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Tag Archive | "Eagles"

Nongame Wildlife Fund helps aid comeback success stories


 

Most of us recognize the American robin. With its cheery song bringing a welcome sign of spring, these red-breasted birds are a common sight in Michigan; so familiar and appreciated, in fact, that the robin was named the state bird in 1931.

But there was a time after World War II when robins had become less common due to the damaging effects of DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) and other pesticides.

Fortunately, robin populations bounced back after DDT use was banned in the United State in 1972. However, many other nongame species—meaning wildlife that isn’t hunted—have needed, and continue to need, help to protect them from becoming rare or even extinct. That’s where the Nongame Wildlife Fund comes in.

Mechanics and administration

The fund, which is coordinated by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Division, assists with the division’s goals by identifying, protecting, managing and restoring Michigan’s biological diversity.

The Nongame Wildlife Fund is responsible for initiating, developing and implementing critical projects vital to the needs of Michigan’s endangered, threatened and nongame animals, plants and their habitats.

Since its inception, the Nongame Wildlife Fund has raised nearly $24 million in support of critical projects for nongame species, which includes more than 80 percent of Michigan’s wildlife.

“The fund aims not only to restore populations of endangered and threatened species but to maintain present populations of animals and plants and to promote appreciation of Michigan’s nongame wildlife,” said Hannah Schauer, a DNR wildlife technician.

Funds have been raised for these important management efforts through voluntary check-off contributions on state income tax forms (the check-off ended when the fund reached $6 million, as dictated by state law), sales of the wildlife habitat specialty license plates and direct donations.

Another component of this approach has been the Living Resources Patch program. Proceeds from the sale of these patches also are directed to the Nongame Wildlife Fund.

For more than 40 years, the patch program has raised awareness of Michigan’s nongame wildlife species. The 2016-2017 Living Resources Patch, which will be the final one issued in the series, features the American robin.

“The state bird seemed fitting for the final patch, since 2016 is also the centennial for the Migratory Bird Treaty, which has benefited the robin, as well as many other nongame bird species,” Schauer said.

American robin patches, along with several previous years’ patches, are available for purchase on the Michigan e-store website.

Kirtland’s warbler

The effort to bolster Michigan’s nongame wildlife has yielded some notable progress over the last few decades.

One of the most significant success stories—and one that’s unique to Michigan—stars a rare songbird called the Kirtland’s warbler, one of the original species to be listed as part of the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

Visitors come from all over the world to see these birds, which nest in just a few counties in Michigan’s northern Lower and Upper peninsulas, a few sites in Wisconsin and Ontario, and nowhere else on Earth.

The DNR and many partners manage the specific type of jack pine habitat that the Kirtland’s warbler requires by logging, burning, seeding and replanting on a rotational basis.

Trees aren’t cut down until they’re mature and large enough to be economically valuable, which helps maintain nesting habitat for the warblers while supporting the commercial harvest of jack pine.

Several million jack pine seedlings are planted each year. The birds have specific nesting requirements which include reliance on young jack pine trees.

“The population of the rarest warbler in North America has increased dramatically through management and protection of more than 150,000 acres of jack pine habitat in Michigan,” said Dan Kennedy, DNR threatened and endangered species specialist.

The annual Kirtland’s warbler census, which tallies the number of singing males, has shown a significant increase in the species’ population over the last 40 years, from approximately 200 singing males in 1972 to 2,300 this year.

“The recovery of the Kirtland’s warbler is a real success story for endangered species management,” Kennedy said. “This conservation effort has benefited Michigan’s economy, including jobs associated with tourism and timber products, and helped conserve our biological legacy.”

Michigan’s osprey population, once threatened, is making a comeback with support from the Nongame Wildlife Fund.

Michigan’s osprey population, once threatened, is making a comeback with support from the Nongame Wildlife Fund.

Osprey

Many of Michigan’s nongame wildlife conservation victories involve birds, more specifically birds of prey. One notable example is the osprey.

Once nearly absent from much of Michigan due to the effects of DDT, other pesticides and habitat loss, Michigan’s osprey population is making a comeback thanks in part to the DNR’s osprey reintroduction program.

Started in 2008 and supported by the Nongame Wildlife Fund, this reintroduction program removed chicks from active nests in northern Michigan and reared them in man-made towers in southern Michigan, a process called “hacking.”

In 2015, at least 60 active nests were identified in southern Michigan – a substantial increase from the single active nest reported in 2002.

“Each year we have new nests, and we have already exceeded our original goal of 30 active nests by 2020,” said Julie Oakes, a DNR wildlife biologist. “We have been able to remove ospreys from the threatened species list to a species of special concern and restore their numbers in Michigan.”

The DNR and several partner organizations monitor the revitalization of this species by outfitting osprey chicks with “backpack” GPS telemetry units and tracking their movements and migration patterns.

Anyone can follow along and find out where the birds have been by looking at the Michigan Osprey website, www.michiganosprey.org.

Falcons and eagles

Peregrine falcons, which had been virtually eradicated from eastern North America at one time, today are successfully nesting atop places like urban buildings and bridges.

Peregrine falcons, which had been virtually eradicated from eastern North America at one time, today are successfully nesting atop places like urban buildings and bridges.

Peregrine falcons and bald eagles—two other birds of prey whose populations were decimated by pesticides—also are on the upswing as a result of similar conservation efforts.

Peregrines, virtually eradicated from eastern North America by the middle of the 20th century, today are successfully nesting in urban centers of southern Michigan, on the most iconic bridges across the state and along the Upper Peninsula’s rocky Lake Superior shoreline.

In 2015, biologists recorded 33 active peregrine nests, which produced 73 wild chicks.

The bald eagle’s numbers declined dramatically in the 1950s and 1960s until there were fewer than 1,000 nesting eagles remaining in the U.S. by 1963. Today, the species has recovered to a point where its existence is no longer imperiled.

With over 800 active eagle nests in Michigan, eagles can be found in almost all of the state’s 83 counties.

Moose

 In an operation known as the “moose lift” in the mid-1980s, the DNR translocated 59 moose via helicopter from Ontario, Canada, to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

In an operation known as the “moose lift” in the mid-1980s, the DNR translocated 59 moose via helicopter from Ontario, Canada, to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

“Most of the mammal successes have been so successful that we have seasons on them: marten, fisher, deer and elk,” said Chris Hoving, adaptation specialist with the DNR Wildlife Division. “At one time, they were nongame, or at least not hunted.”

Although moose are not an example of a species that has rebounded to the point where it can be hunted, one memorable nongame endeavor was the reintroduction of the species to Michigan in the Upper Peninsula.

Native to Michigan, moose disappeared from the Lower Peninsula in the 1890s and only a few scattered individuals remained in the Upper Peninsula.

In the mid-1980s, the DNR translocated 59 moose—using helicopters, in an operation remembered as the “moose lift”—from Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada, and released them in Marquette County.

A 2016 moose population survey estimates a population of 323 moose in the western U.P.

Reptiles and amphibians

As for reptiles and amphibians, collectively known as herpetofauna or “herps,” ongoing projects include the Michigan Herp Atlas, which aims to collect data about Michigan’s native amphibians and reptiles in order to document their distribution and changes in their populations statewide, and the annual spring volunteer frog and toad survey.

“We have collected a large, valuable data set to help us evaluate Michigan’s frog and toad populations,” said DNR nongame wildlife biologist Lori Sargent. “We’re now able to start watching trends and thinking about how to slow down some of the species’ declines and, hopefully, increase awareness of their plight so that conservation efforts will be enacted in the future.”

Distinctions

Schauer said it’s important to remember that not all nongame animals are threatened or endangered species, or even species of special concern.

“Nongame also includes animals that aren’t harvested but aren’t necessarily listed as special concern, threatened or endangered—a good example of that would be the American robin,” she said. “One of the primary goals of the Nongame Wildlife Fund is to keep these common species common.”

Pitch in

Want to help Michigan’s nongame wildlife? There are several ways to contribute: by purchasing a wildlife habitat license plate or Living Resources patch or by making a tax-deductible donation.

Learn more about the Nongame Wildlife Fund at www.michigan.gov/dnr.

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Tom C. Male


C-OBIT-maleTom C. Male 55 of Sand Lake, died Sunday, July 17, 2016. Tom was born September 27, 1960 in Grand Rapids, MI the son of James and Ione (Scholz) Male. He enjoyed riding his motorcycle and was a member of the Eagles and the Eagle Riders. He grew his hair out and donated it to Locks of Love many times and was always looking out for others and putting on benefits for them. Surviving are his daughter, Sadie; grandchildren, Hannah, Mackenzie, and Maddox; sisters, Belinda and Bonnie (Chris); girlfriend, Cheryl; many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Ron; nephew, Fred. A celebration of his life was held Saturday, July 23 at his home. Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs.

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The eagles have landed


Tim Hindenach sent in this photo of the eagles at Pine Lake.

Tim Hindenach sent in this photo of the eagles at Pine Lake.

Randy Johnson snapped this shot of an eagle at Sand Lake

Randy Johnson snapped this shot of an eagle at Sand Lake

We continue to get eagle photos from area readers. This week we received clearer photos of an eagle sighting at Pine Lake that we ran last week (thank you Tim Hindenach) and a new sighting at Sand Lake. Randy Johnson took his photos on Friday morning, April 22. “I was able to get a few reasonable photos (low light/foggy conditions) from the north shore of Sand Lake, of this beautiful bird,” he wrote. Thank you, Randy!

We have gotten photos from Algoma, Solon, Nelson, and now Sand Lake. The Post asked Ranger Steve Mueller about whether there were now quite a few eagles here, or whether these could be the same birds.

Eagle numbers have increased significantly during the last several decades due to the Clean the Water and Clean Air Acts and the discontinuance of chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides like DDT,” explained Mueller. “It is likely that some eagle pictures may be the same individuals by different people because eagles are wide ranging.”

Eagles can often be found near bodies of water, since fish make up over half of their diet. They also consume other birds, mammals, and small prey.

Do you have wildlife photos you’d like to send us? Email them to news@cedarspringspost.com, along with your contact info and some information about the photo (what’s in it, where it was taken, etc.) We will print as space allows.

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Mother’s Day Tea and Silent Auction


The Tri County Jr. Eagles #4467 of the Fraternal Order of Eagles of Sand Lake, Michigan are hosting a Mother’s Day Tea and Silent Auction on Saturday May 10, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. at the Sand Lake VFW.

This is a fundraiser for the Make A Wish Foundation of Michigan.

At the current time there are approximately 15 children in our community and neighboring communities on their waiting list to grant these children, who have life threatening illnesses, wishes. The funds raised at this event will help assist in granting these children their wishes.

Our goal is to raise $2,000.00. At this time the Jr. Eagles have raised over $650 towards this goal.

The event will include a guest speaker from the Make A Wish organizaiton, lunch, door prizes, flowers for all the mothers who attend, entertainment, and the silent auction.

What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than by helping these chidren in making their wishes come true.

If you would like more information to help sponsor this event or to purchase tickets for this event (tickets are $5.00 each), contact Lynn Rapson at 616-240-3871.

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Red Hawks lose to Eagles, edge out Falcons


Red Hawk Austin Hilyer takes the ball down court. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

Red Hawk Austin Hilyer takes the ball down court. Photo by K. Alvesteffer.

By Kendra Coons

 

The boys varsity basketball team had one tough lineup last week. On Tuesday, February 11, the boys played the Grand Rapids Christian Eagles. The game was a long hard fought battle, but in the end Grand Rapids Christian came out on top 64-56.

In the first quarter, the Red Hawks came out scoring fast and put a total of 15 points on the scoreboard. Grand Rapids Christian wasn’t far behind them coming in at 12. Going into the second quarter GRC came back and put up a total of 17 while Cedar Springs put up 7. The Eagles went into halftime with the lead 29-22 over the Red Hawks. Cedar Springs came back out after halftime and put up another 17 points. This wasn’t enough to take back the lead though. The Eagles scored a total of 14 points in the third quarter making the score 43-39 in favor of GRC. Then came the fourth quarter and Cedar Springs put up another 17 points, but GRC came back with 21, giving the Eagles the win 64-56.  The game had a total of 3 lead changes throughout and was tied twice, but in the end GRC came out on top.

“This was the second of back-to-back games and it was against a quality opponent.  We knew it was going to be a battle,” commented Head Coach Jeff Patin.

Cedar Spring’s players senior Cameron Link, junior Brad Brechting, senior Aaron Mabie and senior Kyler Marble were all big scorers for the Red Hawks. Link led the team in points coming in at a total of 14. Brechting wasn’t far behind him with 11 and Mabie and Marble both came in at a total of 8 points. Cedar Springs went a total of 23/48 on their field goals and had a shooting percentage of 47.9 percent.

“We gave a great effort throughout the game. Christian is a very athletic team, and we were able hang with them,” stated Coach Patin.

Also this week the boys varsity basketball team took on the Falcons of West Catholic for a second time this season. The first time the boys played them the Red Hawks fell to the Falcons 43-46. This time around on Friday, February 14 Cedar Springs returned the favor and defeated West Catholic 56-45, bringing home a great Valentine’s Day present to all Red Hawks!

In the first quarter, the Red Hawks were up 19-14. In the second quarter, West Catholic came back and scored 7 more points. The 7 points still wasn’t enough to take the lead though because the Red Hawks put up 11 keeping the lead going into halftime, 30-21. The Falcons came back fighting hard after halftime and scored 13 points in the third quarter while Cedar Springs scored 9. The Red Hawks still had the lead though at 39-34. In the fourth quarter West Catholic scored 11 points and Cedar Springs came in and finished strong putting up 17 more points to take home the win, 56-45.

“The first time we played West, we felt we let one get away from us. This time, at their place, we knew we had to play a complete game to stay in the hunt for the conference championship,” said Coach Patin.

The Red Hawks fought exceptionally hard for this game. Junior Brad Brechting and Seniors Cameron Link, Aaron Mabie and Kyler Marble played a huge role in the win for Cedar Springs.

“Cam Link led us with 23 points.  Brad Brechting had 15 points, 18 rebounds, and 7 blocks. In the fourth quarter we had a big 3-pointer by Aaron Mabie and two big defensive plays (a blocked shot and a charge) by Kyler Marble,” remarked Coach Patin.

The boys varsity basketball team’s record is now 11-5 overall and 6-1 in conference. The boy’s next game is Friday, February 21 at Northview. Tip-off is at 7:30 PM. This game is expected to be a very great match-up. So come on out and support your Red Hawks!

 

 

 

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Greenville Eagles to Host Diabetes Research Benefit March 10


Proceeds benefit Diabetes Research Center

Greenville, Mich. – The Greenville Fraternal Order of Eagles #4321 welcomes the community to help give back Saturday, March 10, from 11 a.m. until midnight for an all-day charity benefit at the Greenville Aerie, located at 11690 S. Greenville Rd. Proceeds from the event benefit The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center.

The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center will be housed at the John and Mary Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building on the campus of The University of Iowa in Iowa City. The state-of-the-art center will host leaders in the field of diabetes research in an effort to find a cure for the disease. The F.O.E. has pledged to donate $25 million over a five-year period to fund research efforts. To date, the Eagles have given $15 million to the university to help bring an end to diabetes.

Greenville’s DRC benefit will feature drink specials, raffles, prizes and music by Jeff C. A wing-ding chicken basket dinner with fries and cole slaw can be purchased for an $8 donation.

Guests include Eagles Grand Trustee Chuck Lang, Michigan State Worthy President-Elect Bill Vettori and Michigan State Worthy Trustee and Diabetes Research Center State Chairman Mike Votsch.

The Greenville Eagles has maintained a presence in the community since 1993 and currently hosts more than 430 Aerie and Auxiliary members.

For information contact the Greenville Aerie at 616-794-2987, Dan Sanders at 616-824-9019 or Worthy President Bob Conner at 616-204-6351.

 

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