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      New trail is for the birds

      A new bird-watching trail opened this weekend on Lake Michigan's largest island. The Grand Rapids Press reports that the Beaver Island Birding Trail is on an island that is considered to be a prime spot for seeing hundreds of migratory bird species. The trail includes 35 birding sites on more than 12,300 acres. It starts at the Beaver Island Community Center where birders can get a free map and checklist of the almost 250 species that can be found on the island. Trail coordinator Pam Grassmick says the trail opened with the support of several groups, including the Beaver Island Association and Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Such trails also have economic benefits. Texas, for instance, brings in about $300 million annually through bird watching areas.