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Reminder to clean out all birdhouses, if you haven’t already. By cleaning out your birdhouse, it prevents many fungal and bacterial diseases. When a bird comes back to nest in a birdhouse, many diseases will spread to nesting birds and kill a mother and their young. Wear garden gloves and reach in and lift out the old nesting materials. An old paint scraper can also be used for feces or dirt. 

It is time to begin to prepare for the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird season. Hummers have been observed on the island as early as the first week in May and have already arrived in southern Michigan.

4/20-Cable’s Bay Trail-Ruby-crowned Kinglets in mixed flocks with Golden-crowned Kinglets. If you spend some time, you can see the males erect his ruby or golden crown feathers, which are hidden at other times.  They forage actively at all levels from treetops to brush looking for insects.  Very active flocks at the spruces on the north end of Cable’s Bay. Mature Bald Eagle on beach.  Red-breasted and White-breasted nuthatches observed along the walking trail.

Barney’s Lake and ponds near Donegal Bay-Wood Ducks.  

Eastern Bluebirds setting up housekeeping in a birdhouse at the O’Donnell farm according to Bob Bass. 

Wilson’s Snipe, a plump shorebird, flew across the boat dock headed toward Gull Harbor and heard winnowing at Green’s field by Paid Een Og’s Road/Kings Highway. The winnowing flight sound is produced by vibrating outer tail feathers. Some birders describe winnowing as a ghostly sound. Look for Wilson’s Snipe in wet open fields or wetlands.  They probe the wet ground in search of earthworms. insects, and frogs. While you may not see them, you will hear the winnowing sound-look high. They are more active at dawn and evening. According to Cornell Lab’s All About Birds, “because a Wilson’s Snipe’s eyes are set far back on its head, it can see almost as well behind as in front and to the sides. This arrangement makes it difficult for a potential predator to sneak up on a feeding snipe—it almost literally has “eyes in the back of its head.”

4/25 One Osprey observed on microwave tower with a Red-tailed Hawk over corn fields.

4/25 White-throated Sparrows under junipers-Stone Circle. Tree Sparrows with small flocks of Dark-eyed Juncos in area.

4/26-Lake Geneserath’s South Arm:  10 male and female Buffleheads and a Belted Kingfisher.

Happy birding and stay well!

Bluebirds at birdhouse courtesy Darrell Lawson.

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