Owl Prowl(s)…yes, two Owl Prowls!

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is hosting Owl Prowls at several state parks and there will be two in our area! If you did not attend the Lenawee Birders Owl Prowl in Tecumseh last year, now is a great chance to go twice. We will take a 30-45 minute walk near the woods to look and call for local owls. After the walk, we will meet around the bonfire for s’mores and storytelling. Here is the link through the MDNR for more Owl Prowl information:

The Owl Prowls are back to back with the first being Friday, December 7th at 6:00 p.m. at the Lake Hudson State Recreation Area in Clayton, MI. Anyone interested in attending this owl prowl, please meet at the campground area.
Here is the link and map for Lake Hudson SRA: http://www.michigandnr.com/parksandtrails/details.aspx?id=464&type=SPRK

The second Owl Prowl is Saturday, December 8th at 5:00 p.m. at Hayes State Park in Onsted, Michigan. Meet at the campfire ring in the Activities Area of the campground.
Here is the link and map for Hayes State Park: http://www.michigandnr.com/parksandtrails/details.aspx?id=454&type=SPRK

Can you guess woooo I am? “Who Cooks For You, Who Cooks For You AAALLLL” I will give you a hint, it is not the owl in the picture. If you know and you are considered a young birder (under 15) there will be a special prize for the first one to email me at buckandbirdie@gmail.com with the correct answer. You will have to visit us at one of the Owl Prowls to claim your prize.

This photo was taken by Gregg Perez at the 2012 Cranefest in Marshall, Michigan.

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They’re back!

White-winged Crossbill by Goyo P
White-winged Crossbill, a photo by Goyo P on Flickr.

That’s right! White-winged Crossbills are back in town. I found a few the other day at Brookside Cemetery in Tecumseh. These birds can be somewhat elusive. They do have a unique call but whenever I see them they are silent. I typically sit quietly and look for movement. One good sign that Crossbills have been in the area are the cone droppings beneath the tree. At Brookside it’s fairly obvious if the tree is near the road. Crossbills are not the only cool bird in town. There’s that wiley Merlin that appears about every ten days sitting atop the conifer by the Tecumseh Center for the Arts. Local birder Scott Smith counted 140 Pine Siskins at his feeder in Adrian. Greg Links spotted a Northern Shrike at Ramsdell Park today. Fox Sparrows are starting to show up in many locations including Heritage Park and Bicentennial Park. All this bird activity is great! But, I’m noticing a lack of waterfowl in the county. I’m guessing it could be the lack of wetlands. Lenawee has very few, and the few that we have are dried up from the drought this summer. Schoonover Waterfowl Production Area is about 98% dried up. Even the reliable sewage lagoons in Morenci have produced very few birds. If you know of any places that are bringing in waterfowl please let us know. Anyway, it’s still pretty exciting to be outside birding in Lenawee County. Let us know if you find any awesome birds!
Gregg