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January eNews

Michigan Audubon connects birds and people for the benefit of both through conservation, education, and research efforts in the state of Michigan.
F O L L O W on T W I T T E R
F O L L O W on I N S T A G R A M


Our success is possible by the commitment of more than 2,500 members statewide. Join, renew, or gift a membership today!
Michigan Birding Trails Workshop
February 24, 9:30 AM-3:00 PM
Boardman River Nature Center
Traverse City, MI

Communities across Michigan are recognizing birding as an economic driver. Michigan’s grassroots-driven birding trails are a demonstration of the commitment of citizens, businesses, non-profit organizations, and agencies to preserving natural resources and promoting bird appreciation and protection. Birding trails offer birders, naturalists, and general eco-tourists opportunities to explore diverse habitats across Michigan.

The growth of birding trails combines Michigan residents’ and visitors’ passion for birding and love of the open road, creating new opportunities for connecting birds and people. We want to nurture this growth by providing resources and support for new and existing birding trail organizers and teams.

At this workshop, you will learn:
• Logistics of creating and maintaining a birding trail
• Marketing and promoting a birding trail
• Habitat improvement and use for conservation
• Mobilizing volunteers
• Economics of birding

Join Michigan Audubon and Sea Grant Michigan for a birding trails workshop to support this grassroots effort throughout the state. This event is free and open to the public!

For additional information or questions, contact Elliot Nelson at or 906-322-0353, or Heather Good at or 517-580-7364.
>> Register for Michigan Birding Trails Workshop
Mark Your Calendars: Spring Fling at WPBO, April 29-30
The weekend of April 29-30, 2017, will mark the 29th Annual Spring Fling: WPBO’s Celebration of Bird Migration, when members and their guests migrate to  Paradise, MI to visit with old friends, both human and avian, at the crown jewel of Michigan birding: Whitefish Point. Michigan Audubon is preparing bird- and conservation-oriented activities for a family-friendly weekend of birding, networking, and learning. Spring Fling registration will be opening soon. Stay tuned to your JPW and monthly eNews for more information. 

Spring Fling Keynote: Josh Haas
Hawks on the Wing: Seeing beyond the field marks
Hawks in flight bring a sense of wonder and a struggle to birders, especially when it comes to identifying them at a distance. Field marks are not enough when back-lit conditions and birds miles out lack any color. Flight ID has long been the best way to identify hawks at a distance, however books only take it so far. Join hawk watcher Josh Haas for an informative and innovative new way of identifying hawks as he releases a brand new DVD titled "Hawks on the Wing" at Spring Fling 2017. This DVD brings an innovative new way to learning hawk ID in flight. Instead of only hearing descriptive narratives on the subject, Josh's program and DVD feature side-by-side videos of hawks in flight, making conquering the technique much faster and easier. He will also share the principles of how hawks migrate so efficiently and why Michigan is a hawk watching paradise both in spring and fall.

Josh Haas is an entertaining speaker with a passion for all things birds. He has a deep love and passion for hawks, especially hawks in flight and has a background counting migrant hawks for the Detroit River Hawkwatch. He is also known for his bird photography and co-owns Glances at Nature Photography & Birding Tours ( with his father where he sells his work, provides lessons and workshops as well as leads trips all around the Midwest.
Over the years, the Jack Pine Warbler, Michigan Audubon's bi-monthly member magazine, has featured the work of a host of amazing photographers from across the Great Lakes and abroad. Michigan Audubon is committed to continuing this tradition of photographic excellence, and we are on the hunt for outstanding bird photography to grace the cover of the Jack Pine Warbler in 2017. Since we know that a great number of our members are outstanding photographers, we are calling on you for help!

If you have a photograph you would like to see on the cover of the JPW, please enter your submission in our 2017 Jack Pine Warbler Cover Photo Contest. To enter, please email up to three (3) digital photo files to Diane Huhn, Communications & Marketing Coordinator, by February 15, 2017, at:

Photographs may not be larger than 5MB in size and must be submitted in .jpg format. Please be sure to include a caption of what it is, the location where it was taken, the date it was taken and the photographer's name with your submissions. Photographs are permitted to have had minor digital enhancements for cropping, filters, and corrective functions, but images that have been judged to be significantly altered will not be used.

The photographer retains full copyright to his or her images. However, participation in the contest requires the contestant to give Michigan Audubon permission to use the photographs without compensation on the cover of the Jack Pine Warbler as well as on other Michigan Audubon websites and social media and printed materials. Michigan Audubon will always include the photographer’s name when using a photograph for any purpose.

As always, Michigan Audubon requests that all photographers follow ethical practices when photographing birds and other wildlife. For more information, please review Audubon's Guide to Ethical Bird Photography:

If you do not currently receive the Jack Pine Warbler, please consider becoming a member of Michigan Audubon. Your membership will include a one-year subscription to this award-winning magazine that focuses on birds and issues related to birds and their habitat throughout the state of Michigan. 
>> Become a Member of Michigan Audubon
© J.M. Kosciw, CT, Hammonasset Beach State Park, Madison, August 2011
Species Spotlight: Purple Martin (Progne subis)

The Purple Martin is a colony-nesting species, readily using nest boxes with multiple compartments or individual hollowed gourds strung close together. Purple Martins compete with House Sparrows and European Starlings for nesting sites. By keeping compartments closed until Purple Martins return to their breeding habitat, you can help reduce this competition. The best place to install a martin house is in an open area near water.

The Purple Martin is a species in decline in Michigan. Do you have a Purple Martin house? Michigan Audubon is working to better understand the Purple Martin population state-wide. If you manage a Purple Martin house or colony, we'd love to hear about it! Need help troubleshooting or enhancing your Purple Martin house? Michigan Audubon will be offering several spring workshops for Purple Martin lovers of all experience levels; stay tuned to our eNews in the coming months for workshop announcements. 

Learn more at the Purple Martin Conservation Association

Photo: © J.M. Kosciw, CT, Hammonasset Beach State Park, Madison, August 2011
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2017 Midwest Birding Symposium 

Due to circumstances beyond our control, we regret to inform you that the 2017 Midwest Birding Symposium originally scheduled to be held in Bay City, Michigan in September has been canceled. Since the first symposium in the Chicago suburbs in 1989, the event has been held in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The symposium was hosted in Lakeside, Ohio, in 1997, 1999, 2009, 2011, and 2013. It was hosted in Bay City, Michigan in 2015. Managed by Bird Watcher’s Digest and local birding partners, the MBS will be undergoing changes. If you are interested in being notified when details of those changes become solidified, you can visit to join their mailing list. 
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