Ottawa County News

Nesting Bird Field Trip Report

Report from the birding field

On Saturday, June 23 Ottawa County Parks hosted a Nesting Bird Field Trip. Thank you so much to Consumer’s Energy for allowing the group to tour the JH Campbell’s ash fields, an area generally closed to the public. Species that are very hard to find or non-existent elsewhere in our area were abundant at this location.

Species of note include:

  • Grasshopper Sparrow (15) – designated as a species of special concern in Michigan (more info about this designation here)
  • Dickcissel (16) – designated as a species of special concern in Michigan
  • Vesper Sparrow (15) – sparse local breeder
  • Clay-colored Sparrows (5) – this species is not known to breed regularly anywhere else in our region
Clay-colored sparrow by Eric Gustafson

All of these grassland species are hard to find elsewhere due to a decline in grassland habitat. This is the full e-bird checklist for the ash fields

“Across the United States, native grasslands, especially large native grasslands, have been lost almost completely since European settlement (Samson and Knopf 1994; Noss et al. 1995) through development, agriculture, and reforestation. Michigan’s remaining grasslands are typically small, isolated, and lack sufficient plant species diversity and disturbance to provide habitat for many important grassland species; large grasslands are virtually gone.” Excerpt from the Michigan DNR’s Large Grassland Wildlife Action Plan 2015-2025

We would love to see you at an upcoming birding program!

Join us this September at a Shorebirds Field Trip. Each date includes a half day Shoreline & Sod Farm Trip in the morning and a half day afternoon Wastewater Shorebirds Trip. Click the links below to register.

Saturday, September 1

Saturday, September 15

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