On Saturday, May 6, 2023, the Kirtland’s Warbler Alliance (KWA) is hosting a Jack Pine Planting Day in partnership with MUCC’s On the Ground (OTG) program, Huron Pines, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Join us in planting jack pines to improve Kirtland’s warbler habitat in Crawford County.
In October 2019, the Kirkland’s warbler was removed from the endangered species list and has become one of the most recent conservation success stories. These rare warblers are tied solely to the health of a particular habitat, jack pine forests. Jack pines are unique as they rely on wildfires to maintain their ecosystems. The heat from fire opens their cones allowing the seeds to be released and spread by the wind. Kirtland’s warblers are ground nesters and find critical nesting sites among the bases of young jack pine trees where the soil is well-draining and protected from flooding.
In the 1980s, the warbler population had dropped to just under 200 breeding pairs in the wild due to fire suppression practices and invasive cowbirds. With conservation practices such as jack pine plantings and prescribed burns the Kirtland’s warbler has made a comeback. You can help Kirtland’s warblers by volunteering to plant jack pines on May 6! To register for this event click HERE.