Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Galien River IBA survey- May 1

One of the goals of the IBA program is to keep track of population trends of IBA "trigger" species. The Galien River in Berrien County is home to the state's largest known population of nesting Yellow-throated Warblers, but has never been systematically surveyed. Last April we decided to start doing such a survey. We floated several sections of this downfall-choked river by kayak in the early morning hours, counting at least 15 singing males in less than half of the available habitat. We are continuing this work on Saturday May 1 to get a complete count.

Currently we have only 2 people so we would like to get an additional person to help. Let us know if you are interested in helping!

Monday, April 5, 2010

IBA Presentations in Upper Peninsula (April 13-15)

I will be presenting on the Michigan IBA program all next week at Audubon chapters across the upper peninsula as follows:

1) Tuesday April 13 at 7:30PM in Sault Ste. Marie (Sault Naturalist's Club, at Central United Methodist Church at 111 East Spruce Street in Sault Ste Marie, MI)

2) Wednesday April 14 at 7PM at Marquette (Laughing Whitefish Audubon, Peter White Public Library Community Room at 217 North Front Street Marquette, MI)

3) Thursday April 15 at 7PM in Houghton (Copper Country Audubon, Michigan Tech school of forestry lecture hall)

Hope to see you at one of these presentations!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

HUGE Detroit River waterfowl flock & estimating numbers

One or Michigan's most important IBAs is the Detroit River and its adjacent open water IBAs: Lake St. Clair, and western Lake Erie basin. Up to 10% of the world's Canvasbacks have been counted within this ecosystem during fall migration and early winter, and thousands of other diving ducks, Tundra Swans, and American Coots use this area as a migration stopover each year. It is usually very difficult to photograph these huge associations, but Jerry Jourdan has produced a fine panoramic here:


In spending just 60 seconds estimating the number of individuals in the photo by groups of 100 I estimate there are at least 4,500 individuals present in this photo. This is very good practice for obtaining numerical estimates of large flocks of birds. I also recommend this very helpful counting utility and eBird's estimation tips. And as always, be sure to report your counts of all species to eBird, where the information will instantly become available to the IBA program and all conservation agencies, with the click of one button.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Looking for help counting Yellow-throated Warblers by kayak

This Saturday (9 May) we will be surveying the Galien river's main and south branches for Yellow-throated Warblers and other species, by kayak. On 25 April the survey began with coverage of New Troy to Flynn Rd (Main branch) and Indiana state line to Lakeside Rd (south branch), and the discovery of at least 9 YTWAs. The IBA threshold for this species is only 5 pairs. We currently have 2 people, but could use 2 more to help us finish the remaining stretches.

There is a lot of downfall in the river, so participants should be very comfortable portaging their kayaks repeatedly and in controlling their boat in difficult conditions. GPS units are helpful but not required. If you or someone you know would like to help please contact me immediately at cputnam@audubon.org or 616-774-3000.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Michigan Audubon seeks volunteers to find Kirtland's Warblers in UP

The following message has just come across from Tom Funke, Michigan Audubon's Director of Conservation:

The Kirtland Warbler Management Group, comprised of various government agencies tasked to conserving the Kirtland Warbler, has asked Michigan Audubon for help.
We are seeking interested birders that would volunteer a day or two of their time to look for Kirtland Warblers in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
We are asking that you explore an area suspected of having Kirtland Warblers at least once during June 6 – 15th, 2009.
Skye Haas has graciously volunteered his time to coordinate volunteer birders in this endeavor. Kirtland’s are suspected throughout the UP, from the Baraga Plains all the way to Sault Ste. Marie. theowlranch@aol.com
If you are interested in participating, please send Skye and myself an email indicating your interest. Skye will be attending a training to get the details then be in email contact with you.
Having seen KW in habitat is beneficial, but not necessary.

Yours in conservation,
Thomas Funke
Director of Conservation
Michigan Audubon Society

Monday, March 16, 2009

Washtenaw Audubon Safe Passage article

Please see this direct link to an article detailing Washtenaw Audubon's effort to protect night-migrating passerines, written by Will Weber.