Omena is home to Saving Birds Thru Habitat, created by renowned birding advocate & author Kay Charter to help stem the decline of our migratory songbird population by teaching people of all ages how to protect, enhance and restore habitat for North American birds. Their Habitat Discovery Center grounds offer lessons on how to do just that, and is adjacent to a 44-acre private conservation effort, Charter Sanctuary, which has hosted more than sixty nesting species. Private tours of Charter Sanctuary are available by appointment for a fee.
The Sleeping Bear Birding Trail spans an exceptional migratory flyway and thousands of public acres along the Lake Michigan coastline. The Trail is home to the Piping Plover, an endangered shorebird that needs vast stretches of undisturbed beach. The Trail is anchored by Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore with 71,000 acres of public land and 35 miles of beaches.
The length of the Trail covers all 123 miles of Michigan Highway M-22 which runs from Manistee on the southern end to Traverse City at the north terminus. Michigan Audubon’s Lake Bluff Bird Sanctuary is the southern terminus. The diverse habitat, significant public access, and many miles of shoreline make the Trail a birder’s paradise.