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Rule changes for fall high school sports

Each year, the Michigan High School Athletic Association seeks to improve the safety of high school athletes. Below are some rules changes in fall sports.
Football
Rules were added restricting targeting of opponent and illegal helmet contact with defenseless players, with both resulting in 15-yard penalties. Targeting is defined as taking aim at an opponent with the helmet, forearm, hand, fist, elbow or shoulder to initiate contact above the shoulders and with an intent beyond making a legal tackle or block, or playing the ball. A defenseless player can be considered one no longer involved in a play, a runner whose progress has been stopped, a player focused on receiving a kick or a receiver who has given up on an errant pass, or a player already on the ground.
Roughing-the-passer fouls now will result in an automatic first down in addition to the previous 15-yard penalty.
On kickoffs, the kicking team must have at least four players on either side of the kicker, and no kicking team players except for the kicker may line up more than five yards behind the free-kick line. These changes were made to improve safety by balancing the kicking formation and shortening the potential run-up by kicking team players heading down the field to tackle the ball carrier.
A number of significant rules changes will go into effect for other fall sports:
Cross country
In cross country, the ban on wearing jewelry has been lifted (and also for track and field in the spring). The National Federation of State High School Associations deemed the ban unnecessary in these two sports because there is little risk of injury with minimal contact between competitors. Elimination of the rule will allow officials to further focus on the competition.
Soccer
In soccer, Michigan has adopted the National Federation rule stating home teams must wear solid white jerseys and socks, with visiting teams in dark jerseys and socks (dark defined as any color contrasting white). Also, officials may now wear green and blue shirts in addition to red and black as alternates to the primary yellow shirt with black pinstripes.
Also for soccer, both field players and goalkeepers must now leave the field when injured and the referee has stopped the clock. Previously, an injured goalkeeper was not required to leave the game when the referee stopped the clock; going forward, the keeper must be replaced.
Swimming and diving
In swimming and diving, one change affects the beginning of races and another impacts a specific event. The use of starter’s pistols is now prohibited; starters must use an alternative sounding device to start races. Additionally, in the backstroke, a swimmer may not submerge his or her entire body after the start except for during turns. The swimmer must remain on or above the water surface on the finish, eliminating the abuse of submerging well before touching the wall. This change also applies to the finish of the backstroke leg of the individual medley.

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Build a lasting memory with your backyard project

 

Color-treated lumber keeps your backyard project from becoming a faded memory.

Color-treated lumber keeps your backyard project from becoming a faded memory.

(BPT) – There are regular backyard projects and then there are those special backyard projects that bring families closer together, both during the construction and while enjoying the finished piece.
If you want to improve your backyard with a special project for your family this year but you’re not sure what to build, here are a few fun ideas.
* Wood raised-garden planter. If anyone in your home has a green thumb, this is a great idea. A raised planter bed keeps the soil warmer longer, which will extend the gardening season. Your plants will also enjoy better soil conditions because the soil won’t be walked on. Finally, raised beds make it easier to protect your plants from hungry woodland animals.
* Wood treehouse. One of the iconic mainstays of childhood: If you have young children at home, they will love it. Incorporate extra elements into your tree house (ladders, slides, climbing wall, etc.) for prolonged enjoyment and consider putting walls on the structure. This will allow your children to play inside longer into the year.
* Wood swing set. Build it as an attachment to the treehouse or as a standalone project. In either case, a swing set is sure to be popular. Basing the posts into the ground and building your set from quality treated lumber means it will be ready for your children – and for any full-grown kid who wants to swing away nostalgically.

The preservative used in ProWood pressure-treated lumber is safe for humans, animals and the environment.

The preservative used in ProWood pressure-treated lumber is safe for humans, animals and the environment.

* Wood sandbox. Another iconic childhood toy. Building a sandbox with higher side walls will reduce the amount of sand that spills over the side, and adding a base means this section of your yard won’t be filled with sand forever. You may also consider building a wooden cover for your child’s sandbox to hide toys from sight and from the elements.
* Picnic table. Not every project has to be designed just for the kids. A picnic table provides that at-the-park feeling right in your own backyard. Before you start your picnic table project, however, determine what style table you want (square, rectangle, hexagon, etc.) as well as the size of the table. If you have a large family or frequent guests, you may want to build a bigger table (but remember that this table will be harder to move around). If your table will only be used by a couple of people, a small, portable table is probably the better option.
When it’s time to choose a building material for your backyard project, consider pressure-treated lumber, which is both affordable and easy to use. Additionally, some brands of treated lumber give your backyard project a professional-grade look. When using treated lumber, be sure to check the end tag as it identifies the treatment type. Look for the ProWood end tag, because it’s an indicator that tells you it’s building code approved and treated for your intended use. ProWood MCA (Micronized copper azole) treated lumber has a lighter, fresher appearance compared to other current or previous treatments. MCA pressure-treated wood is the logical, safe choice – it’s completely safe for people and pets.
To learn more about ProWood MCA treated lumber and to find inspiration for your next project, visit www.ProWoodLumber.com.

Posted in Bloomin' Summer, FeaturedComments (0)

Fresh Market

BLOOM-BeansBeans, one of the Three Sisters

(part two of a three part series)
by Vicki Babcock

Native Americans speak of the “Three Sisters,” referring to corn, beans, and squash that were grown together.  The following is another legend about the sisters.
Long ago there were three sisters who lived together in a field. Each sister was very different from the others, both in looks and temperament. Each had their own interests. They were bound by love for each other and they always stayed together. But a crow came one day and talked to the horses and the other animals. The sisters watched this behavior and, shortly after, the youngest sister disappeared. This left the two remaining sisters very sad. The crow returned to gather reeds at the water’s edge and the sisters watched. That night, the second sister disappeared. This left the eldest sister all alone to grieve. When the crow saw her sadness, he brought the sisters together again and they continue to be together to this day. The eldest stands tall as she always did watching out for the crow. They find strength together and each sustains the other. These three spirit sisters are represented in the crops themselves.
Native Americans used this form of “companion planting” for their three major crops, which they believe were gifts from the Creator. The corn provided a pole for the beans, which, in turn, nourished the soil. The squash provided cover to keep the soil moist and to deter weeds. Eaten together, the three crops provided a balanced diet.
Beans are one of the oldest known cultivated plants, dating back thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians left the beans with their dead to sustain them through their journey and mention was made of beans and chickpeas cast on the threshing floor in the Iliad, written in the late 8th century BCE.  According to Wikipedia, the oldest-known domesticated beans in the Americas were found in Guitarrero Cave, an archaeological site in Peru, and dated to around the second millennium BCE.
Beans from the New World include lima beans and common beans such as Navy or Pea Bean, Red Kidney, Pinto, Great Northern, Marrow, and Yellow Eye. Also included are our string beans (now stringless) and snap beans. Varieties you might find at farmers markets today include such interesting names as Dragon’s Tongue and Trail of Tears.*
Beans were an important source of protein for Native Americans. They are comparable to meat when it comes to calories. Unlike meat, however, they have a high fiber and water content which helps you to feel fuller faster. Adding beans to your diet will help you cut calories without feeling deprived. One cup of cooked beans provides about 12 grams of fiber, nearly half of the RDA recommended for women and about one-third for men. Fiber means that beans are digested slower, helping stave off hunger longer. In addition, beans are low in sugar, which prevents insulin in the bloodstream from spiking and causing hunger (Beans, Protein-rich Superfoods By Jenny Stamos Kovacs WebMD, the Magazine).
Beans are high in antioxidants, which help to control cell damaging free radicals in the body. According to Kovacs, free radicals have been implicated in everything from cancer and aging to neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
In a study by the U.S Department of Agriculture of the antioxidant content of over one-hundred common foods, three types of beans made the top four: small red beans, red kidney beans and pinto beans.
Nuff said? If you haven’t done so already, do your body a favor and add these powerhouses to your diet. You’ll be glad you did.
*Dragon’s tongue and Trail of Tears can be found at Solon Market when in season.  Please check for availability.

O-Beans! Oatmeal Chocolate-Chip Cookies

Beans in cookies? You bet! Try these for a healthy choice!
Makes 3 dozen
Ingredients
Cooking spray
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
½  tsp. salt
2-3 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup Great Northern beans, drained, liquid reserved
3 tbsp. butter, softened
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
12 oz. pkg. semi sweet chocolate  chips
Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Process beans and 2 tbsp reserved liquid in a blender until smooth. Combine bean puree, butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla in a separate bowl and beat well. Stir in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoons onto baking sheets. Bake 15 to 17 minutes until centers are firm and edges are lightly browned. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.
Unlike most cookies which are best fresh from the oven, these are better the second day.  Best served at room temperature.
Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

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Travel to Stratford with MCC on Sept. 19

Montcalm Community College offers a one-day cultural trip to Stratford Ontario, Canada, on Sept. 19, to see Shakespeare’s “King Lear.”
Buses depart from MCC at 6 a.m. and return about midnight. Buses also stop at Meijer in Ionia to pick up and drop off participants.
Student registration is available now and the cost is $30. Nonstudents may register for the trip starting Sept. 5, and the cost is $65. Registration includes the cost of the bus trip and the theater ticket. Participants are responsible for buying their own meals. Student costs are partially underwritten by the MCC Foundation and the Student Activities Fund.
Anyone planning to participate in this trip must have an enhanced driver’s license, United States Passport or Passport Card that is valid through October 2014.
Visit www.montcalm.edu/careerdevelopment for course details or to register online, or call 616-754-7706 or 1-877-328-2111, Ext. 610, for more information.
Contact MCC Performing Arts Coordinator Val Vander Mark at valv@montcalm.edu or (989) 328-1218, MCC Visual Arts Coordinator Carolyn Johnson at cjohnson@montcalm.edu or (989) 328-1248, or MCC Language Arts Instructor Joel Brouwer at joelb@montcalm.edu or (989) 328-1267 for more information.

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Military Retiree Appreciation Day Sept. 20 in Selfridge

A military Retiree Appreciation Day will be held Saturday, September 20, at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich. Retirees from all branches of the armed forces and their family members are eligible to attend. The event will run from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Retiree Appreciation Day is an opportunity for all armed forces retirees, spouses, widows and/or guests to receive updated information about retiree entitlement programs.
Photo identification is required for all personnel to access the installation.
Pre-registration is required and must be accomplished by Sept. 10. The registration form, available online at
http://www.mccoy.army.mil/Services/ACAP_Documents/2014_RAD_REGISTER.PDF, contains detailed information about the event. Direct any questions to 586-239-5580.
The registration form also contains a complete listing of Retiree Appreciation Day events being held throughout the Midwest.

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Youth soccer challenge

The Sand Lake Knights of Columbus will be hosting a special competitive soccer event on Saturday, September 6th from 9am to 10am at the Sand Lake Soccer Fields.  Kids in the community are encouraged to come out and enjoy a free opportunity to test their skills at a penalty kick competition. Each participant will be given 15 penalty kicks and points will be awarded depending upon the area of the scoring zones through which the ball passes.
Contestants will be recognized for their participation and will have an opportunity to move on to compete in district and state level competitions. All boys and girls ages 9 to 14 (as of September 1st) are eligible to participate. Registration will take place the morning of the event at the fields.  Written parental consent is required.
For more information about this event or the Knights of Columbus, contact Frank Sylvester, Soccer Challenge Chairman, at (616) 636-8151.

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The Substitute teacher

Walking through the hallway at the middle school where I work, I saw a new substitute teacher standing outside the classroom with his head against the locker.
I heard him mutter,  “How did you get yourself into this?”
Knowing he was assigned to a difficult class, I tried to offer him moral support.
“Are you ok?” I asked. “Can I help?”
He lifted his head and replied, “I’ll be fine as soon as I can get this kid out of his locker!”

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Hometown Happenings

Auditions for Fall Production
Sept. 2: Actors del Arte’ Ensemble will be presenting the fantasy, adventure, mythology, “Way of the Wolf.” Auditions will be held September 2nd from 6 – 8:30 pm at the Rockford Reformed Church, 4890 11 Mile Rd., Rockford. Looking for men, women and teens to fill roles. The show is set for November at the Kent Theatre in Cedar Springs. For details call 616-874-5264. #35

Chicken BBQ and Rummage Sale
Sept. 5,6: Courtland Oakfield United Methodist Church, 10295 Myers Lake Rd., Rockford, is having their annual Chicken BBQ, Rummage and Bake Sale. The rummage and bake sale is Friday, September 5 from 9 am to 4 pm, Saturday, September 6, from 9 am to 7 pm. BBQ Chicken will be available on Saturday, September 6th from 4 to 7 pm. Half chicken and fixin’s, dine in or carry out. Vegan option available. $8.95. #35,36p

Hope Community Church Yard Sale
Sept. 5,6: Hope Community Church Yard Sale, 7000 Myers Lake Rd., Rockford, MI September 5th (Friday) from 9 to 5 pm and September 6th (Saturday) from 9 to1 pm. There will be a really good variety of clean merchandise available at this sale.  Stop on by! For info call Judy at 616-340-2820. #35,36b

Mystery Dinner Theatre
Sept. 6: The Springs Church will present a mystery dinner theatre to support a mission trip to Columbia on September 6th from 6 to 8 pm. Tickets can be purchased at The Springs Church, 135 N. Grant (corner of Grant and Oak, Cedar Springs) Monday through Thursday, 9 am to 4 pm or by calling: Sally Nulph at 616-696-8974. Childcare is available during the activities for $5 per child (pizza and activities provided). Please purchase tickets prior to September 3rd. #35

Walk to End Alzheimer’s – Montcalm County
Sept. 6: Montcalm County’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be on September 6th at the Greenville Area Community Center, 900 East Kent Rd. Registration is at 9 am with a ceremony at 10 am and the walk will begin at 10:15 am. The walk is 1-1/2 miles long. Although there is no registration fee, we need participants to raise funds. Please help us reach our goal of over $17,500.  Contact alz.org/walk or 616-459-7567. #35

Lakeview annual Alumni Banquet
Sept. 7: All Lakeview School Alumni (this includes any former Lakeview School student and guest from 2014 and earlier) and retired teachers are invited to attend the annual Alumni Banquet, to be held at Lakeview High School on Sunday, September 7, 2014. The cost is $13 per person with open house at 11 am and dinner served at 1 pm. Reservations must be made prior to August 30 by sending payment, your name, maiden name (if applicable) and year of graduation to: Maureen Jaquays, 13952 Coral Rd., Coral, MI 49322, phone 231-354-6506. Questions may be directed to President Pat Hadrich, 616-984-2938. Come join the fun and you may be a lucky winner of some great door prizes. Please spread the work to out-of-town classmates. #35p

One Book Discussion in Howard City
Sept. 8: A book discussion for the One Book One County Montcalm selection, “Me Before You,” by Jojo Moyes, is September 8 at 1:30 pm at the Timothy C. Hauenstein Reynolds Township Library in Howard City. Visit www.montcalm.edu/one-book or call989-328-2111. Ext. 334 for more information. #35

MCC’s Philharmonic Orchestra Seeks Musicians
Sept. 8: Rehearsals for Montcalm Community College’s Philharmonic Orchestra begin September 8 and are from 7 to 9 pm on Mondays through October 27 in the Greenville Middle School Band Room The cost is $15 per person, which is payable at the first session or by registering online at www.montcalm.edu/careerdevelopment. The orchestra will perform “Music of the Seas” with MCC’s Alumni & Friends Choir on November 2 at 3 pm in the gymnasium in the Activities Building in Sidney. Contact Philharmonic Director Jeff Ayres at ayresj@greenville.k12.mi.us or 616-894-1071 or MCC Performing Arts Coordinator Valerie VanderMark at valv@montcalm.edu or 989-328-1218 for more information. #35

Register Now For Free Hunter Education
Sept. 9: To register for firearm Hunter Safety Classes  at the Red Flannel Rod & Gun Club, call Jim Pope at 231-834-5545 after 6 pm. Classes at the Club, 7463 18 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs, will be Tues. September 9th from 6-9 pm,  Thurs. September 11th from 6-9pm, and Sat. September 13th from 8 am-4:30 pm. Class size limited to 40 students. #35,35p

Red Flannel Day Talent Show Tryouts
Sept. 10,17: Looking for talented kids of all ages. The Red Flannel Talent Show is searching for singers, vocal groups, dancers, instrumentalists and variety acts for the Red Flannel Day Talent Show on October 4th. Come in and show us what you got. Tryouts on Wednesdays September 10 & 17 at 7:00 pm at the Kent Theatre, 8 N. Main St. Cedar Springs. So, get together with friends and family and plan your act now. If you have any questions, or can’t make it on tryout day, please contact Len by email, len@laphoto.com or 231-750-2337. #35,36p

Free Movie Night
Sept. 12: An En Gedi 5th Quarter Special Event will include an outdoor movie of the Princess Bride (PG). This is for high school students as well as all the community members on Friday, September 12 immediately following the first home football game or approximately 9 pm. Presented on the north end of the football stadium. Bad weather location is the high school auditorium. Bring a chair or blanket. Concessions (popcorn, candy, coffee and drinks) will remain open during the movie. Everyone will be admitted free after the 3rd quarter of the football game. Check us out at Facebook or www.EnGediYouthCenter.com. #35,36p

Tri County 50th Class Reunion
Sept. 12: A reunion for the class of 1964 will be held on September 13 at the Edgar Farm located at 11681 W. Howard City-Edmore R. on M-46 between Amble and Lakeview. A lunch/brunch will be served at 1 pm. Make your reservation by contacting Janet Howe Boezwinkle by August 30th. Call 616-696-2252 or email djboezwinkle@aol.com. #35

Heaven Is For Real presented.
Sept. 13,14: The Cedar Springs United Methodist Church is showing the movie Heaven is for Real in our fellowship hall. This movie is based on a true story. Bring a friend and join us for any of the following showings. Saturday, September 13th at 3 or 7 pm or Sunday, September 14th at 3 pm. We are located at 140 S. Main Street. Admission and popcorn are free. Soda and bottled water will be available for purchase. #35-37p

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Missing feathers

 

By Ranger Steve Mueller

 

Finding pretty feathers in the yard is something most of us have collected when we were children. It has been fun and challenging to identify who lost them. Blue Jay feathers are quite distinctive as are robin breast feathers. Many feathers can be quite challenging.

At this time of year I notice crows flying over with noticeable gaps in their wings. Two Mourning Doves passed without their long tail feathers. Some birds are looking rather beat up because they are missing feathers. It is molting season.

Most birds experience a complete molt where they lose all feathers after breeding season and before migration. It requires a lot of energy to change wardrobes but it occurs twice a year. The spring molt prior to migration or breeding is a partial molt where only some feathers are replaced.

When birds fly over missing noticeable feathers, it is the flight feathers we notice missing. If birds lost all there their flight feathers at once they would be grounded. That would spell death for many. They would starve before they could replace them. They also would not be protected from the weather. Feathers are important for flight and body feathers for insulation to maintain proper temperature.

Molting is orderly starting with primary feathers. Theses are the largest and most noticeable flight feathers. They are lost in succession from wingtip inward. As one is lost and replaced, the next one in succession is lost and replaced. When the primary feathers have been replaced, secondary feathers are replaced in the opposite direction. Secondaries are smaller flight feathers closer to the body. They are lost from close to the body outward toward the primaries.

It is ecologically important that most birds lose feathers in succession so they do not become flightless. They depend on flight for feeding mobility. Some birds lose all their flight feathers at once and cannot fly for weeks. One might think this would surely cause starvation or vulnerability to predators.

Ducks, geese, swans, grebes, and loons lose their flight feather at one time. They feed by diving or tipping bottom up to feed on the bottom in shallow water. Tipping end up to feed is known as dabbling. There are dabbing ducks like the mallard and diving ducks like the bufflehead and scaup that dive deep to feed. They become flightless for several weeks when molting but are able to continue feeding. When threatened they run across the water but do not become airborne.

It requires tremendous energy to molt. When birds migrate there energy needs increase 7 to 15 times over resting energy levels. They cannot afford to molt, migrate, or raise young at the same time. Each must be done separately and they have adaptations to survive in their unique nature niche. Loons molt after migration and ducks before migration. Some birds have a partial molt before migration, stop molting for migration and complete molting afterwards. It is typical for most land birds to complete molting before the fall migration.

Details of life are uniquely special and worth observing near our homes.

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at the odybrook@chartermi.net Ody Brook, 13010 Northland Dr, Cedar Springs, MI 49319-8433.

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Osprey chicks outfitted with satellite backpacks  

The Michigan DNR’s Julie Oakes and USDA Wildlife Services’ Brian Washburn outfit an osprey chick with a GPS “backpack” at Kensington Metropark.

The Michigan DNR’s Julie Oakes and USDA Wildlife Services’ Brian Washburn outfit an osprey chick with a GPS “backpack” at Kensington Metropark.

Nearly absent from much of the state due to the effects of DDT and other pesticides and habitat loss, ospreys continue to rebound in Michigan. In southern Michigan, monitoring efforts are tracking the revitalization of this species.

This year, six osprey chicks from area nests were outfitted with “backpack” satellite and GSM telemetry units. These units—funded by grants from DTE Energy, Huron Valley Audubon, photographer Lou Waldock, U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services and American Tower Corporation—will help scientists track the young birds’ daily movements and seasonal migration patterns.

In 2013, three osprey chicks were given GPS backpacks in southeast Michigan. One chick banded near Estral Beach migrated to Cuba. A chick from Kensington Metropark ventured to Colombia, and one from Pinckney found good fishing sites on a golf course in Miami.

Unfortunately, all three chicks with backpacks perished in 2013. Approximately 60 percent of the osprey chicks hatched each year do not make it to their second birthday. Factors that commonly cause mortality in young chicks include predation by great horned owls, collisions with buildings and other structures, weather, and illegal shooting of birds in Central and South America.

“We are very excited to have this opportunity to place GPS units on several ospreys this year,” said Julie Oakes, Michigan Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist. “This will provide the DNR with not only information on what migration routes the birds take, but also insight into what perils they must endure on their migration.”

The exciting part is that anyone can follow along and find out where the birds have been, just by looking at the Michigan osprey website www.michiganosprey.org. Move the cursor along the route to see GPS coordinates and time and date information for each leg of the osprey’s journey. The youngsters will begin their migration in early to mid-September, so wildlife enthusiasts can log on to watch their journey.

In 1998, the DNR began to relocate ospreys to southern Michigan. The program, supported by donations to Michigan’s Nongame Wildlife Fund, removed chicks from active nests in northern Michigan and reared them in man-made towers in southern Michigan, a process called “hacking.” Relocation efforts occurred over a span of 10 years. In 2013, the DNR identified at least 56 active nests in southern Michigan—an incredible increase from the single active nest reported in 2002.

“This is a true wildlife success story,” said Oakes. “Each year we have new nests, and we have already exceeded our original goal of 30 active nests by 2020. We have been able to remove ospreys from the threatened species list to a species of special concern, which means their population is much more secure now. In addition, they now nest across much more of the state, which provides for insurance that the population will not be endangered by a localized natural disaster like a large hail and wind storm.”

Historically, osprey chicks have been banded each year as part of a national effort to monitor the species. Banding continues this year as a cooperative venture of the DNR, Huron Clinton Metroparks, the Detroit Zoological Society and Osprey Watch of Southeast Michigan.

Because ospreys often nest on cell phone towers, staff from cell phone tower companies are invaluable partners in osprey monitoring. Their staff members alert the DNR and Osprey Watch of Southeast Michigan to osprey nests, assist with the retrieval of chicks during the banding process and delay tower repair projects until after the nesting season.

Other partners in this monitoring project include the Huron Valley Audubon Society, Michigan Audubon, volunteers from Osprey Watch and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services.

Anyone who observes a nesting pair of ospreys in southeast Michigan is asked to contact Osprey Watch of Southeast Michigan online at www.michiganosprey.org.

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