Continuing on with the Washington Island Birding Festival plans for the May 18-20 event, I thought I would share some examples of birds viewed in past years around that same time. as well as speak to some of the projected activities.
I can't guarantee a mom and baby duo but it would be neat! We have had quite a few sightings so far this year.
Someone who is neat when it comes to identifying birds and sharing her knowledge with all who ask is Melody Walsh, here working on an eagle banding project a couple of years ago on Washington Island. Fun times which I am sure she would share with you. Melody has many memorable birding experiences to share.
Melody captured these two Caspian Terns in a previous May on Washington Island. This photo always makes me wonder what they see and might be saying. The Festival is pleased to have Melody on the organizing committee. She is busy organizing the cadre of experienced birders who will be leading the hikes.
Sandhill Cranes are long lived and have quite a large wing span. They have been returning to the Island and nesting for many years. Wouldn't it be fun to see this young family strutting across your yard one day in May? Donna was lucky enough to have just that happen to her. Donna is also a member of the organizing committee and will be a guide as well. Seek her out for more info on places to bird on Washington Island. Both Melody and Donna are proficient with ebird data collection.
Regarding the birding on Plum last year, the list of birds sighted grew as the days passed despite the somewhat shaky weather.
The opportunity to observe or take part in banding activities will be available free to the public Friday morning May 18 on Washington Island at the Potato Dock. While Joel’s photos come from further afield then the Islands in the Festival, he has graciously shared a timely image combining an example here of the intricacies of banding and a Kirtland's warbler.
Last year at the USFWS birding event, a male American Redstart was netted on Plum Island. This May, banding there will take place on Saturday morning, May 19. The public is also invited to attend this complimentary event if they are able to find a way out to Plum Island. Transportation will be provided for those registered for the entire WIBF.
This young lady is Sarah Warner, a biologist with US Fish and Wildlife Services based in Madison. We were lucky to have Sarah along with retired USFWS-er Cindy Samples (seated) serve as part of the team of experts leading birding and banding activities at last year's event on Plum Island.
Calling upon her extensive background in working with Kirkland's warblers Sarah will be returning this year to present on these diminutive charmers. This evening presentation will be held at the Trueblood Center for Performing Arts on Washington Island. Do come - It's quite a story!
Another part of the program Saturday evening will be a visit of several birds of prey making the trip from their home at Open Door Bird Sanctuary in Jacksonport. Here’s Koko, a Northern Saw-whet Owl, representing her team! Plan to attend and see/hear about several elements of the Birding spectrum! Saturday night’s event will be free to the public.
The clock is ticking! At this writing, 8 slots remain available to sign up for the entire weekend including transportation to Plum and Rock. Check the Art and Nature Center at the link above to answer questions and find out how to register. If help is needed to sign up, message through island mettle. Happy to help make connections! Updated info will appear on the island mettle blog Facebook page as well as the Washington Island Art & Nature Facebook page, another way to connect.
Sunset on Figenschau Bay: We never know what we will see but it is always memorable.
til next time .....
editor's note: The photo credit on the initial photo of an eagle and her baby was mislabeled when first posted in April. The credit has now been adjusted. island mettle regrets this error.