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Trail Birds

Macomb Orchard Trail Birds

Take a winter walk on the Macomb Orchard trail. Discover beautiful trail birds.  From the hairy woodpecker to the many colorful finches.  The trail is a paradise of winged wonder. The best days are when the sun is hidden and a fresh snow fall has powdered the path. This is the time when you will see many of our feathered friends in the woodlands that outline the path.

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Winter on Macomb Orchard Trail

The Macomb Orchard tail is a 24 mile long nature park. Its paved linear path is perfect for walking, hiking running and biking. The path was build on the footprint of the Canadian National Railway, from 24 Mile Road and Dequindre in Shelby Township to the northeast City of Richmond.

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Snow Arch on Macomb Orchard Trail, Washington Michigan Trail Bird

 

Trail Bird Friends – Hairy Wood Pecker

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Male Hairy Woodpecker Macomb Orchard Trail, Washington Michigan Trail Bird

Trail Bird Friends  – Red Male Cardinal

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Winter Cardinal on Macomb Orchard Trail, Washington Michigan Trail Bird

Trail Bird Friends  – Female Cardinal

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Female Cardinal on Macomb Orchard Trail, Washington Michigan Trail Bird

Trail Bird Friends  – The House Finch

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House Finch on the Macomb Orchard Trail, Washington Michigan Trail Bird

Trail Bird Friends  – The House Sparrow

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House Sparrow on the Macomb Orchard Trail, Washington Michigan Trail Bird

Trail Bird Friends  – The Red Finch

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House Finch on the Macomb Orchard Trail, Washington Michigan Trail Bird

Trail Birds Friends – The White-breasted Nuthatch

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Red Finch on the Macomb Orchard Trail, Washington Michigan Trail Bird

 

Trail Birds Friends – The White-breasted Nuthatch

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White – Breasted Nuthatch on the Macomb Orchard Trail, Washington Michigan Trail Bird

Trail Birds Friends- The Mourning Dove

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Mourning Doves on the Macomb Orchard Trail, Washington Michigan Trail Bird

Trail Bird Friends – The American Gold Finch

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American Gold Finch on the Macomb Orchard Trail, Washington Michigan Trail Bird

Of course the Macomb Orchard Trail is also known to have a few Hawks, known as birds of prey. As their idea of a snack is sometimes one of our other feathered friends.

Trail Bird Friends- The Red Tailed Hawk

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Red Tailed Hawk on the Macomb Orchard Trail, Washington Michigan Trail Bird

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My time with the Michigan Elk

The Native American people call Elk,  “Wapiti”, or “light colored deer”.
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I had the pleasure to spend a day with a large Michigan Elk herd near Gaylord, Michigan in May. I found the entire herd to be very accepting of my human form and camera. I was careful not to get too close and risk a possible charge. The Elk are very large (350 to 900 lbs) animals with their backs well over my shoulder and with a full set of antlers I would say they would be 7-9ft off of the ground. If they decided to charge I could not out run them, so I was happy to see that they accepted me with only mild curiosity.

If I approached too close, I was given the nervous lick, that let me know that I had stepped into the danger zone, at that point I slowly backed up till the licking of the lips stopped.

I did not get to see the full set of antlers on the bull (Male) elk, as the elk lose their antlers each March and start to grow them back in May. By late summer they will grow full size antlers (up to 4ft above the head), in time for the late summer breeding season. I did see a few of the bull elk that had a fresh set of sprouting horns covered in new velvet.

I was honored several times with some of the bull elks lifting their heads to bugle.  The sound is surprisingly loud. It definitely gets the attention of his females in the harem.

All of the elk currently in Michigan, are the result of repopulation. Michigan’s native elk disappeared around 1875. Today it is estimated that Michigan has 900+ elks in the wild, and managed with a limited number of hunting permits.

One of the greatest honors as a photographer is being accepted by a wild animal and being able to photograph them in their native environment.  This was one of the great moments in the May photo adventure.
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