Program: Challenges Migratory Birds Face While Navigating a Changing Landscape
Presenter: Dr. Jen Owen, Associate Professor, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, MSU
In 2018, Dr. Owen initiated and led efforts to repurpose the former MSU Muck Soils Research Farm, into an ecological research center – the Corey Marsh Ecological Research Center or CMERC, which is dedicated to natural resources research, education, and community engagement. Additionally, Owen directs the Michigan State Bird Observatory that runs two long term migratory bird banding stations in mid-Michigan, the Burke Lake and Corey Marsh Banding Stations. She and her students are currently studying how variation in habitat quality and access to adequate food affects a bird’s ability to meet the demands of the migratory period. Additionally, they are dedicated to connecting people of all ages to nature through the wonder and beauty of migratory birds. ?
Details: Two-part Program
Tour: September 13 - 8:30 a.m. at the Corey Marsh Ecological Research Center. Suggestion: Bring insect repellent.
We are pleased to provide an on-site tour of the Corey Marsh Ecological Research Center bird banding station where we will be able to see how researchers conduct research on migratory songbirds with opportunities to see the birds in the hand. Bird-banding will be demonstrated. To be there at an appropriate time to observe bird banding, the tour will start at 8:30 a.m. Additionally, Dr. Owen will share background on how the former MSU Muck Soils Research Farm became the Corey Marsh Ecological Research Center, and the vision for the center’s future. We plan to have coffee and cookies available to get us off to a good start.
Dinner/Program: September 13 – 6:00 pm Fellowship; 6:30 pm Dinner at Okemos Masonic Center, 2175 Hamilton Rd. Okemos
Dr. Owen will give a presentation about her group's research on migratory landbirds that stopover in mid-Michigan to rest and refuel as they journey south to their wintering areas each fall. Migration is an exceptionally challenging period in a bird's annual cycle and the ability to find suitable stopover habitat with adequate food resources is critical for a successful migration. In the fall, native fruits are an important source of nutrition for migratory landbirds; however, native shrubs are increasingly being replaced by non-native and invasive fruit-bearing shrubs. Owen will share what birds eat during migration and insight into what fruit-bearing plants are best for attracting birds to your own backyard.
Masks and Covid
We have carefully considered the current Covid conditions and even with vaccine, encourage you to feel free to mask up at the tour. Based on discussions with lodge meal coordinators, it will be necessary to wear masks at the evening gathering except during the actual meal. This will assist in achieving maximum safety while in attendance. Since the events scheduled are at different times of the day, it is not likely everyone will be able to participate in both the tour and evening program. Please come to the events that work for you.
Tour Location & Directions
The Corey Marsh Ecological Research Center is located at 9422 Herbison Road, Laingsburg MI 48848.
Suggestions for Getting There (Plan Ahead) Please try to be on time.
The easiest way is to use your GPS from wherever you are starting using the above address. If you don’t have a GPS, consider going to Mapquest.com and get directions using your starting address and the location address above. Or consider the following:
Get on “Old M-78” that parallels I-69 Northeast of Haslett and turn north at Upton Rd.
Go north on Upton to Clark Rd.
Turn east on Clark until it joins Peacock Rd on a big curve. Peacock is a gravel road that goes straight north as Clark curves to the east.
Take Peacock Rd. north to Herbison Rd.
Turn left onto Herbison Rd. (which is also gravel) at the Corey Marsh Center sign and travel west almost ½ mile until you reach the Research Center which will be on your left.