Driving tour features UM-Dearborn as prime birding location in the region

July 10, 2007

The UM-Dearborn Natural Areas is a prime birding location in the region, and is featured on a new "Byways to Flyways" driving tour map.

DEARBORN / July 10---The University of Michigan-Dearborn is one of 27 sites featured as a prime birding location on a new “Byways to Flyways” driving tour map of the Detroit-Windsor region.

The campus’s Rouge River Bird Observatory and Environmental Interpretive Center are noted for the 250 species of birds--including some rarities and several first state records--that have been recorded in the Natural Areas, which is one third of the campus’s 196 acres.

The map is a collaboration of the International Wildlife Refuge Alliance, Michigan Sea Grant and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, funded by Wild Birds Unlimited Inc. Pathways to Nature Program, in partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Other sites on the map include Belle Isle, Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge and Humbug Marsh, Lake Erie Metropark and Pelee Island,

Julie Craves, supervisor of avian research at the Rouge River Bird Observatory, got involved in the project at the invitation of UM-Dearborn alumna Mary Bohling, who currently works as southeast Michigan extension educator for Michigan Sea Grant and is a board member with the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge Alliance.

“Mary was a volunteer bird bander with Rouge River Bird Observatory for several years,” Craves said. “She is familiar with my work here and my knowledge of the birds of southeast Michigan, as well as with my work for the Refuge, where I've done numerous bird surveys.”

Craves helped choose some of the sites for the project and determined which bird species to include on the grid and which species were found at a number of the sites. She also contributed photographs and wrote descriptions for various categories of birds among other tasks.

UM-Dearborn’s Natural Areas is open from dawn to dusk. The Environmental Interpretive Center is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

The Byways to Flyways map is available at the Environmental Interpretive Center, online at http://www.mac-web.org/Projects/DiscoverOurWildSide/BywaysToFlyways.htm or by contacting the International Wildlife Refuge Alliance at iwr_alliance@yahoo.com.



CONTACT: Jennifer Sroka
PHONE: 313-593-5644
The Office of University Relations
Room 1040, Administration Building
University of Michigan-Dearborn