Hey Bird Nerds! The weather may still be cold. There is still a chill in the air, however, these birds are signaling the arrival of Spring. MLIVE reports that spring migration is underway and you'll be seeing more of these Michigan birds which indicates the arrival of warmer weather to come. 

The Red-Winged Black bird can be found in cattail marshes and wet drainage ditches along the roadside. After their long trek north, they'll be hungry so you might see them at backyard bird feeders. Some of their favorite feeder snacks include black-oil sunflower seeds, cracked corn, and peanut hearts.

Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash

The Sandhill Crane is making its return from Mexico and Cuba. In Michigan, they can be found in wet meadows, marshy areas and agricultural fields. You can hear them calling overhead as they fly by.

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Turkey Vultures fly in large groups called "kettels". Sometimes you even can catch them congregating and circling overhead in pockets of hot air as they travel through the area. You might see them picking at roadkill too.

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Not all bald eagles leave Michigan for the winter but the ones that do, return early. Head to lakes, rivers or other bodies of water and see if you can spot them getting comfy in their sedan-sized nests, which can weigh up to 1,000 pounds. Some have already begun breeding.

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Bringing a warm and cheerful sound to the outdoors, Michigan is home to many sparrows. The Sparrow can be found at the edges of marshes and in overgrown fields, where you’ll probably hear them before you see them. You can hear The Sparrow here.

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It may be one of the first birds you hear this spring, The Killdeer makes alot of noise. Typically shorebirds, Killdeer are commonly found in Michigan on wide-open landscapes including lawns, fields, golf courses, and parking lots, not necessarily near water.

Photo by Pablo García Saldaña on Unsplash

Unless you head to a wet meadow or field at dusk in early spring and listen for the male’s unmistakable, buzzing courtship calls, you might miss the American Woodcock. This is one of the first birds to return to Michigan each Spring but the bird keeps a low daytime profile making it hard to see. The Woodcock does create an aerial display in which the bird spirals upward 200–350 feet in the air before tumbling downwards.

For more resources on birds and birding in Michigan, visit Audubon.org  If you'd like to try to learn how to identify different bird calls, you can do that here.