Warbler Watch Endangered Michigan bird finds winter home in Bahamas
Dave Ewert's Bahamas tan may have subsided, but he remains sunny about the prospects for the endangered Kirtland's warbler
The tiny blue/grey-and-yellow bird breeds exclusively in Michigan. It's numbers have steadily increased to 1,202 breeding pairs, a more than six-fold increase from the low of 167 breeding pairs in 1987. The rebound is due to protection under the law and the work of state and federal land managers who now manage 150,000 acres of jackpine forest for the bird.
But what makes Ewert smile as the director of conservation science for the Nature Conservancy in Michigan, is that researchers are finally beginning to get a handle on the bird's whereabouts while it winters in the Bahamas and that the bird may be developing some important friends on those islands.