There's a new picture book called "Ruby's Birds," and the bird life in it looks a lot like what you might find in Battle Creek. Ruby and her babysitter go to the park to look for a migrating golden-winged warbler. On the way, they encounter 13 other species that you are likely to see in urban environments, and I'm happy to report that I have observed all of these birds—including the warbler--in Battle Creek. Get a jump on the Love Where You Live Summer Challenge by taking a look at some of our local birds!
By downtown Willard Library, you're likely to find nesting brown-headed cowbirds, Baltimore orioles, American robins, European starlings, mourning doves, house finches, house sparrows, and of course the roof-top rock pigeons on Clara's. If you are lucky, you might spot our one of our resident peregrine falcons. (If you are one of the pigeons, you would not consider such a sighting to be lucky.)
At the Helen Warner Branch of Willard Library, you might also find a great egret or a great blue heron on the pond, plus soaring hawks.If you walk along the edge of the "backyard" there, you'll find all sorts of songbirds in the trees and bushes.
At Kellogg Community College, you'll find nesting killdeer by their new athletic center, plus red-winged blackbirds, common grackles, Canada geese (and goslings!), mallards, and many songbirds on their Kolb Park trail.
Woodland Park and Nature Preserve, the site of Willard's recent Forest Therapy Walk, is one of the best places in Calhoun County for migrating birds like warblers, vireos, and thrushes, plus it hosts a pair of nesting trumpeter swans and a heronry with at least eight pairs of great blue herons.
Learn more about our local bird life at Celebrate Urban Birds or by attending the next outing of our local Audubon chapter, Battle Creek Brigham Audubon.
You also may check out a "Birdwatching Maker Kit" from Willard Library's lower level, complete with binoculars, a monocular telescope that can attach to your smartphone for taking pictures, an electronic bird song identifier, and a shared Recent Bird Sighting Journal to see what other people spotted in our area and share what birds you found. And, of course, you are always welcome to stop by Willard for a chat with the director!