Featured Species

Kirtland’s Warbler Wildlife Management Area exists to help the Kirtland’s warbler. Jack pine barrens are critical habitat for the warbler and many other species. Because Kirtland’s warblers prefer a very specific age group of jack pine trees the forests are divided into three categories. Sort of like Goldilocks, the warbler is very picky about where it lives. Too young or too old and the warbler will not use the forest. The young jack pine forests (4 to 25 years old) are just right.  

Each forest age is associated with a different wildlife community. Young jack pine forests are not only critical habitat for the Kirtland’s warbler but home to other birds such as the Nashville warbler, eastern towhee, brown thrasher and alder flycatcher. Very young jack pine forests (4 years or younger) provide habitat for indigo buntings, eastern bluebirds, field and Lincoln’s sparrows and black-billed cuckoo. While old jack pine forests (25 years and older) provide habitat for black-backed woodpeckers, spruce grouse, olive-sided flycatchers, eastern wood-pewees, hermit thrushes, ovenbirds, rose-breasted grosbeaks, red-breasted nuthatches, red-eyed vireos, black-capped chickadees, chipping sparrows and mourning doves. 

The Kirtland's warbler is a songbird that nests in young jack pine stands. Until 1995 Kirtland's warblers had only been known to nest in the northern part of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. Today, they also nest in the Upper Peninsula, Wisconsin and Canada. They migrate from their nesting grounds to...

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