May 25, 2020 Incoming Birds. Sites and descriptions can be found on
This past weekend would have been the 7th Warblers on the Water event. The
social interaction between birders, field trip leaders, and islanders is
noticeably absent this spring. We miss your appreciation of the island
experience and look forward to Beaver Islanders welcoming you during your
next birding adventure. The Beaver Island Birding Trail provides interested
birders with resources to enjoy your island experience year round.
Warblers have been called “the butterflies of the bird world.” They visit
the island in their breeding finery and are flitting constantly looking for
insects. A major midge hatch took place two days before an influx of
warblers arrived. Nature provides the perfect banquet of protein rich
insects following their long trip north to breeding grounds. In order to
raise healthy offspring, good nutrition is a must. All of our warblers are
migratory and many stay to nest in the island’s forests. Jennifer Ackerman
describes in her book, The Genius of Birds, the migration of the
Blackpoll Warbler. She shares information showcasing this little bird
flying nonstop from South America over the Atlantic stopping only at
staging grounds on Caribbean islands. A flight of up to seventeen hundred
miles in just two or three days! Next time you see a Blackpoll Warbler on
Beaver Island, think of this amazing flight that occurs every year.
Warblers noted over the past week include: American Redstart, Nashville,
Common Yellowthroat, Canada, Yellow, Palm, Pine, Black-throated Green,
Blackburnian, Black and White, Yellow-rumped, Magnolia, Cape May,
Chestnut-sided, Northern Parula, Ovenbird, and the Northern Waterthrush.
Donna Hardenberg observed Wilson’s and Blackpoll Warblers near Indian
Point. Red-eyed and Warbling Vireos have been vocalizing in deciduous
Yellow and Common Yellowthroat Warblers, Virginia Rail, Wilson’s Snipes,
Soras, Red-winged Blackbirds, and American Bitterns have been viewed and
heard at the Kings Highway wetland. Site # 31
Additional sightings include: multiple Red-headed Woodpeckers, Scarlet
Tanagers, Northern Orioles, Indigo Buntings, Purple Finches, Ruby-throated
Hummingbirds (males), Bald Eagles, flocks of Eastern Bluebirds and Gold
Finches. Common Terns have been active along the northern shores whilc the
Caspians have been visiting the east side along with Font and Barney’s
Lake. Sparrow sightings include: Field, Vesper, Song, Chipping,
White-crowned, and Clay-colored at Big Sand Bay. Flycatchers include:
Alder, Least, Olive-sided, Eastern wood-Pewee, and Eastern Kingbirds.
Swallows are seen feeding on insects over open water and farm fields. Bob
Evan’s farm is hosting Tree Swallows at their bluebird box on Kings
Highway. Barn Swallows have returned to the Welke barns at Island Airways.
Cliff and Bank Swallows are back. The Lucas’ reported Bobolinks at their
farm off the east side. Eastern Meadowlarks singing near Bobolink Bend
(Site 10). Merlins are attending their nest off the East Side Drive.
Photo: Warbler photos courtesy of Darrell Lawson, a yearly expert field
trip leader for Warblers on the Water.