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Bird of the Week: American Tree Sparrow

American Tree Sparrows are not really associated with trees at all and are actually ground birds. The name comes from European settlers that thought that these birds looked like the Tree Sparrows they were used to seeing back home. American…

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Bird of the Week: Mallard

The quintessential duck, the Mallard, is spread far and wide across the northern hemisphere with populations throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Its name is even a word that used to be for any wild drake. This duck is so…

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Bird of the Week: European Starling

Had Edgar Allen Poe lived in Europe his famous poem, “The Raven”, might have been “The Starling.” The European Starling is a destructive pest. They are harmful to native species of birds, harmful to crops and livestock, and were even…

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Bird of the Week: Short-eared Owl

Most Michigan owls can be found hidden among the trees in our forests, but this week’s feature, the Short-eared Owl, prefers wide-open spaces. Grasslands and wet meadows are the habitat of choice for this short, round owl.  Look out for…

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Bird of the Week: Giant Canada Goose

It is hard to believe when driving through your Metroparks that the Giant Canada Goose was thought to be extinct 100 years ago! The birds return from the brink had several causes. Hunting regulations, particularly the banning of lead shot…

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Bird of the Week: White-crowned Sparrow

While many birds are leaving Michigan in the fall to head for warmer wintering grounds down south, two of our most handsomely marked sparrows are moving in from even farther north. White-crowned and White-throated Sparrows are both relatively large songbirds with…

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Bird of the Week: Sandhill Crane

Often referred to by park visitors as a prehistoric bird, the Sandhill Crane is an exciting bird to spot while visiting the Metroparks. With their characteristic red marking on the crown of their head and stilt-like walking they are certainly…

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Bird of the Week: Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius) is a robin-sized woodpecker. You may see them on the side of trees perched upright. One way this bird can be identified is by their colors. You will notice their black and white coloration with…

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Bird of the Week: Eastern Kingbird

You might expect this creature with a regal name to wisely diversify its biological investments, however the Eastern Kingbird keeps all its eggs in one basket.  This “basket” is a cup-shaped nest made of weeds, twigs and grass, lined with…

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Bird of the Week: Eastern Towhee

Comb through the shrubby underbrush for a peak at this bird’s rufous sides, white outer tail feathers and dark hood and back. This week’s #Bird of the Week is the Eastern Towhee! Years ago, the Eastern Towhee and the Spotted…

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