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Bird of the Week: Bald Eagle

  • June 28, 2021

Happy Independence Day from your Metroparks! This week’s Bird of the Week feature is the Bald Eagle. The Bald Eagle was chosen as the symbol of the United States in 1782 for its strength, longevity and majestic appearance, which represents the strength and freedom of our nation. Benjamin Franklin argued against our nation’s symbol, because the eagle steals food from more vulnerable birds- not exactly majestic or honorable. The Bald Eagle can be easily identified by its stark white head…

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Bird of the Week: American Wigeon

  • June 21, 2021

The American wigeon, colloquially known as ‘baldpate' can be seen in Michigan during migration. This bird gets its common name from the white forehead and crown of the male, which gives it the appearance of being bald. Males can often be identified from a distance by the pinkish hue of their light brown bodies. In flight, the white flank feathers and black undertail are characteristic. American wigeons are dabbling birds, riding high on the water and grazing from the surface.…

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Bird of the Week: American Bittern

  • June 14, 2021

The American Bittern is a medium sized heron with a stout body and a long neck that gradually tapers into a daggerlike bill. This bird is found in wetlands throughout the United States, primarily foraging in inland freshwater marshes for frogs, fish, and aquatic insects. American Bittern’s enjoy spending time in the dense grasses of the marsh and when seen they are often stalking their prey at an almost imperceivably slow pace, striking with their sharp bill at just the…

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Bird of the Week: Sora

  • June 7, 2021

The Sora is a bird that is more often heard than seen. Its distinctive whinny can be heard in wetlands with dense marsh vegetation like cattails, rushes and sedges. This small, round, secretive marsh bird is grey and brown with a bright yellow bill and black mask and throat patch. Soras spend most of their time hidden from view but you may catch them wading through shallow wetlands with quick, chicken-like steps searching for marsh seeds or aquatic invertebrates. Soras…

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Bird of the Week: Scarlet Tanager

  • May 31, 2021

This summer resident is hard to miss. The male Scarlet Tanager is bright red with black wings and tail, while females are olive with grayish brown wings. Beginning in late July and early August, the male scarlet tanager will molt his bright plumage and appear with a more drab, female-like appearance and won’t regain his summer colors until March or April. The scarlet tanager sings a raspy, rambling song that is often described as sounding like ‘a robin with a…

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Bird of the Week: Rose-breasted Grosbeak

  • May 26, 2021

Look and listen for this summer resident to know that the season of sun is almost here! Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are found throughout the state during late spring to early fall, visiting feeders and nesting in woodlands and forest edges. The males and females look nothing alike, but both have a thick, cone-shaped bill that all grosbeak birds share, used for crushing and cracking seeds. While females look similar to sparrows, a streaky brown and white coloring with white on their…

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Bird of the Week: Common Tern

  • May 19, 2021

The Common Tern is the most widespread tern in North America and is commonly seen along the shores of oceans and large inland lakes such as the Great Lakes, on barrier islands, in coastal marshes and on beaches. Each year, this long-distance migrant travels between its South American wintering grounds to its breeding grounds in Canada, the coastal Great Lakes region, and the Atlantic coast. This bird can be identified year-round by its deeply forked tail, grey belly, and slender…

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Bird of the Week: Black-throated Blue Warbler

  • May 12, 2021

If you see a flash of black and blue flying through the woods of Michigan in the spring, you might have seen this week’s #BirdoftheWeek, the Black-throated Blue Warbler! This bird is one of the more easily identifiable warbler species that migrates through Michigan every spring from its wintering grounds in the Caribbean to its breeding grounds in the northeastern US and southeastern Canada. The male has a black throat and face, slate blue head and back, and white belly…

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Bird of the Week: Blue Heron

  • April 6, 2021

Welcome to bird of the week! This week’s featured bird is the majestic great blue heron. It is officially spring and with spring comes the return of great blue herons to Southeast Michigan. Right now, these tall, long-legged birds are engaging in courtship rituals and nest building. Great blue herons are colony nesters, meaning they nest with other herons, placing their large nests high up in trees in what is called a rookery or heronry. Often these herons place rookeries…

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Bird of the Week: Long-eared Owl

  • March 30, 2021

This week’s bird of the week is one of the 8 species of owls that live in Michigan, the Long-eared Owl. This owl is long-winged and slender and is named for the two long ear-tufts on top of its head, which also make this bird look constantly surprised. It’s dark streaked and barred feathers allow this bird to camouflage itself close to the trunk of a tree under dense foliage, where it commonly roosts during the day to rest for…

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