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An Afternoon at the Seney National Wildlife Refuge

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posted on May, 17 2015 @ 06:52 PM
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 migrated back.

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

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.

posted on May, 17 2015 @ 06:59 PM
Great pictures and thank you very much . I hope to get the wife back up there again this year but headed to the Drummond island area. Last year we were going to go west but it was rain and 40 degrees in July for the next 5 days

posted on May, 17 2015 @ 07:12 PM
a reply to: mikell

Drummond Island is one place I've never been to. I always forget there are things to do east of Mackinaw! If you do make it up this way, be sure to check out the Oswald's Bear Ranch just out of Newberry. The GarLyn Zoo is pretty awesome too.

In a few weeks we're going to head up to Whitefish Point Bird Observatory and do some real bird watching. They've already had a great flock of common loons fly in, with over 500 a couple weeks ago. We'll probably make it back to Seney a few times too. It's only a hop, skip, and a jump away from us.

posted on May, 17 2015 @ 07:27 PM
I loved seeing all your photos, the scenery, birds, squirrel and turtles! Wonderful! Nothing like a relaxing day in nature!

posted on May, 17 2015 @ 08:43 PM
Nothing like wetlands and swamps to make me feel at home. So much life going on in those areas. I used to love to wade out in the cat tails and rushes and just wander. It's nice to find a little high spot where you can dry out and have a little fire knowing there isn't another human at least as far as the edge of the swamp. Great pics, you got me reminiscing as I haven't been able to go out where I'd like in a couple a years now. Thanks for sharing!

posted on May, 17 2015 @ 10:40 PM
a reply to: Night Star

Glad to share the pictures! As I do some more fun traveling around the UP I'll share more. We've got some good camping trips planned.

a reply to: Asktheanimals

Sounds like it was something you truly enjoyed doing. Hope you can get back to it soon. Glad I brought you some good memories until then.

posted on May, 18 2015 @ 12:30 AM
Thanks for sharing!

I took a quick stroll in a small sanctuary in central Alberta today and noticed the osprey and yellow warblers are back here too. The canada geese that don't migrate anymore have had goslings for a couple weeks now. The ones that migrated haven't nested yet.

The best part of the day was finding a black capped chickadee nesting in a very tiny cavity about ten feet up in a dead aspen that is only about 3-1/2 inches wide and what I am sure is a northern flying squirrel nest. I'll have to stake it out one of these nights to get some pics of the squirrel. Its amazing how much plastic has become a staple of modern nest construction for so many species. I have house sparrows nesting at home and about a third of their nest is plastic wrapping of different kinds.

Black Capped Chickadee

Northern Flying Squirrel Nest Pic1

Northern Flying Squirrel Nest Pic2

posted on May, 18 2015 @ 08:44 AM
I know what you mean about the attitude. When I was little, my mom, or sometimes my aunt or uncle, would take us kids to the park to feed the ducks. One time this big white goose started coming at my mom and began chasing her around in circles around our car. She never had time to open a car door to jump inside because it was always right on her ass, striking at her like a cobra with its beak. Eventually the beast had had it's fill of entertainment and/or chastisement and finally left her alone. Maybe that's why my aunt and uncle started taking us to feed the ducks after that...

And yeah I realize its not good to directly feed most wildlife types. But you gotta understand, this was during the '80s. People were extremely ignorant during that decade... music, movies, tv and video games were classic though... probably due to the obscene amounts of ignorance in literally every other area of life. I'm only kidding... I'm sure there were some important scientific advancements made during that decade. The space shuttle blew up on live TV as I was watching, so, there's that... A young mind interested in all things outer space or dinosaurs having my dreams shattered right before my eyes.

Of course, now I realize the Russians did it that way intentionally as an attempt to control my future. And it worked, too. I should be on ISS right now, singing "ground control to major tom..." whistling Zippidy-Doo-Da out of my ass with a smile on my face you'd need plastic surgery to remove (Family Vacation reference, sticking with the 80s theme here, come on, get with the program). Those Commie bastards!

edit on 5/18/2015 by 3n19m470 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 20 2015 @ 09:40 AM
a reply to: 3n19m470

Haha... Yeah, I've been there. Growing up, whenever we went camping or had a picnic or anything all the leftover bread would go to the birds. It was no big thing, but it was awesome to do as a kid. I tried doing that a few years ago, nearly got cited by the DNR.

And yeah, I grew up expecting permanent Lunar bases, colonies on Mars, manned expeditions to the outer planets, etc... by now.

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