The 705 acre Michigan Islands National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1947 as a breeding ground for colonial waterbirds such as Caspian terns and black-crowned night herons. It is comprised of nine islands in Lakes Michigan and Huron. Gull, Pismire, Hat and Shoe Islands are part of the Beaver Island Archipelago in Lake Michigan and are managed by Seney National Wildlife Refuge. Sugar, Crooked and Scarecrow Islands located in Thunder Bay near Alpena, Michigan and Big and Little Charity Islands located in Saginaw Bay are managed by Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is closed to the public to protect sensitive colonial nesting waterbirds and the federally threatened plant species found on the islands.

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Michigan Islands National Wildlife Refuge is closed to the public.

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      Our Species

      More than 150 species of birds and four species of mammals have been observed using the islands. These islands support numerous species of colonial nesting waterbirds such as ring-billed and herring gulls, double-crested cormorants and Caspian and common terns. Other bird species found breeding on these islands, include spotted sandpipers, killdeer, and a variety of waterfowl, raptors and songbirds.