birds

Peregrine falcon chick
Courtesy photo / Jackson County

A once-endangered bird is again well established in Michigan, commonly in its cities. We talk with a Jackson county official about the peregrine falcons nesting in downtown Jackson and learn how Peregrines are doing in Michigan from DNR bird biologist, Karen Cleveland.

Snowy owl photo
Courtesy photo / Nova Mackentley, www.nightflightimages.com

There are over 200 different species of owls, but only one that can survive the temperatures of the Arctic: the snowy owl. A small number of these owls make appearances in the Great Lakes region every year. This year, several came to Michigan earlier than expected and they were malnourished. We get an update on the snowy owls from two experts in the field.


Courtesy photo / Michigan Audobon Society

Every fall, thousands of sandhill cranes descend on the marshes in the Baker Sanctuary near Battle Creek. We hear more about the upcoming CraneFest from the Executive Director of the Michigan Audubon Society, Johnathan Lutz.

Rusty blackbird photo
Kevin Lavery / WKAR

Current State's Kevin Lavery meets up with staff members banding birds at the Burke Lake Banding Station this week.


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 over North America, bird watchers are looking to spot an elusive species. The rusty blackbird has experienced huge population declines, and scientists aren’t quite sure why. Current State’s Kevin Lavery goes on a “Rusty Blackbird Blitz” in northern Clinton County.

Piping plovers make comeback in the Great Lakes

Apr 7, 2015
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.

Michiganders preserve ancient art of falconry

Feb 16, 2015
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.

MSU researcher helps discover new Indonesian bird

Feb 5, 2015
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.

BWL falcon family future up in the air

Jan 30, 2015
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.