Current year seasonal sightings from the University of Michigan-Dearborn campus as well as other locations around Dearborn. As of May 2014, if there is a survey associated with a date in the list below, the date will be a link to the checklist at eBird. Archives of previous years can be found here. For other news, sign up for our newsletter here.
19 Dec: A Northern Harrier was seen in the vicinity of the hotel at Fairlane Town Center and Michigan Avenue. We don’t have many recent records of harrier, and the grassy areas along the nearby Rouge River channel have traditionally been good for them. Pine Siskins have been seen along Fairlane Lake on campus feeding on the alders on the lakeshore.
24 Sep: White-throated Sparrows have arrived for the season.
23 Sep: The first Ruby-crowned Kinglet of fall is banded. Gray-cheeked Thrushes are now in the area, along with the more numerous Swainson’s Thrushes.
22 Sep: A Yellow-throated Vireo was seen today.
4 Sep: The shorebird habitat area mentioned below is mostly covered with water, but still had a few species present this morning: 2 Least Sandpipers, 3 Solitary Sandpipers, and one Lesser Yellowlegs.
29 Aug: The dowitcher was not seen again today, but the muddy field did have five Solitary Sandpipers and three Greater Yellowlegs, among many Killdeer. Directions below.
28 Aug: Dave Washington found a Short-billed Dowitcher in a flooded portion of the sunflower field east of the row of trees at Ford World Headquarters on Michigan Ave. This is the first confirmed Dearborn record of either dowitcher species, and brings the Dearborn checklist to 259 species. There were several other shorebird species there, including a Lesser Yellowlegs.
The muddy portion of the field can be viewed from the grassy berm along Mercury Ave; you can park across Mercury in a small lot with a green and yellow charity dumpster north of the bank. DO NOT ENTER THE SUNFLOWER FIELDS. They are Ford property and marked No Tresspassing.
27 Aug: A Philadelphia Vireo was seen in the native plantings in front of the Environmental Interpretive Center today. Sighting records in fall are few, since if they forage in dense foliage they can be difficult to identify. Most of our fall records are from banding, and we have several from late August.
9 Aug: A notable record of a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in west Dearborn today; likely an early migrant, we have only one other summer record.
18 Jul: Four Hooded Mergansers were seen today. Summer records of this species in the county and city have been increasing in recent years.
13 Jun: A male Black-throated Blue Warbler was singing near the EIC today. This is at least our third mid-June report of this species. The latest was 22 Jun 2007.
28 May: An Olive-sided Flycatcher was singing behind Fair Lane estate near the boathouse. Several Mourning Warblers were heard on campus. An Orchard Oriole was singing by the overlook at Kingfisher Bluffs behind Henry Ford College.
27 May: A Connecticut Warbler was singing sporadically on the west side of the lake in the vicinity of a large cottonwood growing right on shore. It was moving northwest.
24 May: A Summer Tanager was singing today in the woods between the EIC and the Orchard Trail.
21 May: An Acadian Flycatcher was singing today along the edge of the woods, across Fairlane Drive from the stone cottages (south of the rose garden). There is a large white-flowering tree there and the bird was singing near it.
16 May: Good numbers of mid-season migrants around — many Magnolia and Chestnut-sided Warblers, and American Redstarts — and they include increasing numbers of non-singing females. Many warblers are now in the treetops. The last couple of days has seen a good number of thrushes come in, especially Swainson’s Thrushes. Look for an occasional Gray-cheeked Thrush among them, as one was reported today. A male Eastern Bluebird by the main entrance was also a treat.
14 May: An Osprey was seen hanging around the south end of Fairlane Lake today.
9 May: The huge numbers and diversity of yesterday were mostly gone today, but there were still some good birds. A Yellow-breasted Chat at the south end of Fairlane Estate was the first here in around 8 years. A Prothonotary Warbler was along the lakeside trail (east side of lake) this morning. The first spring Swainson’s Thrush was also seen today.
8 May: As expected, the burst of warm weather resulted in a burst of migrants, with over 70 species recorded today. Nineteen species of warblers included season-firsts Northern Parula, American Redstart, Cape May, Wilson’s, and Canada. Scarlet Tanager, Red-eyed Vireo, Eastern Kingbird, Lincoln’s Sparrow, and Solitary Sandpiper were also new for the year. A Common Nighthawk calling and circling over the lake tied a new early spring date for Dearborn. A Ruby-throated Hummingbird in west Dearborn was the first of the season.
6 May: Chestnut-sided Warbler was a new arrival today.
5 May: A subtle shift in migrants is occurring, with increased numbers of Palm, Yellow, and Black-throated Green Warblers. There are fewer White-throated Sparrows, and more White-crowned Sparrows. Blackburnian Warblers were new today for the season.
4 May: Yellow-throated Vireo was a new arrival today.
2 May: New spring arrivals today include Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Wood Thrush, Yellow Warbler, Warbling Vireo, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, and Baltimore Oriole.
1 May: Least Flycatcher is a first-of-season bird today.
30 Apr: An influx of new arrivals today brought good diversity although not high numbers. Blue-headed Vireo, Great Crested Flycatcher, Gray Catbird, Nashville Warbler, and White-crowned Sparrow were all first-of-the-season species today.
29 Apr: Black-and-white Warbler and Chimney Swift were new migrants today.
28 Apr: First-of-season birds around Fairlane Lake on campus today were Spotted Sandpiper, Green Heron, Northern Waterthrush, Cliff Swallow, and Bobolink. The latter, a male singing high in a tree in the forest adjacent to the lake, tied an early spring date for Dearborn, and was radically out-of-habitat!
26 Apr: The first House Wren and Black-throated Green Warbler of spring are reported today.
20 Apr: A Palm Warbler, first of the season, was with a group of Yellow-rumped Warblers along the lake today.
19 Apr: The first Tree Swallow is seen on campus.
18 Apr: An Osprey is seen on campus, as well as a singing Pine Warbler by the lake.
17 Apr: Another (?) Bald Eagle is seen flying north over campus.
15 Apr: A Bald Eagle is seen at Michigan Ave. & Evergreen Rd.
14 Apr: The first Northern Rough-winged Swallow was seen today…just ahead of the impending snow.
11 Apr: Several new spring arrivals today: Blue-gray Gnatcatcher outside the EIC, Hermit Thrush, and two Blue-winged Teal on Fairlane Lake.
5 Apr: The first Winter Wren of the season was heard today.
2 Apr: The first Fox Sparrow of the year was singing on campus today, and the first Eastern Phoebe was at the north bridge over the Rouge River as well.
31 Mar: An adult Bald Eagle flew over campus, and an American Coot was seen at the Ford R&E ponds on Village Road and Oakwood.
28 Mar: An Eastern Bluebird was seen at the south end of campus.
22 Mar: The first American Woodcock of the season is found today, and a Ring-necked Duck was on the river.
21 Mar: Waterfowl is on the move, with a Common Merganser, a pair of Hooded Mergansers, and a Common Goldeneye seen in the Rouge River today.
18 Mar: The first Killdeer of the year arrives.
16 Mar: A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is found on campus.
5 Mar: A Peregrine Falcon was seen flying over campus.
1 Mar: The first Turkey Vulture of the season is seen over campus.
24 Feb: An immature/first cycle Glaucous Gull was flying north over campus, first campus record.
21 Feb: An immature Bald Eagle is seen over campus.
19 Feb: At least four Red-breasted Mergansers were with around 20 Common Mergansers and three Common Goldeneyes in same location as below. The water is opening up, and they may move along to the Detroit River if the warm-up continues. Two first-of-the-season Common Grackles were at a Dearborn feeder today.
17 Feb: Three Red-breasted Mergansers were with some Common Mergansers between where the Lower Rouge River meets the main river by the south bridge on campus and further downriver toward the Evergreen bridge, where there was open water. This is only the second campus record. Most records from Dearborn are from early March to late April, with two more additional records in fall.
10 Feb: A Merlin was seen perched in a sycamore tree along the Rouge River behind Fair Lane estate.
16 Jan: A Merlin was seen in a residential area near St. Hedwig Cemetery at Ford Road east of Telegraph.
1 Jan: Interesting birds found on the Christmas Bird Count included two Ruddy Ducks, one Lesser Scaup, five Greater Black-backed Gulls, and 16 Black-crowned Night-herons at the Ford Rouge Plant; and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Swamp Sparrow, Snow Bunting, and Purple Finch on or near campus. Read the highlights at our blog Net Results, and see full results here on the RRBO web site.