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 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.
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.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Detroit River cleanup date annouced

Early Riser Open House
On April 11th, 2009 Humbug Marsh will be open at 6 AM and close at 3 PM.
Whether you would like to take photos, an early walk, or just sit on the deck and enjoy the morning-the marsh will be open.
Sponsored by Friends of the Detroit River
SATURDAY,April 18th
9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Many hands make light work- so instead of having a garlic mustard pull, we will be assisting the Friends of the Detroit River with their clean-up.

Who? Small craft boat owners, volunteers, families, & friends - Anyone interested in helping to cleanup litter along the waterfronts.
Why? A large-scale cleanup of the shores and small islands in the Lower Detroit River is being planned for this day. The goal is to pick up as much litter as possible that resides along the shores of the many dikes, islands, and bays in the lower river.
What is needed? Volunteers with/or without small outboard boats
Glove & boots - Dress for the weather and protection
Extra lifejackets (if you have them)
Where? Trenton Rotary Park - Foot of Harrison St., just off West Jefferson. Orientation meeting begins at 9:00 a.m. Trenton boat launch may be used for boats on trailers.
Boats will be launched after orientation. A picnic lunch will be provided for all who participate.
Anyone needing additional information or those who plan on bringing his/her boat to the event, please call 1-734-676-4626 after 4 PM. See our site at:

Kristi Thiel
Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

DNR stewardship at an IBA and several other sites

The purpose of the IBA program is to identify and protect those sites most
critical to bird conservation. This includes many sites owned and managed
by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR). MDNR is currently
soliciting help removing invasive species from one current IBA, Waterloo
Recreation Area, as well as several other sites. Please consider helping
in this effort! If you can spare some time in the month of March here is
the information:

Join the DNR, Parks and Recreation Division, Stewardship Unit in a
hands-on approach to removing invasive shrubs (glossy buckthorn, autumn
olive)from high-quality native ecosystems within the parks. This is a
great opportunity to get outside with your kids or to relieve some of your
winter blues.

Where & When:
Sunday, March 1, 2009, Algonac State Park, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday, March 7, 2009, Island Lake Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Sunday, March 8, 2009, Highland Recreation Area, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday, March 14, 2009, Bald Mountain Recreation Area, 9 a.m. to noon
Saturday, March 21, 2009, Waterloo Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Sunday, March 22, 2009, Pinckney Recreation Area, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday, March 28, 2009, Brighton Recreation Area, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Saturday, March 28, 2009, Highland Recreation Area, Barn Course Field
Trial Area, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For workday details, additional dates, to get directions, and to register:,1607,7-153-10366_10871-162412--,00.html
or; click on "Calendar of Volunteer
Stewardship Workdays" under "Current Volunteer Opportunities".

Getting connected with the DNR Stewardship Network:
If you would like to receive an email from the DNR Stewardship Network
with information on up coming workdays or have questions, please email or
call Laurel Malvitz-Draper at 248-359-9057 or

Hope you can join us!
Laurel Malvitz-Draper
Natural Resource Steward
Stewardship Unit, Parks and Recreation Division
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Monday, February 9, 2009

Satellite tagged Osprey journeys to Michigan

In November I received an email from N.C. Osprey researcher Rob Bierregaard (U.N.C. Charlotte) who is conducting satellite telemetry research on at least seven of these fascinating highly-migratory raptors. He informed me that one of his birds, a young male originally tagged in the nest at Martha's Vineyard, MA, had spent the summer of 2008 wandering the northeast, including the U.P. He was especially fond of Pellissier Lake near Marquette, and was on its way to his neotropical wintering grounds via N.C. as of November 2008.

You can track the incredible journeys of this bird, named Meadow, here. This is yet another example of the astounding, often unpredictable journeys made by migratory birds.

Monday, January 12, 2009

9 Michigan IBAs prioritized as globally significant!

We are proud to announce that the National IBA Technical Committee has approved nine Michigan IBAs as globally-significant sites! This means that each site plays a very important role globally in supporting one or more species recognized as globally vulnerable or threatened by the IUCN. The sites are [species triggering the designation in brackets]:

1) Kirtland's Warbler Management Units and Guide's Rest [Kirtland's Warbler]
2) Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (inc. N. Manitou Id.) [Piping Plover]
3) coastal Saginaw Bay (Nayanquing Pt. to Wildfowl Bay) [Tundra Swan]
4) lower Detroit River [Canvasback]
5) Allegan State Game Area & Kalamazoo River [Cerulean Warbler]
6) Barry State Game Area, Yankee Springs Recereation Area & Perry Trust [Cerulean Warbler]
7) Fort Custer Training Center and Recreation Area [Cerulean Warbler]
8) Watrerloo Recreation Area [Cerulean Warbler]
9) White River (Manistee National Forest) [Cerulean Warbler]

For more information on any of these sites please see our online database of Michigan's IBAs.