Mackinac Straits Raptor Watch

Dedicated to the research and conservation of raptors in the Straits of Mackinac

Explore the science of migration

Mackinac Straits Raptor Watch conducts scientific research in the Straits of Mackinac area of Michigan on migrating birds of prey. We monitor and count migrating raptors and band owls, both in Spring and Fall.

This research aims to support raptor conservation and inform and inspire the residents and visitors of northern Michigan about these magnificent birds. We record and report data on hawks, eagles, kites, falcons, and owls and share them with professionals and the public.

If funding is available, we research the numbers and timing of associated non-raptor migrants in the same region. For example, in the fall of 2020, Mackinac Straits Raptor Watch also counted waterbirds migrating over the Straits and measured and tagged southbound migrating Monarch butterflies (aka “Super Monarchs,” or “super generation Monarchs”).

Our Goals

Promote and conduct scientific research on the numbers and timing of migration of birds of prey and associated migrants in the Straits of Mackinac region of Michigan.

Inform and inspire people about birds of prey, and about the importance of the Straits of Mackinac as a migratory pathway.

Aid in conserving and protecting the resting and feeding stop-over habitat for birds of prey in the Straits of Mackinac region.