Piping plover, Kirtland’s warbler populations up in Michigan

USFWS Photos (left) - Kirtland's warbler (right) - Piping Plover

LANSING, MI (AP) – Officials say prospects are improving for two of Michigan’s endangered bird species.

Field Operations Manager Keith Kintigh of the Department of Natural Resources says populations of Great Lakes piping plovers and Kirtland’s warblers have increased this year.

The plovers are migratory shorebirds with nesting grounds in Michigan. In 1983, the state had only 13 breeding pairs. This year, 58 nests were found in Michigan. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore had the most.

The Kirtland’s warbler nests mainly in young jack pine forests in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula. Only 167 singing males were found in 1987. A survey this year turned up 2,344 singing males in Michigan and 21 in Wisconsin and Ontario. Scientists believe there’s a female for every singing male.

Two years ago, 2,025 males were recorded.

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