Residents of West Michigan know that we are fortunate to have lots of beautiful and important wildlife and natural resources. During this time of year many bird species have flown south but there are some that actually stay in Michigan.
Diving ducks and sea ducks will stay in Michigan throughout the winter. Rare gulls and sparrows can also be found this time of year. One favorite among Michiganders is the return of the Snowy Owl. Along with them other raptors visit Michigan during the winter including northern owls, such as the Great Gray Owl, the Northern Hawk Owl and the Borea Owl. They can make their way into the U.P. and sometimes the northern lower peninsula. Also, a lot of our favorite backyard birds hang around during this time of the year including, Robins, Blue Jays, Cardinals, Chickadees and Tufted Titmice.
The best way to help the birds out in Michigan is to participate in community service projects that help land managers monitor bird populations. You can also plant native plants on your property that can help provide more food and shelter for the wintering birds.
If you want to learn more about Michigan's birds, visit Audubon Great Lakes.
If you want to hear more stories about Michigan’s successful wildlife conservation work, go to the Michigan Wildlife Council's website.