Rare Birds Call MNA Sanctuaries Home

A cerulean warbler.

A cerulean warbler.

This year, MNA’s stewardship team made an effort to determine the status of numerous rare species at MNA sanctuaries around the state.

They uncovered several interesting findings related to birds listed as rare, threatened or endangered in the state of Michigan.

A peregrine falcon high in a tree at an MNA sanctuary. Photo by Nancy  Leonard.

A peregrine falcon high in a tree at an MNA sanctuary. Photo by Nancy Leonard.

This year’s findings included:

  • Multiple bald eagle nests in the Upper Peninsula were verified as active, including one nest that was active again for the first time in several years.
  • A peregrine falcon nest in the Upper Peninsula fledged chicks again in 2013, the third successful nesting season for this pair.
  • Two black tern colonies which had not been confirmed as active in five to 15 years were found to still be active. Black tern colonies have been faring poorly across Michigan over the past decade and many have crashed during this timeframe.
  • Two black-crowned night heron colonies were confirmed to still be active.
  • Two sanctuaries had cerulean warbler sightings confirmed in June and nesting activity was documented at one sanctuary. These sightings were recorded along Michigan’s southern tier of counties in the Lower Peninsula.
  • A new nesting grasshopper sparrow record was recorded in one of MNA’s prairie sanctuaries in the Lower Peninsula.
  • Multiple sanctuaries had nesting season records for other listed species including the American bittern, marsh wren, and the black-backed woodpecker.

Keep an eye on the MNA blog for more updates about rare, threatened and endangered species at MNA sanctuaries across the state. To learn more, visit the MNA website.

A recovering falcon, an opposed waste site and a lunar national park: this week in environmental news

By Allison Raeck, MNA Intern

Every Friday, MNA shares recent environmental news stories from around the state and country. Here’s some of what happened this week in environmental and nature news:

Image

Peregrine falcons are establishing many active nests in urban Detroit.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Peregrine falcon found injured in Detroit, being nursed back to health (Detroit Free Press): A female Peregrine falcon was discovered walking outside Cadillac Place in Detroit last Sunday, injured and unable to fly. Troopers contained the bird in a cardboard box before handing it over to a Rochester-area rehabilitation facility known as Spirit Filled Wings. The peregrine falcon has been off the endangered species list for 14 years, with some of their most active nests in urban Detroit. Though rehabilitators are unsure as to whether it will ever be able to fly, the bird is expected to survive.

Petoskey paddler set to circumnavigate fourth Great Lake (Petoskey News): Petoskey native Stephen Brede will set out on his canoe to circumnavigate Lake Ontario this week. Since 2009, Brede has circled three of the Great Lakes, paddling by day and camping by night. As an experienced camper, he has mastered a system of pitching a tent over his canoe and utilizing solar panels to charge his cell phone. Brede has yet to venture around Lake Superior, and is still considering the idea of challenging the massive lake.

Macomb county commissioners oppose Ontario nuclear waste site on Lake Huron (The Voice): The Macomb County Board of Commissioners have unanimously voted against a proposed underground nuclear waste site on Lake Huron shores. The site was initially suggested by Ontario Power Generation, and was expected to take place near the Bruce Peninsula. In addition, the board’s resolution opposes all other underground repositories proposed in the Great Lakes Basin, Canada, the United States or any First Nation property. This specific resolution is the second that the board has passed opposing the dump, with the first resolution passed in 2008.

Michigan State gets $14.1 million grant to study dioxins (mlive): A Michigan State University research team has been awarded a $14.1 million grant to investigate human health responses to environmental contaminants known as dioxins. Dioxins have been a prevalent issue in Michigan, as Dow Chemical Co. leaked them through water and air emissions through the 1970s. The chemical has been known to cause health effects such as chloracne and various reproductive issues. The Superfund Research Program of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences awarded the University with the five-year grant, which the team will use to study donated human cells and tissue.

Wildlife officials remove arrow from Canada goose that drew attention in Michigan; bird is OK (The Washington Post): More than two months after it was first spotted, wildlife officials have successfully removed an arrow from an injured Canada goose in Bay City. At the time of its discovery, the Michigan DNR believed the injured goose was still healthy, and chose to leave the arrow. However, when DNR officials spotted the goose a second time while banding geese in the Bay City area, they took action. A biologist removed the arrow and bandaged the wound, releasing the bird back into the Saginaw River.

U.S. lawmakers want national park on moon (Mother Nature Network): House Representatives Donna Edwards, D-Md., and Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, have pitched the idea for the Apollo Lunar Landing Sites National Historic Park, a national park on the surface of the moon. The park would protect artifacts left by Apollo missions from 1969 and 1972, which bill sponsors believe will be endangered with the expected growth of commercial space travel. Though the 1967 Outer Space Treaty restricts countries from claiming territory on the moon, the bill would only protect artifacts left by astronauts, not the land itself.