One of the draws of the Great Lakes to me are birds. These magical creatures provide endless delight and my mother-heart wants to protect and cherish them all. Neotropical migrants such as the American Redstart hold special interest. So during my lake circles over the next five years I plan to see as many birds as possible as well visit organizations and places dedicated to birds, their conservation, and research. As I prepare for my Lake Superior circle tour this year I am researching and planning to visit highlights such as Whitefish Point Bird Observatory in Paradise, Michigan and Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory in Duluth. As this blog gains some traction I am hoping readers will share their favorite not-to-be missed birding places around the Great Lakes.
In the meantime, as an artist, I really like Etsy. Today I happened upon this lovely digital collage image of a Japanese crane on Etsy with all proceeds going to Red Cross for Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief. So purchasing this collage–which is an archival giclee print on watercolor paper–is a wonderful win-win of art and doing good. The crane symbolizes longevity and was believed to carry the soul to the afterlife. The International Crane Foundation (ICF) happens to be in the Great Lakes basin in Baraboo, Wisconsin (northwest of Madison) so check out their amazing work on behalf of cranes. Although the ICF will be a little out of my way, I plan to stop in on my Lake Michigan circle tour in 2012.
The Great Lakes Commission has put together a Birds of the Great Lakes Region page on the Great Lakes Information Network. I’ll be adding links to bird sites and information as well as other creatures over time.