Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Where in Michigan might I see Kirtland’s Warbler and what are the best dates to go?
Thanks for the question, Laurie in Detroit, MI
Given the good news (from a Michigan DNR news release from September, 2008) that Kirtland’s Warbler populations are at an all-time high of 1,791 singing males, your chances of detecting them are excellent. Most of the population nests in 12 lower Michigan counties within central-northcentral Michigan (Alcona, Clare, Crawford, Grand Traverse, Iosco, Kalkaska, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle, and Roscommon) and five upper Michigan counties (Chippewa, Delta, Luce, Marquette, and Schoolcraft). (However, nine individuals were detected in WI in 2008 and one in Ontario.).
The initial two weeks of June are the ideal time to visit the Kirtland’s breeding grounds, but a later visit through the first week of July could also yield viewing results.
Note that guided tours to view the Kirtland’s Warbler leave from various locations. To find out the schedule, contact the DNR Wildlife Division, Natural Heritage Program, Box 30180, Lansing, MI 48909, or visit the DNR Web site: www.michigan.gov/dnr.