Who We Are
The Washtenaw Audubon Society is an active chapter of Michigan Audubon formed in the early 1950’s. While our membership is concentrated in Washtenaw County, we have many members in surrounding counties in southeast Michigan.
Monthly programs feature guest speakers on a variety of natural history and birding topics. We conduct field trips around southeast Michigan and as far away as Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Other special events bring members and friends together, such as the annual Christmas Bird Count. Most of our events are free and open to the public. Membership dues and volunteers support our ability to provide these activities.
Our mission, as defined in our Constitution and By-Laws, is to promote the conservation of wildlife and natural beauty in all possible ways, with a particular focus on birds; to cooperate with other organizations whose aims correspond to those of this corporation; and to develop and maintain a conservation program for the youth and adults of the community.
What We Do
We offer numerous field trips to locations in southeast Michigan, and several to more distant places, such as Whitefish Point in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula or Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge in Ohio. Field trips are geared to beginning or intermediate birders, but all levels are welcome. Unless otherwise noted, field trips are free and open to all.
Our chapter meetings are held on the third Wednesday of the month from September through June (except December) at the University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens, 1800 N. Dixboro Rd, Ann Arbor. These meetings, which are free and open to the public, feature entertaining and informative speakers followed by snacks and informal mingling. The meetings kick off with announcements of upcoming events and recent bird sightings. Program topics have included: the impact of climate change on bird populations, birding around the world, butterflies, amphibians, reptiles, endangered species, bird banding, nature photography, and Great Lakes issues with emphasis on birds. Coming to a meeting or joining a field trip are great ways to get to know us!
We own and manage the Searles Nature Preserve, a 48.3-acre gem that was granted to Washtenaw Audubon by Fuller D. Searles to hold in perpetuity as a wildlife conservation area. The property, made up of wetlands and mixed deciduous forest, has a small network of trails and lies north of Bolla Road, between Stony Creek and Willis Roads in Augusta Township. The public may visit the preserve for non-motorized quiet nature study. In 2020 the preserve was declared “environmentally verified” by the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program, a State of Michigan program that recognizes farmers, landowners, and conservation organizations for voluntarily meeting a set of environmental standards.