Client Spotlight: Michigan Audubon

At Altruic Advisors, it's an honor and a privilege to serve nonprofit organizations. Our accountants work exclusively with nonprofits, spending day after day with amazing people who dedicate their lives to creating good in the world. Each organization is special in its own way, and our Client Spotlight series helps us to share their stories!


Michigan Audubon is the oldest conservation organization in the state of Michigan. Formed in 1904, Michigan Audubon is dedicated to connecting birds and people for the benefit of both, through conservation, education, and research. From early efforts to secure protective legislation, to current educational programs, events, and organized data collection by “citizen scientists,” Michigan Audubon has been frequently recognized for its work on behalf of birds and bird-lovers everywhere.


With more than 2,000 members and 41 active local chapters, Michigan Audubon plays a critical role in the protection of birds and their native ecosystems. A network of 18 sanctuary properties in Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas - totaling more than 3,500 acres - are maintained by volunteer stewards. These stewards are tasked with trail maintenance, biological monitoring, invasive plant removal, and habitat improvement and restoration.

  • The Purple Martin Conservation Program aims to increase awareness for Michigan’s Purple Martins, which have experienced a steep and consistent population decline since 1966. By collecting data, establishing new colonies, maintaining nesting structures, and uniting Purple Martin “landlords” across the state, Michigan Audubon hopes to gain a more complete picture of the Purple Martin population and slow or reverse their decline.

  • Great Lakes Safe Passage is a program held in partnership with the Detroit Audubon Society that encourages building owners and occupants to take simple steps during peak bird migration seasons to reduce the hazard of building collisions. Birds migrating at night are drawn to sources of artificial light, resulting in collisions, vulnerability to predators, and exhaustion. By turning off or shading unnecessary lights during the migration seasons of mid-March through May and mid-August through October, citizens can help provide safe passage for birds.


With a variety of year-round sanctuary programs, workshops, and Signature Birding Events, Michigan Audubon aims to educate the public and bridge the gap between recreational birding and conservation engagement. By raising awareness and collaborating with other local conservation agencies, Michigan Audubon inspires environmental action and pursues legislation to help shape the state’s laws and regulations.

  • The Michigan Young Birders Club offers monthly programs for youth aged 12-18. Members participate in educational conservation programs, produce an online newsletter, and engage in the club’s social networking sites.

  • Michigan Audubon distributes two publications to help raise awareness and provide educational resources. The Jake Pine Warbler, Michigan Audubon’s membership magazine, highlights specific birds and birding destinations, along with book reviews and local birding news. Michigan Birds and Natural History is a peer-reviewed scientific journal dedicated to ornithology and the natural history of Michigan.


Michigan Audubon conducts many seasonal surveys, bird counts, and species monitoring programs through the state. Local chapters lead research projects that are supported by mini-grants, and Michigan Audubon partners with various other agencies and organizations to collect data that informs important conservation decisions.

  • The Whitefish Point Bird Observatory has been an affiliate of Michigan Audubon for nearly four decades, and was recently recognized as a formal program arm of the organization. Whitefish Point maintains annual counts for waterbirds and raptors, and is a critical migratory funnel for many owl species.

  • Michigan Audubon also organizes and supports data collection efforts among citizen scientists to help identify threats to bird populations and habitat. These efforts include regular bird surveys at Michigan Audubon sanctuaries, the annual Christmas Bird Count and Great Backyard Bird Count, and many other seasonal surveys. Birders of all skill levels are encouraged to volunteer.


How Can You Support Michigan Audubon?

Signature Events

  • Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Spring Fling - April 29-30, 2017

    • Spring Fling is the Whitefish Point Bird Observatory’s annual celebration of bird migration. Expect excellent birding along with opportunities to learn more about avian migration and conservation around the Great Lakes.

  • Tawas Point Birding Festival - May 18-20, 2017

    • “The Biggest Little Birding Festival in the Midwest” will feature guided birding walks at the area’s best hotspots, programs and talks by some of Michigan’s leading wildlife experts, the Michigan Audubon bookstore, and, of course, the opportunity to enjoy the company of hundreds of fellow birders.

  • Cerulean Warbler Weekend - June 10-11, 2017

    • Attendees will visit areas where they can find the Cerulean Warbler, a bird whose numbers have been declining faster than any other North American songbird. A unique birding and educational opportunity, Cerulean Warbler Weekend features workshops and guided nature experiences will teach how to identify the habitat and song of the Cerulean Warbler.

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