Monday, May 16, 2016

King of the Jack Pine Forest 5/16/2016

  After taking a day off from driving and birding, I got back behind the wheel and then the camera on an excursion to the Jack Pine forest around Grayling.  The biggest draw to that area is the recovering Kirtland's Warbler.  In 1987 only 167 singing males were counted on the breeding grounds in northern Michigan.  With management of the forest to improve their habitat, 1828 singing males were counted in 2011.
  Three years ago I took the Kirtland's Warbler Tour conducted by the Michigan Audubon Society, I was grateful to get a fleeting glimpse of this rare beauty but disappointed that I didn't get any good photos.
  This morning while driving down a couple of the roads in the Mason Tract of state forest, I heard 7 singing males, saw 3 and was able to photographed 2 of them.

A male Kirtland's with no obscuring branches. Now can we get a little song.
Singing male but the lighting is kind of dingy
   A little down the road I found myself between singing males on opposite sides of the road.
Better lighting but really?..... posing in a deciduous tree?
     I chose to try for the bird on the side opposite the morning sun.
Ok we got the right tree but you're hiding in the shadows

Nice, but can we get another song?

Excellent but that background is a little distracting.

Ok good lighting, nice background.  What, no song?


  1. Beautiful photos, Mark. Thank you so much for sharing. You have a lovely blog. :)

  2. Thanks. Sometimes the birds cooperate.

  3. Color me green! Wonderful pics, Mark!

  4. Everything went according to plan this morning, I told my wife I'd be done looking for Kirtlands' by 9:30 and be home by noon. I was only four minutes late on both estimates.

  5. Cute, you should see if any of those 2010 banded birds are left next time.