Water Wings

Fourth of July in northern Michigan is a slice of heaven. While enjoying the beauty of Lake Michigan, and inland Crystal Lake where my husband’s parents live, we’ve been witness to hundreds of breathtaking sunsets. At times, the expanse and fullness of a Lake Michigan sunset in full Technicolor, blends the horizon where water meets sky so much so that they become one.

Of course, I forgot my camera for the fireworks and missed the opportunity to capture this for you. I did however, head over to Point Betsie Lighthouse the next day (which was a bit overcast), and captured some shore birds.

Forster’s Tern – a new addition to my life list – wouldn’t alight, but I was able to capture his beauty in flight.

Foster's tern in flight
foster's tern in flight

A ringed-bill gull, however did seem to pose for me, which resulted in several photos contrasting the vibrant bird against a rusted seawall and the lively water below.

ring-billed gull on breaker
ring-billed gull on breaker at lake Michigan


Wild Birds Unlimited in Milford hosted a Raptor ‘show and tell’ a few weeks back. Raptor, Inc. in Southwest Ohio brought and displayed a Great Horned Owl, Red Tailed Hawk and baby owl – not sure which type. Raptor, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of birds of prey through rehabilitation, education and conservation.

Great Horned Owl
Red Tailed Hawk 2
Red Tailed Hawk 2
Red Tailed Hawk
Red Tailed Hawk

(I’ll have to add the baby owl picture later – on a different camera that’s not home at the moment.)

Two interesting take aways –  If you have any Raptor nest in your yard or neighborhood, contact Raptor, Inc. to let them know about it. If they are rehabilitating a baby owl, hawk or even a kestrel and you report a nest of the same type of bird, they may be able to introduce the young bird into the nest and back into nature. They said typically a mother will accept and care for it.

Second, USGS; Science for a Changing World is a federal government organization that tracks all bird banding. Although many entities band birds for research and identification purposes, you can call 1-800-327-BAND to determine when and where the bird was banded. If you do find a banded bird, it is important to contact the banding origin entity and report the status of the bird with respect to health and location. Doing so is vital to the bird research and conservation efforts of many ornithological labs as well as universities and government agencies.