions and birds miles out lack any color. Flight ID has long been the best way to identify raptors at a distance, however books only take it so far. Join hawk watcher and photographer Josh Haas as he shares the principles of raptor ID featuring video clips from his movie “Hawks on the Wing” and explains why our local site, the Detroit River Hawk Watch, is a raptor migration mecca.
Josh Haas first developed a love for hawks working with the birds of prey at the Kalamazoo Nature Center. A hawk watching trip to Lake Erie Metropark opened his eyes to raptors in migration. Perplexed by seeing specks at a distance with an overwhelming itch to know what they were, he started learning from veteran hawk watchers and was hooked. He would end up spending seven Fall seasons working with the Detroit River Hawk Watch as a relief counter. There he honed his skills and developed a love for teaching visitors unique ways of telling the shadowy specs apart.
Presented virtually via Zoom on September 16, 2020.
The birds Washtenaw Audubon pledges to protect differ in color, size, behavior, geographical preference, and countless other ways. As we honor and celebrate the equally remarkable diversity of the human species, Washtenaw Audubon considers the work of inclusion, diversity, and equity a top priority moving forward. We hope that, in doing so, we can bring new creativity and energy to our work in Washtenaw County and beyond for birds and people alike.
Respect, inclusion, and opportunity for people of all backgrounds, lifestyles, and perspectives will attract the best ideas and harness the greatest passion to shape a healthier, more vibrant future for all of us who share our planet. We believe that protecting and conserving nature and the environment transcends political, cultural, and social boundaries. As an organization, we are committed to increasing the diversity of our board, volunteers, members, and supporters.
As an organization, Washtenaw Audubon strives to create a sense of community where all people can feel safe to explore nature and experience the wonder of birds.
We respect the individuality of each member of our community, and welcome all without discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, national or ethnic origin, politics, or veteran status, or any other status.
All are welcome to bird with us, learn with us, and to share our passion for birds and the environment.
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.
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.
Washtenaw Audubon Society stands solidly with ALL birders, and we support the recent statement by the American Birding Association, below.
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
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 953 0065 4830
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.
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|
|Lima & Freedom||John Mills||WasMayCount-Fre|
|Salem & Superior||Dan Thiry||
|York, Augusta, & Northfield||Greg Jacks||
|Pittsfield & Ypsilanti||Mike Sefton||
|Bridgewater & Saline||Roger Wykes||
|Ann Arbor||Juliet Berger||WasMayCount-Ann|
|Lyndon & Sylvan||Ben Hack||