Category Archives: 2016

MSRW Takes Flight and Plans Next Phase

http://judylemarr.com/wp/wp-admin/ Earlier this month, we announced plans for new research starting in Mackinaw City and released our final spring 2016 report. Besides core work with hawks and owls in the last three years, we have added a survey of waterbirds migrating through the Straits of Mackinac. This will run from August 20 through November 10. In addition, owl research will be conducted from September 20 through November 10 near St. Ignace.

http://shawneeoutlook.com/category/uncategorized/?s= Chair, Ed Pike, said “We welcome the public to come and see loons, grebes, ducks, and other waterbirds in migration. The observation site is McGulpin Point, two miles west of Mackinaw City near the McGulpin Point Lighthouse. Bring binoculars and a spotting scope if possible, as some of the birds fly at quite a distance.” During the first spring survey of waterbirds this year, paid counter Jason Newton tallied more than 10,000 waterbirds of 38 species, including two species of Loons and three species each of Scoters, Mergansers, and Grebes. He confirmed that both Redheads and Long-tailed Ducks stay for long periods of time in the Straits, apparently resting and feeding there. Newton’s highlight was a Black-legged Kittiwake spied at close range on April 12. Pike explained that gathering accurate base-line data on the use of the Straits by waterbirds is vital to understanding the biological importance of the area. “This was significant as the first spring count, especially since it tallied 570 Common Loons, a bird of concern to conservationists due to its generally declining numbers in Michigan.

click here Pike continued, “Our sixth spring Hawk Count in Mackinaw City also was successful, with a total of 47,090 daytime raptors of 18 species. This is roughly the same number as last spring. The highlight came April 13 when we set a record among dozens of other hawk counts in the country. Professional counter, Kevin Georg, tallied 4,966 Red-tailed Hawks that day, following a stretch of wintry weather that held up migration.” Site records include Turkey and Black Vultures, Ospreys, Bald Eagles, Northern Harriers, Sharp-shinned Hawks, Northern Goshawks, Red-shouldered Hawks, Merlins, Peregrine Falcons, and the first-ever Gyrfalcon. The Straits continues to hold the record for the most Golden Eagles seen east of the Mississippi.

Other important research findings came from the owl survey done at Cheboygan State Park where professional banders caught 76 Northern Saw-whet Owls and 6 Long-eared Owls. Five of the saw-whets already wore bands, placed on them by biologists at Whitefish Point; St. Ignace (banded by MSRW fall 2015); Silver Islet (Ontario), Indiana, and Cheboygan State Park (which Pike banded years ago). Pike is proud of this bird: “I banded this female in spring 2011. We now know that she has lived at least 6 years and is using the same migration route. We hope to see her again, as they can live about 9 years.”

can i buy provera over counter uk More guests visited MSRW events than ever before. After Secretary, Kathy Bricker, entered the guest list data, she found 1,326 recorded outdoor guests from five countries, 13 states, and 139 Michigan cities. Eleven indoor talks by volunteers were attended by another 333 guests. Bricker added “The first Mackinaw Raptor Fest, funded largely by the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation, drew 81 fully-paid registrants. We were thrilled that 281 others enjoyed free portions of the weekend, including a program with live hawks and owls.” People may see photos, learn early plans for the April 7 to 9, 2017 Mackinaw Raptor Fest, and watch the fall research results come in at www.mackinacraptorwatch.org.

Rebecca Lessard holding a Peregrine Falcon rehabilitated by Wings of Wonder.

Rebecca Lessard holding a Peregrine Falcon rehabilitated by Wings of Wonder.

Elder, Tony Grondin, honors eagles at first Mackinaw Raptor Fest in Mackinaw City

Elder, Tony Grondin, honors eagles at first Mackinaw Raptor Fest in Mackinaw City

Record number of Golden Eagles seen at Mackinaw City Hawk Count. Image by Steve Baker.

Record number of Golden Eagles seen at Mackinaw City Hawk Count. Image by Steve Baker.

Guests enjoy watching hawks in Mackinaw City with hawk counter, Kevin Georg.

Guests enjoy watching hawks in Mackinaw City with hawk counter, Kevin Georg.

Water bird counter, Jason Newton, recording data on the water birds seen migrating through the Straits of Mackinac.

Water bird counter, Jason Newton, recording data on the water birds seen migrating through the Straits of Mackinac.

 

 

Owl Banding, End of the Season

Northern Michigan weather is not being cooperative as our season is coming to an end.  A combination of rain/snow, and strong winds are creating less than ideal conditions for owl banding.  We are hoping to get at least a few hours in tonight, and a full night tomorrow for our last night.

I wanted to share this photo taken by Al Moberly of this spring’s seasonal workers.  Fom left to right: Kim Edgington (owl bander), Kevin Georg (hawk counter), Jason Newton (waterbird counter), Emily Wilmoth (owl bander).

IMG_6216

I will post a brief end of the season summary early next week!

Photos From Waterbird Count

Hello all,

If you read Jason’s most recent post, then you know that I filled in for him yesterday so that he could have a well-earned rest.  He already summarized much of what happened, but I thought I would share a few photos that I got from the count yesterday.  You will notice that despite the fact we were conducting a waterbird count, many, if not most, of these photos will be of raptors and songbirds.  There is a good reason for that.  Most of the waterbirds that we count are probably a mile or more off of shore, which means they are well out of camera range.  The raptors are often times flying directly overhead, which makes them much easier to photograph.

Red-tailed Hawk 2

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk 3

Red-tailed Hawk – sometimes the birds watch you too!

Red-tailed Hawk 4

Young Red-tailed Hawk

White-winged Scoters

White-winged Scoters – notice the heat distortion in the background.

Red-breasted Mergansers

Red-breated Mergansers

Pintail

Distant Northern Pintail – look closely and you can see the “pin” tail.

Pied-billed Grebe

Somewhat unusual for the location , a Pied-billed Grebe.

Common Merganser

Common Merganser – swimming just offshore.

Northern Harrier

One of a few Northern Harriers that flew to the Upper Peninsula on Sunday.

Belted Kingfisher

This Belted Kingfisher flew down the beach. Two others flew directly across to the Upper Peninsula.

Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Phoebe

And for fun, here is a video of a female Red-breasted Merganser being chased by four males.  Notice the funny head movements of the males.  This is courtship behavior.

After the count was over, Jason and I headed up to the Hawk Watch for a few minutes, where we found this rather cooperative Savannah Sparrow.

Savannah Sparrow

First Savannah Sparrow of the year.

Jason and I then made a trip to nearby Dingman Marsh to look for Ring-necked Ducks.  There were many there and we also found this Singing Pine Warbler.

lots of tails to tail

2761 Red-tailed hawks which pretty much sums up the day! Had  2 more Golden  Eagles  with 15 Bald Eagles, with 7 of being immatures .With 320 Sharp-shinned hawks and 41 Broad-winged Hawks ,first of the year! Also 392 Sandhill Cranes and a lot of  Tree Swallows and 1 Barn Swallow. And 1 more Black Vulture!

holey moley

After several days of bad weather it finally open up in a big way here with 39 Bald Eagles with 30 young eagles 5 Golden Eagles 1 Peregrine  and 12 Rough-legged hawks. 4966 Red-tailed Hawks flew by today with 2 albino type and 4 dark morphs!!!!!!

Raptor Fest

I unfortunately don’t have any owl news to report. String winds and snow have been preventing us from banding.

I would just like to say that I had a great time getting to know so many interesting people at Raptor Fest this weekend. Thank you to everyone for showing us your support!

We will get back to banding owls as soon as possible.

 

2 short

Winds started out of the  SE switching to the NE back to the E. Blue skies with high cirrus. 36 Bald Eagles and 10 Golden Eagles with 2 being immatures  one adult Peregrine with 2 dark morph Rough-legged hawks.Nice flight of Turkey Vultures  with 282 thought I recognize one TV from Corpus! 998 Red-tailed hawks came by with a stunning albino-leucistic one that flew right overhead!

Merlin on a pole

Started at rec center until wind switch from the south to due east while at the rec center a Merlin came in after the flock of robins in the baseball field having no success came to rest on the telephone pole along the road giving great views .Arriving at Darrows  because of the wind change had 1 Golden Eagle and 3 Bald Eagles plus a nice push of 90 Redtails ahead of the rain closed the watch at 1330 hawk time.