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Tag Archive | "Newaygo"

Newaygo Butterfly Count

The Newaygo Butterfly Count was held on July 27, 2013 in the Manistee National Forest. Six participants from age 8 to seniors enjoyed the two track roads in Newaygo County. None of the observers were from Newaygo County. All came from our region. The weather was not ideal but we had great observations and good company. The temperature started at 63 but it was cloudy. If the sun were shining, the cooler temperature would be prevent many butterflies from flying. The temperature rose to 65 but dropped to 60 in the afternoon. Winds picked up and that keeps butterflies low. Our observation sites are somewhat protected from the wind so butterflies were active at nectar sources. We saw 15 adult species and additional butterflies in early stages of life. 105 adult individual were counted and 20 early stage individuals.

While observing butterflies, we take time to enjoy others encounters along the way. We saw a Map Turtle that is Michigan Threatened. Sandhill Cranes flew over and many other species of birds were heard and seen. We spend time looking at wild flowers. Several Disjunct species were seen including the Meadow Beauty. A Disjunct species is one that is about 500 miles from other known populations. The ones we saw have their relatives living along the Atlantic coast. These are mostly likely relics that were stranded here after glaciation 8000 thousand years ago and have managed to survive generation after generation. Our nature outings are great opportunities for time in the outdoors with family and friends.


Newaygo Butterfly Count Sightings

Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillars- 2

Orange Sulphur – 1

American Copper – 2

Eastern Tailed Blue – 1

Karner Blue Butterfly – 5 Federally Endangered Species

Aphrodite Fritillary – 8

Silver-bordered Fritillary – 4

Pearl Crescent – 5

Red-spotted Purple – 13

Red-spotted Purple eggs – 6

Viceroy – 1

Northern Pearly Eye – 2

Appalachian Eyed Brown – 2

Common Wood Nymph – 4

Monarch – 1 caterpillar

Silver-spotted Skipper caterpillars – 9

Duskywing species caterpillar larva – 2

Northern Broken Dash – 20

Little Glassywing – 4

Common Roadside Skipper – 3

Dun Skipper – 30


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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Notes from the field: A lucky day

Wildlife biologists collar three bears in Newaygo

A female black bear crossing in front of wildlife biologist Pete Kailing’s truck.

A female black bear crossing in front of wildlife biologist Pete Kailing’s truck.

DNR wildlife biologist Pete Kailing recently had one of those days at work that he’ll never forget. “I couldn’t believe the luck we had that day,” Kailing said. “Sometimes it just feels like everything is working against you, but days like this are magic.”

Kailing is the wildlife biologist out of Big Rapids, who covers Oceana, Newaygo and Mecosta counties.

The Department of Natural Resources and Michigan State University are currently conducting a research project studying southern Michigan bear movements. Getting radio collars on bears is crucial to this study. This sounds much easier than it actually is. However, everything was in the right place recently, at the right time in northern Newaygo County.

Dwayne Etter, lead DNR research biologist out of Rose Lake, and his crew had just finished up trapping and radio-collaring a small bear nearby. Kailing had been on hand to assist in the effort, and everyone was wrapping up the successful collaring effort and headed in their own directions, when Kailing came around a curve and saw a female bear and her cub feeding in the open area.

“The two bears ran for the woods, and conveniently the cub ran up a tree,” Kailing said. “This was the perfect scenario. I quickly called Etter to tell him where I was and to get here fast.”

Trapping bears can be time-consuming—finding a good trap location, baiting the trap frequently, checking traps daily if not twice a day, and still you may not get the bear. Having a treed cub, with the sow nearby and DNR staff in the immediate area, is stroke of luck.

Kailing waited in his truck for Etter to arrive. Meanwhile, the female bear circled Kailing in his truck, and finally went up the tree with the cub.

When Etter arrived, the two were able to tranquilize the two bears, attach radio collars and gather other important information needed for the bear research project.

“In one day we had three bears collared—it was a great day,” said Kailing.

To learn more about Michigan’s bear populations, visit www.michigan.gov/bear.


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