Monday, June 25, 2007

Kirtland's Warbler Discovered Nesting in Wisconsin

Three nests of endangered Kirtland's warblers have been discovered in Wisconsin.

The bird, one of the rarest members of the wood warbler family, typically makes its home in the northern part of lower Michigan, nesting in stands of young jack pines.

Officials say this marks the first time nests have been found outside Michigan since the 1940s, when nests were discovered in Ontario.

Females have been observed near the nests, which confirms the birds as a breeding species in the state, the Fish and Wildlife Service said.

Matteson said surveys were done as far back as 30 years ago until the 1980s and males were found in western and northwestern Wisconsin. But Matteson said there had not been any documented females until this year.
Kirtland's warblers have been the subject of intensive recovery efforts in northern Michigan. The warbler has very specialized requirements for its breeding habitat. It typically nests in relatively jack pine forests when the trees are about 16 to 20 feet tall. Forest fire suppression limits the young trees available for the warblers, so the state has been planting jack pine seedlings to maintain a steady supply. As a result of conservation efforts, the population has grown from a low of 201 singing males in 1971 to 1,486 in 2006.

I am glad to have some encouraging news to go along with the bad.