Great Lakes Stopover Map Tool

What are stopover sites?

Stopover sites are places where migrating birds stop to rest, refuel and seek shelter en route between breeding and wintering areas.

Why do they need to be conserved?

Mortality of birds during migration is high, and particularly in the central part of the United States, there are fewer and fewer places with remaining natural habitat in good condition that can shelter and fuel these birds during this vulnerable period.

Where is the stopover habitat within the Great Lakes region?

Migratory birds, including landbirds, shorebirds, and waterfowl, are most concentrated at food rich sites close to Great Lakes shorelines. For landbirds, Great Lakes shorelines are “fallout” areas, areas where birds seek immediate refuge after encountering one of the Great Lakes.

How can stopover sites be protected/conserved?

Stopover sites can be protected directly through fee acquisition, conservation easements, managing land that favors migrant use and provides good feeding sites, and indirectly by land use regulations and voluntary land management recommendations.


The Upper Midwest and Great Lakes Landscape Conservation Cooperative of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service supported development of this application. TNC collaborated with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the University of Southern Mississippi, many conservation organizations, universities, and corporations to model stopover habitat and create this web portal.