Posted by: annjoyal | May 27, 2015

2015-16 Christmas Bird Count Information

The National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count (CBC) takes place annually from December 14 – January 5 and is the longest-running wildlife census in the country. Join other birders on a local Christmas Bird Count, collecting important information that is used to assess the health of the nation’s bird populations. Discover some of the prime birding spots in your area. You may join in as many Bird Counts as you would like; there is no charge to participate.

Each count takes place in an established 15-mile diameter circle, and is organized by a count-compiler. Volunteers follow specified routes, tallying all birds they see or hear during the day. Results are compiled by number of birds within each species and by total number of birds, giving an indication of the total bird population within the count-circle.

If your home is within the boundaries of a CBC circle, then you may be able to make arrangements with the compiler to report the birds that visit your feeder on count-day.

Beginning birders are welcome and will be paired with more experienced observers. This is a great way to learn more about the birds in your area.
DRESS WARMLY!

 Christmas Bird Counts in the local area:

  • December 17, 2015 (Thursday) – Whitefish Point CBC. We could use a few more folks out on the roads/woods. Compiler is Charlie Weaver. Contact him for further information at 989-348-3299
  • December 18, 2015 (Friday) – Cedarville, Mackinac Co. (Les Cheneaux Area) The compiler is Tina Hall at chall@tnc.org or phone: (days) 906-225-0399 ext.4012, (evenings) 906-225-0139.
    Meet at 8:00 a.m. at Ang-Gio’s Restaurant in Cedarville.
  • December 19, 2015 (Saturday) – Marquette – The compiler is Melinda Stamp at mstamp@mstamp.net or 906-869-2489.
    Meet at 8:00 a.m. in the parking lot at Mattson Lower Harbor Park in Marquette. Feeder forms are available by pre-registering with Melinda. The count circle covers a 7.5-mile radius centered on Old City Hall at 4th & Washington St. No advanced registration is necessary.
  • NEW DATE!! December 20, 2015 (Sunday) – AuTrain – The compiler is Scott Hickman at suboscine@hotmail.com or 906-892-8603.
    Please use the email address for communication since count information is distributed by email. Please let Scott know at least 4 days in advance if you would like to participate so that count circle coverage can be properly coordinated and then communicated to all participants.
  • January 3, 2016 (Saturday) – Gwinn – The compiler is Brian Johnson at baidaj@yahoo.com or 231-557-4011.
    Contact Brian for meeting place and time.
  • Tentatively January 3, 2016 (Saturday) – Peshekee Grade CBC. This date is tentative. If you are interested, email Gary Palmer at palmerjg@gmail.com

For a report of last year’s results, visit www.stateofthebirds.org
This webpage provides access to the full printed report from 2014, as well as a “watch list” and a list of “common bird species in steep decline.”

Posted by: skyehaas | January 15, 2015

Gwinn Christmas Bird Count Results

The 21st Gwinn Christmas Bird Count (CBC), held on January 3, yielded exactly 1000 birds of 28 species. Historically, the CBC was originally conducted for eight years from 1980 to 1987. In 2002, the count was resurrected, shifted to early January, and completed every year except for one since.During the 1980’s, the Gwinn CBC averaged 20 species annually. Since 2002, that average has increased to 25. Within this present series, 15 species have been recorded nearly every year. The average number of individual birds seen since 2002 is 940. The three most common species reported this year, Black-capped Chickadee (historical rank #1), Rock Pigeon (#3), and Blue Jay (#9), constituted 55% of all individual birds seen.

Bald Eagles by Beth Olson on the Gwinn CBC.

Bald Eagles by Beth Olson on the Gwinn CBC

As usual, no waterbirds were detected this year. Finches, while not at all numerous, were far more prevalent than last year. Six species were encountered, although goldfinches were drastically reduced from the record 505 birds in 2014. The last major local incursion of northern finches dates back to 2009.
Of the 28 species found this CBC, 18 were more numerous than average. The greatest deviations above historical means occurred among Rock Pigeon, Blue Jay, and Brown Creeper. Species much less common than usual included Common Raven and American Goldfinch. Whereas Bald Eagles, Wild Turkeys, Red-bellied Woopeckers, and Cardinals continue to demonstrate local increases, Common Ravens and Evening Grosbeak have been steadily declining.
Here are the totals (with 2002 – 2014 averages for regular species):
Ruffed Grouse – 8 (mean 4.1)
Wild Turkey – 2, third CBC record
Bald Eagle – 2, adults
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 1, third CBC record
Rock Pigeon – 205 (mean 90.0)
Mourning Dove – 55 (mean 37.8)
Red-bellied Woodpecker – 1, third CBC record
Downy Woodpecker – 15 (mean 13.1)
Hairy Woodpecker – 10 (mean 7.5)
Pileated Woodpecker – 3 (mean 3.1)
Blue Jay – 111 (mean 33.0), new high count
American Crow – 32 (mean 43.2)
Common Raven – 8 (mean 21.2), ties previous low count
Black-capped Chickadee – 232 (mean 210.3)
Red-breasted Nuthatch – 50 (mean 39.9)
White-breasted Nuthatch – 26 (mean 13.7)
Brown Creeper – 10 (mean 2.5), new high count
Golden-crowned Kinglet – 13 (mean 8.1)
European Starling – 51 (mean 78.7)
American Tree Sparrow – 1
Dark-eyed Junco – 3
Northern Cardinal – 2, fourth CBC record
Purple Finch – 18
White-winged Crossbill – 22
Common Redpoll – 60
Pine Siskin – 22
American Goldfinch – 21 (mean 133.4)
Evening Grosbeak – 24Thanks to the organizational efforts of Roger and Alice Harbin, we again had excellent participation this year. Feeder observers produced 305 birds of 18 species from 14 locations. Field observers, generating 695 birds of 25 species, comprised Beth Olsen, Debbie Hecox, Cliff Wooten, Alice Harbin, Roger Harbin, and myself.

Brian Johnson
Posted by: skyehaas | January 15, 2015

Michigamme Highlands CBC Report

DSC_0172The third annual Michigamme Highlands Christmas Bird Count was held last Sunday, 12/28. Eleven participants counted a total of 977 birds from 25
species. This ties our species count from the first year and is up from 21 recorded in 2013. We added two new species this time, Barred Owl and Pine Siskin, which brings us to a cumulative total of 34 species over the three years.

Black-backed Woodpecker, Gray Jay, and Boreal Chickadee were all found once
again, but in their lowest numbers yet, with one, two, and three individuals
of each species recorded, respectively. This compares to high counts of 5
BBWO, 17 GRAJ, and 20 BOCH, all recorded in 2012. Downy and Hairy
Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, and Black-capped Chickadee all also had
their lowest totals yet, though with a sample size of only three years and
considerably more party-hours in 2012 compared to 2013 and 2014, combined
with the count being held 11 days later this year, it’s impossible to even
begin to judge whether these low counts represent anything occurring with
the actual populations.

Interestingly, though they were new for the count, Pine Siskins made up just
under half of all individuals tallied (466 of 977). As with last year no
crossbills were found, but Pine Grosbeak, Purple Finch, Common Redpoll,
American Goldfinch, and Evening Grosbeak were all recorded.

Here are the full results from this year’s count:
Ruffed Grouse – 2
Bald Eagle – 1
Mourning Dove – 3
Barred Owl – 1
Downy Woodpecker – 9
Hairy Woodpecker – 4
Black-backed Woodpecker – 1
Pileated Woodpecker – 1
Gray Jay – 2
Blue Jay – 39
American Crow – 9
Common Raven – 12
Black-capped Chickadee – 138
Boreal Chickadee – 3
Red-breasted Nuthatch – 35
White-breasted Nuthatch – 1
Brown Creeper – 1
European Starling – 1
Dark-eyed Junco – 3
Pine Grosbeak – 6
Purple Finch – 23
Common Redpoll – 91
Pine Siskin – 466
American Goldfinch – 3
Evening Grosbeak – 92

Gary Palmer

Posted by: skyehaas | January 15, 2015

Marquette Christmas Bird Count Results- 20 Dec, 2014.

We experienced relatively warm weather and calm winds on Saturday, Dec. 20, and general consensus was that because of the good weather, birds were not concentrated in the areas they would be in worse conditions: feeders and harbors. Overall bird numbers seemed low, but we ended up with a respectable 44 species, plus 5 more during count week.

Notable species: Northern Pintail (count week, observed on Sunday at Dead River) is a new species for the count.  Wood Duck has been observed on 3 of the past 4 Marquette counts, all at the Dead River.  Merlin (count week, observed at Founder’s Landing on Monday) has been reported on 4 other counts.  White-crowned Sparrow has been reported on 4 other counts. Two Northern Shrikes were seen at Cherry Creek and the Marquette compost yard. Three flocks of Bohemian waxwings were seen in Shiras Hills, Harbor View Dr., and Morgan Meadows.  Also notable were Red-bellied Woodpeckers at 3 locations, a Belted Kingfisher at the Carp River in Negaunee twp., 1 each Coopers and Sharp-shinned Hawk, Glaucous, a Great black-backed and a Thayer’s gull.

Significant misses were Horned Grebe, House Sparrow (becoming harder to find in the Marquette area), Snowy Owl which had been seen in the circle before and after our count week, and Purple Finch (all finch numbers seem to be extremely low in our area this winter.)

Thanks to all our participants, and especially Jeff Knoop who hosted our post-count gathering.

—Melinda Stamp
Marquette (MIMQ) CBC Compiler

Posted by: skyehaas | January 15, 2015

LWAS Peshekee Trip Results: 8 Nov, 2014

This morning eight of us birded our way up the Peshekee Grade in Marquette
County for the annual field trip held by the Laughing Whitefish Audubon
Society. We were all a bit surprised to find nearly 6″ of snow already on
the ground there, and by midmorning more was coming down hard. That didn’t
stop us from seeing some great birds though. After turning up the Peshekee
Grade, the first bird we encountered was a SPRUCE GROUSE in the road! This
is only the second one I’ve seen in Marquette County, so it was an exciting
way to start the day. Our next sighting, just south of South Arfelin Lake
Rd., was a mixed flock containing several Black-capped Chickadees and
Red-breasted Nuthatches along with a pair of BOREAL CHICKADEES. Then after
watching this flock for a while, a pair of GRAY JAYS flew in! Finally, at
the McCormick Tract we hit the highlight of the day, running into a gorgeous
female BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER just off the trail. She barely seemed to
notice our presence, and we all had amazing looks for a couple minutes
before she flew off.

Here’s a complete species list:

Spruce Grouse
Ruffed Grouse
Bald Eagle
Downy Woodpecker
Black-backed Woodpecker
Gray Jay
Blue Jay
Common Raven
Black-capped Chickadee
Boreal Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Golden-crowned Kinglet
American Goldfinch
Pine Siskin

Gary Palmer

Posted by: palmerjg | August 10, 2014

August Bog Walk Hike

Yesterday morning (8/9) I led a group of birders on a tour around the Bog Walk on Presque Isle in Marquette for the monthly walk sponsored by the Laughing Whitefish Audubon Society. We had great weather and a wonderful assortment of birds, with some signs that fall is upon us.

 
Apparent family groups of Black-capped Chickadees, Eastern Bluebirds, and Red-winged Blackbirds were wandering throughout. And some species, such as Common Grackle and Black-throated Green Warbler, which had been abundant on my previous walks this summer, were conspicuously absent today. We also had the great fortune to view a couple Cape May Warblers foraging high in a Tamarack.
 
Other highlights included a Merlin which made a pass directly over our heads to harass a couple American Goldfinches, a lone Tree Swallow which may be one of the last I see before they head south, excellent views of a group of five Eastern Bluebirds, and a very cooperative female-type Ruby-throated Hummingbird which perched in front of us for several minutes!
 
Thanks to all the birds and birders who came out today, I look forward to next time, on September 13! Here’s a complete list of today’s birds.
 
 
Canada Goose
Mallard
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Downy Woodpecker
Merlin
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
American Crow
Tree Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Brown Thrasher
Cedar Waswing
Nashville Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Cape May Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
American Goldfinch
 
 
Enjoy fall migration!
Posted by: palmerjg | April 25, 2013

Welcome!

Welcome to the new website for the Laughing Whitefish Audubon Society! We are a local chapter of the Audubon Society serving Marquette and Alger Counties in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. For more information, including the schedule of upcoming programs and events, see the tabs near the top of this page and watch this space for future updates!

Posted by: skyehaas | October 27, 2012

Hello world!

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