Monday, May 8, 2017

Manistee Audubon Program this Wednesday May 10th.

Birds of the Sleeping Bear Dunes. "Join Wayne Pope for a narrated slide show focusing on birds found in Michigan's Sleeping Bear Dunes. Keynote species such as piping plover, trumpeter swan and many others will be explored with still photos and video clips. Wayne Pope is an adjunct photography instructor at Lansing Community College." Visit his website at: 
No NAMC this weekend!  The state compiliers have cancelled this event due to lack of a national data bank for it and possibly due to the increased use of eBird to store information.

Please get out this weekend and bird on your own wherever you like.

Contact me if you are interested in getting together for a brown bag lunch and birding conversation that afternoon.


Friday, March 17, 2017

Among the Fur Seals – A Birding Adventure on St. Paul Island, Alaska

In September of 2016, four members of the Petoskey Regional Audubon Society took a trip to Alaska. They spent five days on the remote St. Paul Island.  Current Petoskey Regional Audubon Society president Darrell Lawson will present a photographic and informational journey through their adventure, providing details of the island's rich history, culture, and wildlife.

Join us at the Lake Bluff Audubon Center on Wednesday April 12th at 7:00 for this program as well as discussion about Manistee area wildlife and bird sightings and refreshments.  Public is welcome!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

By Kathy Bricker, Secretary, Mackinac Straits Raptor Watch

Mackinaw City

Registration is well underway for the second Mackinaw Raptor Fest, according to Kathy Bricker, Secretary of the Mackinac Straits Raptor Watch. She welcomes people to come learn more about birds and their twice-a-year migration at this event April 7 to 9 at the Mackinaw City Public School.

The Mackinaw Raptor Fest provides an entertaining and educational showcase to promote public awareness and knowledge of raptors and waterbirds and the significance of Mackinaw City and the Straits of Mackinac during migration. It promotes positive public attitudes towards raptors and waterbirds and their importance to the environment. It aims to become an internationally renowned annual festival that will generate ongoing ecotourism revenue for the Mackinaw City/Cheboygan/Petoskey/Harbor Springs area, new sponsorship for research on raptors and waterbirds, and net proceeds to further that research.

“Last year,” Bricker explains, “many more people wanted to attend than we could accommodate. So we have moved the banquet and keynote speech to a larger venue.” Bricker believes the Fest may draw up to 120 people from around Michigan and nearby states. Already, 60 volunteers have offered to help with advance preparations, sign-in, site set-up, food service, outdoor guidance to birders and photographers, and other needs.

The keynote banquet speaker on Saturday April 8 will be researcher Mark Martell. From Duluth, Minnesota, Martell will regale people with stories about Golden Eagles, close relatives of the more widely-known Bald Eagle. In 2015 Martell, the foremost researcher of eastern Golden Eagles, praised MSRW for recording more Golden Eagles than any other hawk count site east of the Mississippi River. MSRW counted 374 in 2015 and 349 in 2016.

Daytime plenary sessions at the Mackinaw Raptor Fest will teach people how to identify hawks in flight, with instructional film excerpts, and will introduce participants in person to live birds of prey. Break-out session topics include Raptor Migration in the Midwest, Peregrine Falcons in Michigan, Use of Hawk Migration Data, Bird Photography, Owl Migration in the Straits, Loon Research, and the documentary film Uncommon Loon by Jeff Lange of Petoskey.

“April 7 to 9 promises to combine the fun of birding and learning about birds with camaraderie and great food.” Bricker invites people to learn more and register at

“It gets even better,” Bricker adds. "Besides the Mackinaw Raptor Fest, MSRW will improve other outreach about hawks and owls in 2017, thanks to the generosity of the Petoskey Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation. The PHSACF has pledged $7,000 for special programming and publicity to build on the enthusiastic public reaction to our avian resources. Birds comprise the feathered component of the natural inheritance under our generation's care, and are every bit as vulnerable as they look. Their future depends directly on our appreciation and actions.”

In 2016, MSRW recorded over 1,500 guest visits to the hawk, owl, and waterbird research sites, while several hundred more people attended programs and field trips. Support from PHSACF will help ensure that such people, including youth, come away with a greater awareness and understanding of birds. The Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau also gave generously toward the 2017 educational work of MSRW, recognizing the potential of birds to attract visitors to northern lower Michigan. Additional Fest Sponsors are joining in 2017.

MSRW Chair Ed Pike, sums up: “Since MSRW was created in 2014, we have proven that the Straits of Mackinac ranks among the top migration funnels in the country for birds of prey. It's vital to continue this research to monitor changes over time. We also have tapped into the fastest-growing pastime in the U.S.: birdwatching. Bird research, education, and conservation dovetail perfectly, because people must experience and understand natural resources in order to value and protect them.” To directly support the research or education work, MSRW accepts tax-deductible donations via the website or by check.

Friday, December 30, 2016

January 2017 Program

WED. Jan. 11 at 7PM  at Oak Grove Cremation Center 85 Cypress St. Manistee

Borneo's Forest Battle:  Palm Oil vs. the Rainforest

There are two islands in the world where orangutans still survive: Borneo and Sumatra.  The most ancient forests of the world here are rapidly being replaced by palm oil plantations as shown above while endangered wildlife struggle to survive.

We can all make more conscious decisions about our consumption of palm oil.  Join Amalia Fernand for an evening discussion on the endemic beauty of Borneo, the crucial fate of the gentle red ape, and what you really can do to help.  

Amalia will present a slideshow of breathtaking photos from her year spent in Borneo and her visit to Sumatra.  She worked directly with orangutan conservation and environmental education efforts, and developed a strong understanding of the current conservation issues that this ecological hotspot faces.

Amalia is an environmental educator and travel blogger, learn more at