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Tag Archive | "wildlife viewing"

Be on the lookout for sandhill cranes, elk and more

Photo courtesy of US Fish and Wildlife Service 
The sandhill crane stops in lower Michigan
before heading to the southern states. 

Chilly October mornings are a great opportunity for wildlife viewing in Michigan. Walking through the dew-covered grasses toward a marsh edge, you might come across the prehistoric-looking sandhill crane. Or perhaps, just before dusk in the Pigeon River Country State Forest, you’ll hear the bellowing bugle of a bull elk.

Throughout the season, sandhill cranes migrate farther south for the winter but take respite in Michigan’s lower counties before the next leg of their journey to southern states. Standing 5 feet tall with 6-foot wingspans and unmistakable bright red heads, they are a stunning sight. Sandhill cranes can be found feeding on seeds and grains in agricultural fields or browsing on wetland plants, insects and amphibians in marshlands throughout Jackson and Washtenaw counties. For more on these birds and where to view them, visit this Michigan Audubon webpage at https://tinyurl.com/y5vw7jfr.

A wild elk herd resides in the Pigeon River Country State Forest near Gaylord, and they become more active as mating season nears. 
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

In the depths of the Pigeon River Country State Forest near Gaylord resides Michigan’s wild elk herd. As the breeding season approaches, elk are more active and can be seen in forest openings, the males bugling for attention from females and working to establish dominance over other suitors. There are 13 elk viewing areas throughout the Pigeon, providing optimal opportunities to watch the herd. To find viewing areas and plan your trip, check out the elk viewing guide at https://tinyurl.com/y2yg9dvx.

Fall is breeding and migration season for many wildlife species, so animals are on the move. Make the most of it by visiting Michigan.gov/Wildlife for information on trails, times and areas to improve your chances for a successful viewing experience.

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