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Wild Animal Encounters: Wildlife in Northern Michigan

Updated on November 20, 2011

Northern Michigan: A Great Place for Wildlife Observation

Northern Michigan is a outdoor lover's paradise ripe with opportunities for all kinds of outdoor activities. Trhoughout the year, people travel hundereds of miles to experiene the area's hiking, fishing, hunting, camping, and other activities.

Northern Michigan is also a great place to observe wildlife. With thousands of acres of protected natural areas as well as local, state, and federal park lands, Northern Michigan is the perfect place to watch animals in ther natural habitats.

Here are just a few examples of the kind of native wildlife you can expect to encounter in Northern Michigan.  To read more about these and other wildlife encounters in the area, visit Hiking Northern Michigan.

Cormorant on the Riverwalk, Manistee

This beautiful cormorant made a lot of cameo appearances in our adventures along Manistee's Riverwalk and public beach areas. We saw it every time we took a walk for weeks, and finally got close enough to take a good photo.

It's a good thing we got the picture when we did - a few days later the cormorant was eaten by a mink! (A friend of ours was fishing on the pier and witnessed the event.)

There are dozens of varieties of cormorants; I am not sure exactly which species this is.  If anyone knows, please do share!

Eastern garter snake at Lake Bluff Audubon Society Bird Sanctuary, Manistee

This tiny eastern garter snake was sunning himself on a rock along a hiking trail.  He was only a about 6 inches long but had the attitude of a snake ten times its size!  It took several strikes at us before it slithered off into the underbrush.

I happened to have a video camera handy, so I shot a little footage of the snake.  I managed to catch a strike on film - watch the clip to check it out in slow motion.

Porcupine in the woods near Manistee

We came across this pocupine while we were out wandering in the woods near Manistee, Michigan. We didn't even notice it until we were just a few feet away!

It stayed there checking us out for about 5 minutes before it left. As it walked away, it stopped to slap its tail on the ground as a warning.


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    • moonlake profile image


      6 years ago from America

      I've been through Manistee. Love Michigan like to go there in the fall with all the pumpkins out and stands open along the road just over the bridge.

      Enjoyed your hub.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 

      7 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Great hub. IMHO, the wildlife of Northern Michigan and Southern Ontario is same, except for Cougars. According to Puma Club of Ontario, there are about 500 Pumas living in the province.

    • lilibees profile image


      7 years ago

      I am a huge fan of wildlife, huge animal planet is one of my all time favorite channels, great piece. Thanks for sharing!


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