birds

Courtesy Harris Nature Center

From March Madness to April showers, the signs of spring have been making their arrival in Michigan these past few weeks. You’ve probably also noticed a few more bird songs accompanying those first rays of morning light. Bird enthusiasts such as Harris Nature Center bird naturalist Clare Bratton have been venturing out more and more lately, binoculars at the ready.

Flickr - Don Faulkner

All sorts of migratory birds that winter in the southern United States are returning to their northern breeding grounds. Many birds that live in Canada and Alaska are passing through Michigan. Bird watchers are keeping a close eye out for one particular subspecies whose numbers have plummeted over a period of decades.

Courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Spring is in the air.

The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and the beaches of the Great Lakes are calling.

Well, maybe not for us humans yet.

The piping plover, on the other hand, will be packing its bags and headed for the lakeshore in the next couple of weeks.

The endangered species of shorebird was once almost extinct--with just 12 pairs left in the Great Lakes.

But thanks to conservation efforts, scientists are starting to see a rebound in the population.

Kevin Lavery / WKAR

From ancient China to modern day Michigan, the history of falconry spans both continents and centuries.

In medieval Europe, hunting with birds of prey was known as “the sport of kings,” with certain breeds reserved for the aristocracy.

While you don’t have to be royal to be a falconer anymore, it’s still a pretty exclusive club.

There are only about 130 licensed falconers in the state of Michigan.

http://msutoday.msu.edu/

If you discovered a new species that no one had ever seen before, what would you name it? For most of us, that’s a hypothetical question. But not for Dr. Pam Rasmussen, an assistant professor in the department of Integrative Biology at MSU, and assistant curator at the MSU Museum. She has named and described nine species of birds that were new to science and was part of a team that recently described a new bird species in Indonesia.

http://lbwl.com/

Some downtown Lansing residents are being watched intently for signs of courtship. The saga of the peregrine falcons who live at the Lansing Board of Water and Light’s Eckert Power Station continues with some new twists.

BWL falcons expecting

May 15, 2014
http://www.lbwl.com/falcon.aspx

There are many expecting parents around Mid-Michigan, but few will produce offspring as rare as Eckert and Viper’s. The peregrine falcons are waiting for three little ones to hatch, after nesting at the Lansing Board of Water and Light’s Eckert electric generating plant.

angela7dreams

With springtime finally arriving in mid-Michigan, the sounds of the season have also emerged again.  The song of the northern cardinal is one of hundreds recorded by Dr. Pamela Rasmussen.  She's an assistant professor of zoology at Michigan State University and assistant curator at the MSU Museum.