I got back in town Monday night from a Memorial Day weekend excursion with the Chicago Ornithological Society to East Tawas, Michigan and environs for the Kirtland’s Warbler and many, many other birds. I have had hardly any time to review even the first day’s shots but here are a few from the very beginning. We started with our search for the Kirtland’s on Saturday morning and we were successful.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is managing significant Jack Pine habitat for Kirtland’s Warblers. Indeed, this is the only way the species can survive on its breeding grounds. While habitat management is working and the numbers of breeding pairs have increased, there is now an effort to delist the Kirtland’s Warbler which will mean significant lack of funding for maintaining habitat, and without management the species will likely be endangered again.
Another species that seems to like this habitat is the Brewer’s Blackbird. We saw several, if not necessarily at close range. They were busy following a tractor that was tilling soil for managed planting of Jack Pine saplings.
Not shown are the Brown-Headed Cowbirds which are also “managed” for their predation on Kirtland’s Warbler nests. I will not elaborate here, but you can read all about it at the link to the Michigan DNR webpage.
The male Kirtland’s Warblers could be heard singing but they were a bit cagey about photographs. When I manage to get through my recordings I will add a song to this post.
After visiting the Kirtland’s Warblers we moved on to Tawas Point where the most frequently seen bird of the trip, the Baltimore Oriole, was first to greet us. I hope to continue soon with more pictures from the Point.
Sorry this is a short post. Alas, I must get back to work. See you soon.