During a road trip to Michigan this weekend we did a brief stop at W.K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary. This Sanctuary is located outside Augusta, Michigan, 15 miles north of Kalamazoo and 12 miles north-west of Battle Creek. This 180-acre sanctuary features a diverse wildlife habitat around the 40-acre Wintergreen Lake, with a 3/4 mile paved trail that is wheelchair accessible. There is a fee to enter the grounds, but the cost in well worth it.
The Sanctuary features waterfowl in their natural habitat, including Trumpeter Swans, Mute Swans, Canada Geese, Mallards, and even a resident domestic Australian Black Swan. The Sanctuary also serves as a home for several injured bird of prey that are not releasable, thus offering great views of Red-tailed Hawks, a variety of owls and even a Bald Eagle. The property also has an upland game bird display featuring grouse, pheasants and quails. Some of these are native to Michigan, while others are exotic birds from around the world that are rare, threatened or endangered.
To our delight the sanctuary featured a high number of resident Trumpeter Swans, which sounded as a middle school band getting ready for band practice as we approached the lake. We counted 83 in all, but I am sure we missed a few as they were constantly moving around. There were also a number of Canada Geese on the property. Do not be freaked out as they approach you and hiss. The Sanctuary sells small buckets of corn for a dollar, so the geese, ducks and swans are used to getting feed by the visitors. We got a good laugh as the geese reminded us of a gang of mafia members trying to intimidate us and shake us down for corn.
We ended up with just over 21 countable species in just over an hour, which is not bad at all for a mid-summer day. The Trumpeter Swans were a life bird and it was very neat to hear why they got that name. And even the non-countable species was worth the trip. So take some time out of your schedule and visit this great Sanctuary.