A Year of Birds: December

As the holiday song says, “Baby, it’s cold outside!” In Michigan, December can come in with some pretty cold blasts, and it has. It makes me glad that Hanukkah also occurs at the beginning of the month, to create “warm feelings” in spite of the frigid early morning temperature. The mergansers are hanging out withContinue reading “A Year of Birds: December”

A Year of Birds: November

The days are getting shorter and much colder. Today, on the third, it snowed! I have started feeding the birds again, on the ground (I don’t dare fill the feeder, or the bears will get it; they have not gone into hibernation yet). The juncos were the first to find the seed I put out,Continue reading “A Year of Birds: November”

A Year of Birds: October

Now the days are getting cooler at night, and shorter. In the early morning, fog can be seen over Lake Huron in a thick white blanket that rolls towards the shore. I know that the shorter days and tree color changes herald the fall migration of the birds to warmer climates. I can still seeContinue reading “A Year of Birds: October”

A Year of Birds: September

The sandpipers are now in their fall plumage, with the spots starting to disappear on their breasts. I feel a bit sad seeing those, realizing that soon they will migrate. The Canadian Geese are gathering into larger groups, and can be seen “practicing” flying together, honking away, then landing, in preparation for their fall migration.Continue reading “A Year of Birds: September”

A Year of Birds: August

This is more of my favorite photos of Michigan birds from the past year. I went on a belted King Fisher hunt today. I spotted one overlooking the waters near Squaw Bay, and so got out and hiked through the marsh to get a better look. It was a female, with the rusty belt acrossContinue reading “A Year of Birds: August”

A Year of (Michigan) Birds: July

The gulls have taken over the point to the north of the bay. They can be seen sunning, dozens of them perched on the rocks and walking around. When I go kayaking by the point, I can see the mergansers and their babies. They have 19! The babies are so cute, and follow in theContinue reading “A Year of (Michigan) Birds: July”

A Year of (Michigan) Birds: June

It’s early June, and I saw a pair of sandhill cranes at Squaw Bay today. They are beautiful, and hard to see since they are perfectly camouflaged by the ochre reeds and small dead trees next to the marshy water. As soon as they saw me, they went and hid in a clump of trees,Continue reading “A Year of (Michigan) Birds: June”

A Year of Birds: May

I am sharing some of my favorite photos that I took this past year in this series. Spring is in full swing now, and the calls of the redwing blackbirds in the nearby marshes are almost continuous. Some of the males come by the feeder to fill up on seed. When I go on walksContinue reading “A Year of Birds: May”

A Year of Birds: April

By mid-April, the migratory birds are back, and it is a delight to both see them soaring in the air and hear their calls in the trees along the beach.  The other day as some friends and I were hiking, we came upon an amazing sight: a group of 7 cedar waxwings was perched onContinue reading “A Year of Birds: April”

A Year of Birds: March

It is March, and the weather is finally starting to warm up a bit – it even goes into the mid-40’s on a sunny day! The snow is starting to melt, and the landscape is slowly turning from white to brown. Locals are used to the “spring slush” in which back roads turn into muddy,Continue reading “A Year of Birds: March”

A Year of Birds: February

Since I am new to living in north Michigan near Lake Huron, I was surprised to discover that the bald eagle not only stays all winter long, but juveniles can often be seen hanging out near Misery Bay and other frozen marshes next to the now frozen lakeshore. They will at times hunt together alongContinue reading “A Year of Birds: February”

A Year of Birds: January

While I often share my paintings here, I have rarely shared my personal reference photos. I will be posting some of my favorite bird photos over the next few months, organized month-by-month, as well as some thoughts on each month. First is January. When it is January in north Michigan, a blanket of snow severalContinue reading “A Year of Birds: January”