Kirtland’s Warbler update


Michigan, Wisconsin and Ontario are home to the rare Kirtland's Warbler. Photo: Joel Trick, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

In May Echo reported that the rare Kirtland’s Warbler population had increased for a seventh consecutive year in 2009.

The bird is only found in Michigan, Wisconsin and Ontario. There are about 4,000 individuals worldwide.

But the unofficial 2010 census count shows that the population decreased to 1,758 males. Last year the count was 1,826.

For every male counted, experts assume there is a female to match.

But Chris Mensing, a fish and wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, doesn’t seem too worried about the recent drop.

“The decline in our count does not appear to be that significant. We know that the census is more an estimate than an exact count, so going down a few birds isn’t something we are immediately concerned about,” he wrote in an e-mail.

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