About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Swainson’s Thrushes are killed in greater numbers than any other bird species

Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Some birds passing through in the fall, as they migrate south, may look similar to our common little brown House Sparrows. But keep your eyes open. Many birds migrate at night. If we've had a nice wind pushing south you may wake up to see some different birds, that were riding the winds, stop by to rest and recuperate under the feeders or at the bath.

Some get in to trouble navigating through the human domain. If you are unsure about a bird acting strangely call a rehabilitator for advice. Only licensed wildlife rehabilitators may possess abandoned or injured wildlife. A list of licensed rehabilitators can be found by visiting http://www.michigandnr.com/dlr/ or by calling your local DNR office.

Our local Nottingham Nature Nook just received a new guest that was having trouble walking. A caring individual took the time to see that something wasn't right and took action. He thought it was a sparrow but it turned out to be a Swainson’s Thrush.  It is a beautiful brown bird a little larger than a sparrow but smaller than a robin. These medium-brown birds with pale underparts have spotted chests and large buffy eyerings that extend in front of the eye, creating “spectacles.”

Swainson’s Thrushes breed way up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and even further north in Canada. They winter way down in Central and northern South America. Swainson’s Thrushes are a common species, but their population has declined about 38% between 1966 and 2014, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. During spring and fall migration, significant numbers of Swainson’s Thrushes die from collisions with windows, radio and cell-phone towers, and tall buildings. (For more on the dangers of lights to migrating birds, visit the Fatal Light Awareness Program.) Studies of bird deaths at communications towers in Minnesota, Illinois, and West Virginia revealed that Swainson’s Thrushes were killed in greater numbers than any other bird species.

 Below are a few local numbers to call for help:
  • East Lansing, MI ♦ 517.351.7304 ♦ Cheryl Connell-Marsh ♦ birds and small animals
  • Lansing, MI ♦ 517-646-9374 ♦ Tiffany Rich ♦ white tailed deer, squirrels, raccoons; Vet. Tech. on center.
  • DeWitt, MI ♦ 517.930-0087 ♦ Wildside Rehab and Education Center ♦ birds and small animals
  • Eaton Rapids, MI ♦ 517-663-6153 ♦ Wildside Rehab and Education Center ♦ birds and small animals
  • Holt, MI ♦ 517-694-9618 ♦ Carolyn Tropp cctropp@aol.com ♦ Waterfowl, small birds and mammals
  • Howell, MI ♦ 517-548-5530 ♦ Howell Conference and Nature Center ♦ All wild animals except bats, skunks, starlings, raccoons, pigeons, or house sparrows.
  • Bath, MI ♦ 517-819-0170 (day) 517-641-6314 (evening) ♦ Denise Slocum ♦ Small mammals 
And if you are outside of Michigan:

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