Start of 2021 Mackinac Island Count

Welcome to the inaugural season of MSRW on Mackinac Island! The season officially starts on March 25, but we are already seeing birds fly over.

A quick intro for myself: I am Krista Botting, Michigan born and raised! After graduating from Alma College, I have done several hawk watches. Bake Oven Knob (PA), Whitefish Point, and Hawk Ridge (MN) all had their unique challenges. This opportunity to start a count on Mackinac Island was one I couldn’t pass up!

Yesterday (23rd) I moved onto the island with Ed and Russ to help me. It was great to see Red-Tailed Hawks fly in as we approached the island the long way around (maybe there was too much ice on the quicker side). Making the first trek up to Fort Holmes is a steep but rewarding climb. We spent a great hour with birds on both sides of us, right at eye level! A definite highlight of the day was seeing both top and bottom of several Golden Eagles, a really neat sight.

There was unexpected variety of species and more individuals than we thought as well, I hope it is a sign that this count will be exciting and rewarding. To the skeptics who think this isn’t a productive site… just wait and see!

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