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 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.