August 1 through November, 2013
Compiled by: David Peters, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
A total of 243 species from the Michigan Bird List were reported in the SBA this autumn, continuing the recent above average trend. This report lists each of these species, along with the highest reported individual count for each, first and last dates as applicable, and the SBA counties in which each was noted. The exception to this is Trumpeter Swan. Per request of the state seasonal compiler, all records submitted for this species are, in general, listed. From an overall area perspective, observer effort was very good in terms of coverage for all species. However, an abnormal number of counties had less than complete coverage, or at least the reports from these counties were less than complete in terms of coverage from waterfowl to finches and everything in between. The total number of active observers submitting records was somewhat reduced. This is reflected in the report by the fact that only a handful of observers are responsible for the bulk of the sightings. Sightings posted on the SBB.org migration update made up a higher than average portion of the report this season. The possibility exists that to some extent, electronic listing is gradually eroding participation as well. More likely still, is the possibility that electronic listing is hindering the addition of new observers, wherein potential new members of the SBA birding community dump their trip list in eBird and are done with it. There is room for more discussion of this topic, possibly in the Birds in the SBA Winter ’13-‘14 summary. This autumn was not without its share of new SBA records, with six new all-time peak counts being recorded, and seven new fall late dates. Interestingly, the former were all for water-dependent birds, the later all for insect-dependent songbirds. Three Michigan Review List species were reported. There were no comments submitted by observers as far as conditions, specific / overall trends, etc. The compiler noted that in Saginaw County at least, an abundant supply of fruit of nearly all types was available this autumn for frugivores, and most of this remained, conspicuously un-eaten, at season’s end. With the exception of Snowy Owls, the later weeks of the season provided no indication that species which visit the state in winter on a less than annual basis, will occur in the coming season in any significant diversity or numbers.
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