Michigan's small-game hunting seasons on ruffed grouse, rabbits and hares, and squirrels opens on Wednesday, woodcock season on Sept. 25. The state has a few reminders for hunters.
Those who plan to pursue woodcock are reminded they must have a federal Harvest Information Program endorsement on their small-game licenses. The endorsement, which is free, will say "Migratory Bird Hunter - Yes" and appear printed on the license. Hunters who purchase a waterfowl license are automatically enrolled.
Grouse season runs through Nov. 14 and reopens Dec. 1 through Jan. 1. The daily bag limit is five in the northern two-thirds of the state, three in southern Michigan. Rabbit and hare season runs through March 31. The daily bag limit is five.
Squirrel season runs through March 1. The daily bag limit is five. For other details, visit online at michigan.gov/dnre.
The 17th annual banquet weekend of Black Swamp Bird Observatory of Oak Harbor is set for Sept. 17 through 19 and will highlight birds and butterflies.
This weekend event begins at 8 p.m. Friday at the observatory headquarters, 13551 West State Route 2, at the entrance to Magee Marsh Wildlife Area.
A program called "moth madness; the butterflies of the night," is scheduled with the Ohio Lepidopterists. The plan is to use moth bait and specialized lights to lure in moths and other nocturnal insects for close views.
On the 18th at 10 a.m. Kenn Kaufman's shorebird identification workshop and education fund-raiser is set for Our Guest Inn & Suites in Port Clinton.
The annual BSBO Saturday evening banquet begins with a social hour at 5 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Port Clinton. The evening will feature renowned butterfly researcher Robert Michael Pyle as keynote speaker.
The weekend finale is a guided bird and butterfly walk at Kitty Todd Preserve in western Lucas County on Sept. 19 at 8:30 a.m. led by Pyle, Kaufman, and representatives of the Ohio Lepidopterists and Toledo Naturalists' Association.
It is an opportunity to spend the morning in a unique natural habitat with some of the country's leading butterfly and bird experts.
BSBO is the outfit that helped bring 50,000 birders to Ottawa County last spring for the Biggest Week In American Birding. Reservations are required. Event and registration information can be found at bsbobird.org, by phone at 419-898-4070, or by e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In related news, BSBO on Saturdays this fall will offer free songbird banding and migration programs and the opportunity to see migrating birds up close.
The bird banding programs will demonstrate the methods used at the observatory's nearby Navarre Bird Banding Station, one of the busiest banding stations in the country. The Navarre Bird Banding Station has been monitoring bird migration for nearly 25 years and has banded over 500,000 individual birds to date.
Researchers capture birds using soft mist nets. The birds are then fitted with lightweight, individually numbered aluminum leg bands. Data are collected for each bird including species, age, sex, body condition, and weight, and then the birds are released unharmed.
The bird banding demonstrations will be offered tomorrow and Sept. 25, Oct. 2, and Oct. 9 from 10 to 11 a.m. at the BSBO nature center.
As migration progresses, each week will present an opportunity to view exciting new species, learn identification pointers, and appreciate the bird observatory's conservation work. Participants are encouraged to bring a camera for taking outstanding close-up songbird photos.
The Western Basin Sportfishing Association will sponsor a discussion on the status of Lake Erie fisheries at a public meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Green Springs fire station, 120 Catherine St., in Green Springs, southeast of Fremont. A pizza supper is set for 6 p.m.
Scheduled speakers include Travis Hartman, a fisheries biologist with the Ohio Division of Wildlife, discussing the 2010 trawl surveys for walleye, perch, and smallmouth bass. Also on the schedule is Justin Chaffin, a graduate student at the University of Toledo who has been involved in Lake Erie water quality studies for several years. He will discuss the large algae blooms this year on Lake Erie and several inland lakes.
Also, the 13th annual Walk with Sunshine is set for tomorrow, beginning with a 5K walk-run-roll from Monclova Primary School, 8035 Monclova Rd. at 8:30 a.m.
Author Jeff Alt, who wrote A Walk for Sunshine about his 2,160-mile adventure on the Appalachian Trail, will host the event then hike into Perrysburg Books-A-Million at Levis Commons for a book fair and signing from 1 to 5 p.m. Alt dedicated the charity hike to his brother, who has cerebral palsy. Register online for the 5K at firstgiving.com/wws.
Contact Steve Pollick at: