Swans are a common site in Michigan but during the fall season when birds are migrating to their natural habitats, one never knows what they might see during a walk in the woods. Birds are in peak fall migration right now, and birders in the area are seeing huge numbers of songbirds fly through the Chicago area. ... Chickadees, nuthatches, cardinals and blue jays are year-round residents. If you are thinking of birding in Southeast Michigan, you'll find plenty of opportunities as the area's deciduous forests, rivers, and lakes cater to several broad categories of birds. The pretty Northern Parula warbler is one of the many species of songbirds that fly through Michigan each spring. ... two Great Lakes creates a unique confluence of migrating birds -- … When the winter snow starts falling in many parts of the country, some backyard birds have already departed for warmer climates, while other birds are migrating into backyards from further north. According to the Michigan Breeding Bird Atlas, three species of gulls and four species of terns can be found breeding in Michigan. During the early days of the expansion, the birds would migrate back south during the winter, but in time they became a year round resident in Michigan. Migration can be triggered by a combination of changes in day length, lower temperatures, changes in food supplies, and genetic predisposition. The environment—climate, geography, availability of food, and pollution—dictates the types of birds that breed in or migrate through Southeast Michigan. Winter migration and the backyard birds that stay behind can raise many questions about how a bird survives such journeys and temperatures. For centuries, people who have kept cage birds have noticed that the migratory species go through a period of restlessness each spring and fall, repeatedly fluttering toward one side of their cage. While their breeding sites are uncommon, sandhill crane nests might be spotted in marshy areas or wetlands. If open water remains through the winter, some waterfowl may stay. Millions of birds migrate through the Chicago area each year along Lake Michigan’s shoreline, but fewer of them would make it through safely under a … Other birds migrate to Michigan … Flyways going through Michigan bring through more than 380 species of birds through the state at various times of the the year, Audubon Great Lakes MI Birds Program Associate Erin Rowan said. The tall sandhill crane (Grus canadensis) is a stately, elegant bird that migrates through Michigan every spring and fall, and some birds stay to breed throughout the state. Scientists Find Evidence Suggesting Migrating Birds Follow Vegetation, With Help From Volunteer Bird Watchers Sara Tabin Contributor Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Originally a southern bird, the cardinal began expanding its range into northern states around the 1900’s. Approximately a dozen additional species have been documented migrating through or spending the winter months along our Great Lakes shorelines.