Where to See the Raptors

For Friday, Sept. 10, 2021

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1 – Michigan officials say they manage almost 4 million acres of state forest land using techniques such as timber harvests, planting and prescribed burns to keep the trees thriving and healthy.

To make the work more efficient and easier to oversee, the state Department of Natural Resources divides these millions of acres into 15 forest management units. 

Management activity in each unit is finalized two years in advance. This summer and fall, recommendations for 2023 are being presented.

Open houses for this year are virtual, and you can give input by email, phone or mail. Officials say this is a great opportunity to offer input to foresters, wildlife biologists and other DNR professionals regarding forest plans.

For more information, including a link to an interactive forest map showing details of all forest management activities, visit Michigan.gov/ForestInput.

2 – When it comes to fall colors, up north is the place to be. When it comes to raptors, it’s downstate, in the St. Clair-Detroit River system. 

Sharp-shinned hawk. Credit: Steve Berardi

Audubon Great Lakes says the Metro Detroit area is a migratory hotspot for hundreds of thousands of hawks, falcons, and eagles that pass through each fall. 

Raptors often follow geographic features like Great Lakes coastlines to help guide them south. 

The group says many birds fly through the St. Clair-Detroit River system before they round the western shores of Lake Erie and continue on their journeys.

Unlike many songbirds, raptors migrate exclusively during the day, providing many opportunities to see their flocks, also known as “kettles.” 

These kettles can include up to tens of thousands of individual raptors. 

In September, broad-winged hawks and sharp-shinned hawks will be the first raptor visitors to arrive. They’ll migrate through the state by the hundreds or thousands each day. 

More information on the migration and where to see the birds is at gl.audubon.org

3 – Wetlands are being enhanced and restored with help from a streamlined permit process. 

State coordinators say they work together on joint permit applications for wetland restoration and enhancement projects. 

Since the program was created in 2019, officials say 58 permits have been issued, to restore and enhance 729 acres of wetlands. 

Wetlands are valuable because they clean the water, recharge water supplies, reduce flood risks, and provide fish and wildlife habitat. 

The goal of the program is to improve the permitting process for projects that restore and enhance the state’s many altered and degraded wetlands.

– Mr. Great Lakes is heard Friday mornings in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Public Radio 90.1 FM (listen). Follow @jeffkart on Twitter #MrGreatLakes

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