top black bar Egret in flight, black bird on top chasing



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Detroit Audubon News & Events

Michigan Wolves

Detroit Audubon helped gather signatures to get these initiatives on the ballot. Voting “No” on Proposal 1 would take the wolf off the game species list, and voting “No” on Proposal 2 will repeal the law that was passed to try to circumvent our first initiative by giving the sole power to designate game species to the unelected Natural Resource Commission, whose decisions cannot be undone by a referendum. These are political appointees with no scientific expertise. The next species on their list for hunting in Michigan is the Sandhill Crane; and if they designate that species as a game species, there will be NOTHING we can do about it, unless we repeal this law by voting “No” on Proposal 2.
There have been no wolf attacks on humans in Michigan, ever! The stories about wolves on peoples’ porches not allowing them to come out, lurking around nursery schools, etc., were all made up. The State Senator who made them up had to admit that, and apologized for doing so on the State Senate floor. As for the other reason cited for the “need” for a wolf hunt—decreasing depredation on livestock—Dr. John Vucetich, one of the leading wolf scientists in the world, has demonstrated that scientific analysis of the DNR’s own data clearly shows that wolf hunting is not an effective tool to deal with the rare wolf depredations on livestock. Actually, there was a dramatic decrease in depredation before the first and only hunt, principally because of the shutdown of a single farm that was responsible for 90% of the wolf depredation reports. The owner baited wolves with animal carcasses, and was convicted of animal abuse, even starving two guard donkeys the DNR gave him to protect his livestock from wolves. It is already legal to kill individual problem wolves that are preying on livestock or threatening pets. Instead of looking for the best solution to a very rare problem, as Dr. Vucetich points out, this seems to be a case of people deciding they want to hunt wolves, and then trying to find reasons to justify that action. The real underlying reasons seem to be hatred of this species, and the desire for trophy hunting (wolves are not used for food). If these proposals pass, it would be the first time in the history of modern wildlife management that we ever decided to hunt a species based on hatred of that species. That is a giant step backwards, and we need your help to restore sanity to wildlife management in Michigan!
Click here for a summary of Dr. Vucetich's talk on Friday, Oct. 24 in Detroit, and click here to see a video of Dr. Vucetich explaining why he is voting "No."

Full Funding Secured for Educational Birding Site on the Detroit RiverWalk!
In celebration of its 75th Anniversary, Detroit Audubon, along with the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, Detroit Parks and Recreation, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce full funding of $12,000 to create an educational birding site along the Detroit RiverWalk at Gabriel Richard Park.
The site will offer wildlife spotting scopes, an interpretive panel depicting bird migration by season, and more. Educational events and other programming will also be held four times each year to promote the exceptional urban birding experiences available right in our backyard. This new feature will help reconnect people with the Detroit River to inspire a stewardship ethic and help develop the next generation of conservationists.


Cerulean Warbler by Roger Becker

Cerulean Warbler at Magee Marsh by Roger Becker


The Detroit Audubon Society serves its 6000-plus members almost exclusively through the efforts of its volunteers. As we approach our 75th anniversary, we are proud of our many accomplishments—but WE COULD DO MORE with your help.
Our volunteers are our backbone, and more support is needed. Even if you have only a couple of hours available per month, WE NEED YOU! The only qualification necessary is a desire to assist Detroit Audubon in its mission to promote the protection and enjoyment of birds and nature...
There are SO MANY opportunities for our members. There’s a spot for you. What’s your specialty? Join one of our committees (Education; Communications; Fund Raising; Marketing and Publicity; Programs; and Conservation, including Safe Passage and research initiatives). You might enjoy manning tables at shows and festivals; or how about answering phones in our Southfield office? Our annual events need your planning and coordination. You might write articles for the Flyway and/or submit your photos. Can you advise us on technology, or assist with advocacy efforts? How about developing and implementing new programs, and even serving on our Board of Directors?
If you’ve been thinking about volunteering some of your time for a wonderful cause, please contact us today, and we’ll find the perfect “fit” for you.
Your e-mail to describing your availability and your interests will be so very welcome. Join us!



Wolf Hunting will be on Michigan ballot Nov. 4th

In 2012, Governor Snyder signed a law making wolf hunting legal in Michigan. In 2013, 250,000 signatures were gathered to put wolf protection in Michigan on the November 2014 ballot.

The Michigan legislature passed Public Act 21 as an end run around this citizen initiative. The Act gave the unelected Natural Resources Commission (NRC) the authority to designate game species and hunting seasons. NRC decisions are final because, by law, commission decisions are not subject to referendum. The NRC allowed a Michigan wolf hunt in late 2013. Twenty-three wolves were killed.

Hoping to stop future wolf hunts, on March 13, 2014, the Committee to Keep Wolves Protected again filed petitions—many collected by Detroit Audubon volunteers—to place a referendum on Public Act 21 on the ballot. This referendum aims to give Michigan voters the right to decide on wolf protection and other future wildlife and conservation issues.

The campaign gathered well over the 161,305 signatures needed to qualify for the November 2014 ballot. On May 6th, the Board of State Canvassers certified the referendum.

Thus on Nov. 4th, Michiganders will have the opportunity to vote to restore their right to have a say on wildlife policy.
Note: There will be more than one wolf-related referendum on the ballot. Please read carefully when you vote, but by all means VOTE!


Passing of Fred Charbonneau

With deep sadness, the Detroit Audubon Society said goodbye to Fred Charbonneau, who passed away on April 23, 2014.

One of Detroit Audubon’s most passionate conservationists, Fred served four terms as President as well as additional terms as Vice-President Secretary and Treasurer. During those years, Fred became very active opposing a DNR initiative to build a boat launch in an undeveloped part of the then-Metro Beach Metropark, with an additional loss of parkland for a large parking lot. He assisted the “Friends of Point Rosa Marsh” to resist this effort to ruin the last remnant of undeveloped land on the U.S. side of Lake St. Clair.

Fred went on to launch the Safe Passage Great Lakes (SPGL) campaign in 2006. This ambitious program has become one of Detroit Audubon’s most successful and active conservation efforts. Under Fred’s leadership, the Safe Passage team recruited numerous high-rise building owners in southeast Michigan to turn out their lights at night during the spring and fall bird migration seasons, saving the lives of countless migratory birds that pass through our region and drawing widespread attention to the dangers faced by birds en route to their breeding grounds. Fred retired from the Board of Directors at the end of 2013, but he remained active with SPGL right up until his death.

Fred was also a wonderful birder, field trip leader, fundraiser, and leader. Unfailingly gracious and humble, he inspired all of us, and he will be sorely missed by Detroit Audubon, the southeast Michigan birding community, and the birds of North America.

A Memorial Service was held Friday, May 2 at 10:00 a.m., at Wujek-Calcaterra Funeral Home in Sterling Heights.

Dotte Charbonneau would like all to know that the family would like any donations to be made to
1.  Safe Passage Great Lakes / DAS
2. Beaumont Health System Hospice.


Ready to become a member of the Audubon Society? Right now 100% of your dues will go to Detroit Audubon Society! Just join online and select the Detroit Audubon chapter code L50 from the drop-down menu. For just $20.00, you'll become a member of both the National and Detroit Audubon societies, and receive Audubon Magazine, the FLYWAY, and invitations to all Detroit Audubon birding events. Join today!


This online guide to North American Birds features over 800 species of birds in 22 Orders and 74 families. The guide covers all of North America's regular breeding birds - as well as non-breeding species that regularly or occasionally visit North America, north of Mexico.

Click Here to use Guide


Join the Crowdrise Holiday Challenge
to raise $10,000 for the Kirtland's Warbler

Click HERE:



This is a photo of the groundbreaking for the new Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center right next to Humbug Marsh. Detroit Audubon Society Board members Jack Smiley, Richard Quick, and Jim Bull attended the ground-breaking ceremony. Detroit Audubon Society was a leader in the fight to save Humbug Marsh. It started in earnest in 1998 and culminated in not only saving Humbug, but the creation of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge which now owns and manages Humbug. Since the refuge opened, Humbug has only been open during monthly public open houses and for certain other scheduled programs and trips. Once the visitor center is completed (in two years, we're told), Humbug will be accessible every day of the year that the refuge is open.
In other good news, the facility will be Gold LEED certified by the Green Building Council and is using bird-safe glass!







More Information


Complete Field Trip Schedule

Click Here for Volunteer Opportunities



Graphic Created by Rosemarie Attilio

Graphic Created By

Rosemarie Attilio



Safe Passage

Great Lakes



Detroit Audubon’s Safe Passage Great Lakes could

use your help.

More information


ABC Bird Collision Solutions

For Home windows


Explained by Joe Bartell

Appeal to building owners

Safe Passage Flyer


New Safe Passage





The Flyway is

Going Green

Many organizations are going paperless for many good reasons, including the positive impact on the environment.

More Information

Photo by Chris Fielding

We are pleased to announce the revival of Detroit Audubon Society's education committee!

The committee is actively pursuing new avenues for DAS to educate its members and the local community. If you are interested in joining the committee, please email

Scott Roberts at

All are welcome!



Photo by Robert Epstein

Our Common Birds

are in Decline



What YOU Can Do










Read the latest Flyway



Click Here



Point Edward and Lake Huron Shore, Ontario
November 8, 2014 (Saturday) all day starting at 8:30 a.m.
Leader: Jim Bull

The focus is on water birds and early winter arrivals. This all-day trip historically turns up great birds. We will stop at a restaurant for lunch.

For directions, go to:


Memorial Weekend
Nature Get-Away:
A Kid's View

by Sophia Jachman


Point Pelee 2013
y Lee Burton


Support DAS with
your Kroger card


More articles and
book reviews here


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Copyright 2006 Detroit Audubon. All rights reserved. Egret Photo Credit: James N. Bull. Site Design: Allen Licari- Tellus Networks

Udated: October 28, 2014 8:00