Located south of Detroit, just off of I-75 in Rockwood, is a Pointe Mouillee State Game Area that hosts a large variety of wildlife. You won't be on the grounds long before you will catch your first glimpse of one of the animals that calls this area home.
"Pointe Mouillee State Game Area got it's name for the French word for 'wet' which is 'mouillee,'" explains the DNR's Wildlife Communications Coordinator, Holly Vaughn. "It's 4,400 acres of coastal marsh, wetlands, field and forest and all kinds of really diverse habitats that come together."
It is a well-known sight for wildlife photography and bird watching because you are surrounded by habitat thanks to their 23 plus miles of dikes you can traverse. While they have a variety of wildlife, the real star here are the birds. You can see ducks, geese, herons, eagles, osprey, egrets and many more, including some unusual birds for Michigan.
"In the spring time a lot of birds are moving from the south to the north or visa versa...and they use this place as a stop over on their migration," says Holly.
The DNR does a lot to keep these birds coming back year after year, including building the dikes to better control and monitor the wetlands, and planting food for the birds and other wildlife to eat. Due to their conservation efforts, some animals have even come back to the area, like the osprey.
"For a while this bird was pretty rare because of pesticide use," Holly says, referring to the osprey."The DDT caused their eggshells to become very fragile, so the adults would sit on the eggs, and the eggs would break." Now the osprey are back and nesting in Pointe Mouillee. Holly says, "They have successfully reproduced at this sight for about 6 years now."
Besides birds, you can also spot muskrats, mink, deer, frogs, toads, turtles and snakes.
If watching wildlife isn't really your thing you can also fish, boat, hike and hunt.
The Michigan Wildlife Council is committed to informing people about the importance of wildlife and conservation. To learn more about these conservation efforts at Pointe Mouillee State Game Area and other places around the state visit the Michigan Wildlife Council's website here.
Pointe Mouillee State Game Area is located at 37205 Mouillee Rd, Route 2, in Rockwood Michigan. They are open 6am-11pm every day.