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  • Writer's pictureWilliam Rapai

A Kirtland's Warbler was found where? Part 2

The lazy days of summer may be over for us humans in the Northern Hemisphere, but for birds, fall is the time to be lazy.


Spring migration is a rush north because there are breeding territories to establish, mates to lure, nests to build and mouths to feed. Fall migration, on the other hand, is a chance to do a little sightseeing.


A couple of weeks ago, we reported on a Kirtland's Warbler being found in migration in a particularly surprising spot -- on a small island off the coast of Maine. Today we bring you another sighting of a Kirtland's Warbler in migration that's not as surprising but, yeah, kinda is.


Last Friday, a Kirtland's Warbler was found in downtown Detroit. It's only the ninth Kirtland's recorded in Wayne County.


The bird spent Friday bopping around the rose garden in front of the Detroit Athletic Club, in the median of Madison Avenue and a block away in Harmonie Park. It was seen again -- by several birders -- on Saturday. Then it disappeared until this morning, when it magically reappeared.


Birders are reporting the KW is actively feeding in the trees along Madison Avenue and East Grand River Avenue. One birder reported it eating yew berries. (Thank you, Andy.)


Let's face it, the streets of downtown Detroit aren't exactly hospitable for migrating birds. There's lots of vehicle traffic and noise. There are lots of parking lots in the area, particularly along Madison. Comerica Park is right around the corner so in the evening there will be lots of activity with people going to Tigers games. The streets are highly lit at night, so it's not exactly a place where a bird can get a good night's sleep. Oh, and there are also rats and Peregrine Falcons to worry about.


But birds are opportunists and for some, downtown Detroit is an oasis. One of our friends used to work in the federal courthouse in downtown Detroit and spent his lunch hours birding up and down Washington Boulevard and Hart Plaza. He'd find all kinds of unusual birds in migration, particularly in the fall.

Hopefully, this Kirtland's will end up enjoying his time in the big city. We hope he stays as long as he wants and has a safe trip to The Bahamas.


And we know that it goes without saying, but we'll say it anyway: Hurry back!


Image (below) of the Detroit Athletic Club from Google Maps.


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