Benzie Audubon Club

Welcome to our Photo Gallery!  (Last update:  April 30, 2017)


Birds of the Benzie Area

There are always interesting birds to see in the Benzie area. In April we saw many returning migrants. (Click on pictures for a larger view.)

Small woodland ponds are excellent places to find spring birds like Eastern Phoebes. Phoebes are usually the first of our flycatchers to arrive in the spring and the last to leave in the fall. (Photo by Joe Brooks)


Hooded Mergansers also are found in woodland ponds. While perhaps drab in comparison with her male counterpart, the female has an understated elegance of her own. (Photo by Joe Brooks)

Hooded Mergansers nest in tree cavities (or artificial nesting boxes) in wooded wetlands.  One guide describes the male as "one of the most beautiful of all our waterfowl."(Photo by Joe Brooks)

In the looks department it would be hard to beat the male Wood Duck, also a cavity nester. (Photo by Joe Brooks)

Casual migrants in our area, Great Egrets are more often seen in the late summer than in the spring. This was one of several reported at Arcadia Marsh in April. (Photo by Carl Freeman)

This Ruby-crowned Kinglet was fighting its reflection in a window. Raising the crest is a signal of aggression; the crest is usually mostly hidden as in the photo below of a second bird. (Photo by Carl Freeman)

The Ruby-crowned Kinglet as it usually looks. It can be distinguished from the Golden-crowned Kinglet by its plain face and pale eye-ring. (Photo by Carl Freeman)

Carl photographed this handsome Green-winged Teal from a blind by the Freemans' pond. (Photo by Carl Freeman)

This Blue-winged Teal was also photographed from Carl's blind. The powder blue wing patch is generally seen only when the bird is in flight, but here it is displayed nicely in the bird's stretch. Notice that Blue-winged Teal also have some green in the speculum.   (Photo by Carl Freeman)


This Wood Duck was also photographed from the blind at the Freemans' pond. A picture is worth a thousand words. (Photo by Carl Freeman)

Wood Ducks are so named because unlike most of our ducks, they regularly perch in trees. These were 30 or 40 feet up in the Freemans' poplars. (Photo by Carl Freeman)


April saw the return to Platte Point of Piping Plovers, including this male known by his bands as" BO:X,g." Now 15 years old, he holds the record for the oldest plover recorded in the Great Lakes population. He also is a legend in his wintering grounds near Charleston, SC, where he is known as "Old Man Plover." (Photo by John Ester)

Another Piping Plover showing up at Platte Point was this female. Without bands she was definitely not a returnee. According to plover guru Alice Van Zoeren, the bird is so lightly marked she may have strayed from the Atlantic population. (Photo by John Ester)

Club Activities

We kicked off the new year with Stewart McFerran's presentation on the passenger pigeon, a now-extinct species with a history in Benzie County. Note that Stewart is using a new lavaliere microphone and lectern--both gifts from Benzie Audubon to our generous host, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. (Photo by John Ester)

At our annual meeting in November we elected a new Board of Directors before having our Members' Photo Show. (Photo by Joe Brooks)

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