Audubon Great Lakes
Monthly Newsletter August, 2021
Fall Back Into Birding
The coastal and  inland wetlands of the Great Lakes region are important resting and refueling zones for the over 380 bird species that migrate through the region each fall. Fall migration is truly a magical time as waterfowl, waterbirds, shorebirds, songbirds, and raptors pass through the Great Lakes region on their trips south to their wintering grounds. Here’s what birds to keep an eye out for over the next few months!  Read more
Boreal Owl. Photo credit: Katherine Davis
Barn Swallow
Why Do Birds Stop Singing in Late Summer?
The decilne of bird song signals the arrival of migratory shorebirds. Most adults stop singing as they are no longer defending their territories or in search of a mate. Instead, they are busy rearing their young and teaching them how to find their own food before they fly south for the winter.  The good news is that with diminished bird song comes the arrival of migratory arctic shorebirds that only visit the Great Lakes region during their incredible migratory journeys to and from their wintering grounds. Learn about some of the shore birds you can see over the next few months!
Barn Swallow. Photo credit: Xianawei Zeng
Black-and-white Warbler Photo: Jessica Nelson
New Law Will Protect Illinois Birds From Deadly Building Collisions
Research indicates that up to 1 billion birds may be killed per year in the U.S. alone due to window collisions. But there is good news for birds in the Great Lakes region!  Last month, Illinois took an important step to minimize the impact of our built environment when Governor Pritzker signed the Bird Safe Buildings Act (HB 247), which requires bird-friendly design to be incorporated into the construction and renovation of state-owned buildings in Illinois.Incorporating bird-friendly design can significantly reduce collision deaths – for example, a new study found that turning off just half of the lighted windows during spring and fall migration could reduce bird deaths on Chicago’s lakeshore by 60 percent.
Black-and-white Warbler Photo: Jessica Nelson
Blue-winged teal. Photo Credit: Scott Kinsey
What is a Wetland? And Other Habitats Great Lakes Birds Need
From the Great Lakes coastal wetlands to inland marshes and ephemeral streams - millions of birds depend on the region’s water for shelter, rest, and nourishment. To celebrate World Water Week (August 23 – 27), we are breaking down some of the top water habitats that birds need. Discover the difference between a wetland and a marsh, the far-reaching benefits of hemi-marsh habitat to birds, and why streams are important to birds even if they don’t run year-round.
Blue-winged teal. Photo Credit: Scott Kinsey
Volunteers in Michigan
Audubon Great Lakes Volunteers Participate in Community Science Programs to Monitor Vulnerable Birds in Michigan
This summer, Great Lakes volunteers showed up in record breaking numbers to monitor vunlenerable Michigan bird species to track how birds are responding to local conservation efforts. Volunteers helped to inform Black Tern conservation efforts, listed and looked for sercretive marsh birds and visted hundreds of Osprey nests to checkf for chicks. Learn more about these effforts and how to advocate for birds.
Black Tern Survey volunteer, Mark Harder scouted his survey area to count breeding pairs, newly hatched young, as well as mark the location of active colonies. Photo: Mark Harder
Connect with Audubon Great Lakes Virtually
Audubon Everywhere
Register Soon for the 2021 Audubon Convention
Mark your calendar! Registration for the 2021 Audubon Convention opens tomorrow – Wednesday, August 25. Registration rates are now more affordable than ever with pay-what-you-can registration fees starting at $25. Gather your fellow chapter leaders and grassroots advocates and join us for our first virtual convention on October 1-2. Check out the event schedule now and visit the website beginning tomorrow to register. Register
Marsh Wren
New Biodiversity Data: Grand River Coastal Corridor Ecological Assesment
Audubon Great Lakes in partnership with Ottawa County Parks and over 20 stakeholders published its Grand River Coastal Corridor: Ecological Assessment and Conservation Recommendations, a comprehensive conservation analysis for the Grand River Coastal Corridor (GRCC). The GRCC is an ecologically significant area that is well-positioned to connect people and wildlife across Grand Haven, Muskegon, and Grand Rapids through landscape-scale natural area restoration and inclusive recreational access.


 Read Report
Marsh Wren. Photo credit: Jocelyn Anderson
Photo credit: Luke Frank
Congressman Mrvan Goes Birding, Tours Wetland Restoration Projects
Audubon Great Lakes is working on-the-ground in the Calumet region of Northwest Indiana to bring back declining bird populations and connect local communities with their natural spaces. Last week, Congressman Frank J. Mrvan (D-IN-1) went birdwatching with Audubon Great Lakes at Lake Etta County Park in Gary, Indiana to learn about this important conservation and community engagement work and discuss bipartisan conservation and climate solutions to protect Indiana’s birds and people. Read more about it on WBBM – Radio or  in The Post Tribune.  Read more
Photo Credit: Audubon Great Lakes
Congressman Jim Baird and Indiana State Rep. Beau Baird Go Birding With Audubon Great Lakes on Family Farm
Earlier this month, Congressman Jim Baird (R-IN-04) and his son Indiana State Rep. Beau Baird (R-Greencastle) went birdwatching with Audubon Great Lakes on the Baird’s family farm in west-central Indiana to discuss the impact of climate change on birds, and the importance of bipartisan climate and conservation solutions for all Hoosiers. A rich agricultural state, more than 80 percent of Indiana’s land is devoted to farms, forests and woodlands. Located within the Mississippi Flyway, Indiana is part of an important migration corridor that brings hundreds of bird species to the state each year. Audubon’s science found that rapidly changing climate could lead to population declines and local extinctions for as many as 27 percent of Indiana’s birds if species are unable to adapt. Common sense solutions to climate change, like the Growing Climate Solutions Act, can help protect the majority of birds at risk.  Read more
2021 Audubon Photography Award Winners
2021 Audubon Photography Awards Winners in the Great Lakes Region
This year more than 2,000 photographers from across the United States and Canada submitted images to Audubon magazine's 12th annual Audubon Photography Awards, and our panel of expert judges, including Stephanie Belieke, Conservation Science Manager at Audubon Great Lakes, whittled down the entries to eight stunning winners and five honorable mentions including the Professional Award Winner, Steve Jessmore for the Northern Cardinal taken in Rural Muskegon County, Michigan. 

Great Lakes photoghraphers from around the region were also featured in the Top 100. Scroll through to see the stunning images including Baltimore Oriole by Sharon Dobben from Flossmoor, IL; American Woodcock by Alexander Eisengart from Cleveland, Oh; Sharp-tailed Grouse by David Slikkers from Pickford, MI; Buff-breasted Sandpiper by Evan Reister from Whitefish Point, MI; Sandhill Crane by Megan Bonham from Milford, MI; Great Blue Heron by Chris Schlaf from Romeo, MI; Red-headed Woodpecker by Leonard Kendall from Milford, OH; Downy Woodpecker by Adrienne Elliot from Novi, MI; Sandhill Crane by William Farnsworth from Milford, MI. Congrats to all and thanks for sharing the beautiful photos!
2021 Audubon Photography Awards Winners from around the Region
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