Kirtland’s Warbler Wildlife Management Area was established in 1980 in response to the need for more land dedicated to the recovery of the Kirtland’s warbler, which was on the endangered species list from 1967 to 2019. The management area contains 125 separate tracts of land totaling 6,684 acres located throughout eight counties in the northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan.

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Kirtland’s Warbler Wildlife Management Area is located throughout the northern part of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan in jack pine barrens. These lands, along with other public lands in the area, are critical to the success of the Kirtland’s warbler. The forests are divided into three categories: young jack pine forests (4 to 25 years old), very young jack pine forests (newly planted up to 4 years old) and old jack pine forests (more than 25 years old). Each forest type is associated with a different forest community. 

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      The Kirtland’s Warbler Wildlife Management Area is located throughout the northern part of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan in Presque Isle, Montmorency, Oscoda, Ogemaw, Crawford, Kalkaska, Roscommon and Clare counties. The management area properties are located adjacent to state of Michigan lands. A county plat book should be referenced to find the specific tract locations. The headquarters office can also provide maps upon request. Parcels of property occupied by the Kirtland’s warbler are closed to entry during the bird’s breeding season (May 1 to Aug. 15). 

      Tours

      A make Kirtland's warbler perched in a jack pine tree by Vince Cavalieri/USFWS.

      Are you looking for a guided tour to see the Kirtland's warbler? 

      Kirtland's Warbler tours are held annually by both the Michigan Audubon Society and the Huron-Manistee National Forests. More information can be found on their websites.

      What We Do

      The National Wildlife Refuge System is a series of lands and waters owned and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Wildlife management areas are part of the refuge system and wildlife conservation is at our core. It drives everything we do from the purpose an area is established, to the recreational activities offered there, to the resource management tools we use. Selecting the right tools helps us ensure the survival of local plants and animals and helps fulfill the purpose of the area. 

      Our Species

      Kirtland’s Warbler Wildlife Management Area specializes in jack pine habitat. Young jack pine forests are not only critical habitat for the Kirtland’s warbler but home to other birds such as the Nashville warbler, eastern towhee, brown thrasher and alder flycatcher. Very young jack pine forests provide habitat for indigo buntings, eastern bluebirds, field and Lincoln’s sparrows and black-billed cuckoo. While old jack pine forests provide habitat for black-backed woodpeckers, spruce grouse, olive-sided flycatchers, and eastern wood-pewees. 

      The Kirtland's warbler is a songbird that nests in young jack pine stands. Until 1995 Kirtland's warblers had only been known to nest in the northern part of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. Today, they also nest in the Upper Peninsula, Wisconsin and Canada. They migrate from their nesting grounds to...

      FWS Focus