Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Birds of Berrien County, Michigan—2007

A compilation of all of the birds seen in Berrien County in 2007 was published in late 2008 by the Berrien Birding Club with the financial support of the Berrien County Parks Commission. The following is an excerpt from the Introduction:
This [2007] was an excellent year for finding birds in Berrien County. The species total for 2007 was 279, which is well above the 40-year average of 259.

Remarkably, four new species were added to the county list in 2007. Two Black-necked Stilts were discovered in early May and at least one Black Rail was located in mid-May. In the fall, a Sage Thrasher was observed and photographaed, as was a Say’s Phoebe. Other very notable sightings this year included Trumpeter Swan (3rd county record), Black Vulture (2nd county record), California Gull (10th county record), Chuck-will’s-widow (3rd county record), Rufous Hummingbird (5th county record), Painted Bunting (2nd county record), Red-necked Phalarope, LeConte’s Sparrow, Hoary Redpoll, and both Red and White-winged crossbills. Since the first Field Notes in 1962, 340 species have been accepted.

Additionally, three species were recorded prior to 1962. They are Greater Prairie-Chicken, Passenger Pigeon, and Kirtland’s Warbler. This brings the Berrien County total to 343 species, which are accepted by the Michigan Bird Records Committee.
Two additional reports from 2007 also bear mentioning: (1) One to two individual Whooping Cranes from the eastern reintroduction project paused in northeastern Berrien County from April 1 to May 22 enroute to their “breeding” location in Wisconsin. (2) A banded Barn Owl found dead in Lincoln Township, the casualty of a car collision, was determined to have been a captive-reared bird that was released in Dupage County, Illinois, as part of a reintroduction effort.

Citation: Wuepper, Jon T (compiler), and Kip Miller (editor). 2008. Field Notes—Berrien County, Michigan: 2007. Field Notes of the Berrien Birding Club 41, 13 pp.

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