Today I took the little dude out to the Seney National Wildlife Refuge for some bird watching and an afternoon out in nature.
I took some cool pictures, despite there not being too much to see yet. I was disappointed that we didn't see any eagles or sandhill cranes, but the
ospreys were already back!
Before we get to the fun part, I figure I should tell you a little bit about the area.
The Seney National Wildlife Refuge is a wetland in Michigan's Upper Peninsula that is nearly 100,000 acres in size. The most commonly seen birds are
water fowl including ducks, mallards, swans, Canada geese, and common loons. Birds of prey, such as bald eagles, hawks, and ospreys are also seen
regularly. Sandhill cranes are another frequent visitor to the region.
Aside from the avian creatures, lots of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians reside in the wilderness area. River otters, muskrats, beavers, deer, moose,
black bear, wolves, and more have can all be found within the preserve.
One of the most interesting things I found about the preserve was how instrumental it was in preventing the extinction of Canada Geese. In 1935, when
the refuge was established, the Canada goose was a threatened species in North America. This was due to year-round hunting, both legally and
illegally. In 1936 300 birds, with their wings clipped, were sent to the refuge in hopes of creating hatchlings that would establish migratory
patterns and voluntarily return to the refuge the following year.
The geese did breed, however each year the population declined a little more. The breeding population was in decline to age, while each year fewer and
fewer geese were returning to the refuge. This was attributed to poaching while the birds were migrating south. By 1945 there were less than fifty of
the original 300 Canada geese.
There was eventual success in the program, beginning the following year, in 1946. Sixteen birds migrated back to the refuge in the spring. This lead
to larger and larger populations migrating, and by 1956 the refuge's breeding population was over 3,000 birds.
Okay, here are the pictures! If I did this right, the pictures should link to the full resolution images.
An American yellow warbler. This bird would have recently migrated north to the area. They winter in Central and northern Southern America. Quite the
journey for a little one!
Trumpeter swans and their nest, the largest species of waterfowl. Last summer they were all over in the refuge, but so far only a handful have
These ospreys have been coming back for while now. They were a bit camera shy today, but they're in there!
A panorama of the I Pool section of the refuge.
This dragonfly kept buzzing around us. It eventually landed long enough for me to take the picture. I believe it to be a blue dasher.
A family of Canada geese. I was surprised to see the goslings so early!
This red squirrel was not thrilled with us walking the trail. But even with his alarmed chirping he managed to give me a good pose.
A closer trumpeter swan. I didn't want to get too close, as the larger waterfowl are known to have a bit of an attitude towards people!
Painted turtles were out all over today too. It was fairly overcast, but they were still out on logs getting some warmth from above.
Thanks for taking a look at my pictures and learning about the refuge!
To learn more about the Seney National Wildlife Refuge just head to the following links!
US Fish and Wildlife Service - Seney National Wildlife Refuge
MI DNR - Seney National Wildlife Refuge
Exploring the North - Seney National Wildlife Refuge
EDIT TO ADD:
I forgot to mention that these pictures were taken on the Pine Ridge Nature Trail and along the Marshland Wildlife Drive.
edit on 5/17/2015 by
cmdrkeenkid because: Added additional information.