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Welcome to the Pine River Review. Our sight is dedicated to our little homestead located along the Pine River tucked inside the Chippewa Nature Center's 1400 Acres of wild in Michigan's lower penninsula. We love to share our pictures, video, comment, and our own homespun music. Step inside our world as we celebrate this beautiful nook!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

World Bird Wednesday XLVI


 More Then Meets the Eye

Autumn is in full swing along the banks of the Pine River, the birds are massing in great flocks taking advantage of the harvest season to bulk up for the long flights south, temperatures are slipping into the low forties as the night hours lengthen bringing a early end to our apple picking and leaf raking chores. It is a unimaginably golden world we make our way through. The agreement between green leaf and sun to partake in the sacrament known by the awkward word "photosynthisis" is quickly coming to it's fiery conclusion. It would be well if you were with me to see the kalaidiscope of color with your own eyes. My trips into the wetlands are equally as beautiful. I am waiting to see the giant flocks of geese that are even now making there way to Shiawassee refuge. I have never seen a snow goose and if I read the pamphlets correctly that oversight will be corrected a thousand times over very soon. I have had good looks at pairs of trumpeter swans resting in the marsh and flights of Sandhill cranes popping up unexpectedly on the stubble fields, there finding plenty of left overs to keep them happy after our farmers have taken in the crops. Between the blowing leaves, Wild turkey and deer bombing back and forth across the road, along with the ultimate distraction of the spectacular red, orange, and yellow hardwoods I'm having trouble keeping my car in it's own lane. 


On the shores of Lake Huron I spied a group of Black-bellied plovers in their non-breeding molt working the shore line. They are powerful fliers capable of scooting along at 50mph even in the face of a strong head wind. Their breeding grounds skirt the rim of the Arctic ocean where the plover may lay 1 to 5 eggs. Remarkably, the newly hatch Black-bellied plovers are able to feed themselves within a days time and are ready to take to the air in about three weeks. These birds are long lived in the wild with life spans in the neighborhood of 20 years. This 11 inch shorebirds halting stutter step as it patrols the beach and its bulbous profile give no hint that in the air it's 27 inch wingspan can support nonstop migratory flights figuring thousands of miles. The inset picture shows the Black-bellied plover in it's more distinctive breeding plumage.

I have been reading recently about the "Market Hunters" that harvested wild game in the 1800's all through North America. There was a huge market for anything from bears to frogs and nearly everything in between that might feed the 76 million hungry mouths that populated turn of the century America. There was no season and no bag limit. The inexpensive meat was iced or salted and sent by rail to the cities where it was sold to the poor or prepared in wild game restaurants. So efficient were the killing methods developed, the disseminated flocks of avian life and throngs of wild beasts nearly vanished in a unthinkable cataclysm. If not for the efforts of naturalists and enlightened hunters in the waining moments of the 19th century much of our glorious native wild life would be nothing more than faded pictures on the pages of century old field guides and hunting magazines. The Migratory Bird Act of 1918 put an end to the slaughter of shorebirds like the plovers. The concept that natures treasurers were finite and belonged to nature and not to man's arrogant consumptive whims was revolutionary. I shudder to think, what if this new mindset had not caught on?

Now it's time for World Bird Wednesday!

This is the home of World Bird Wednesday. A place for bird photographers from around the world to gather and share their photographs and experiences as they pursue Natures most beautiful treasurers, the birds.

World Bird Wednesday will be open for posting at 12 noon Tuesday EST North America through midnight on Wednesday.

#1. Simply copy the above picture onto your W.B.W. blog entry, it contains a link for your readers to share in the fun. Or, you can copy this link on to your blog page to share WBW.

#2. Come to The Pine River Review on Tuesday Noon EST North America through Wednesday midnight and submit your blog entry with Linky.

#3. Check back in during the course of the next day and explore these excellent photoblogs!

The idea of a meme is that you will visit each others blogs and perhaps leave a comment to encourage your compadres!

Come on it's your turn!


  1. The running cranes made me laugh out loud - they are elegant in flight and when they stand or walk, but not in between.
    The plovers are beautiful birds, in both plumages.

  2. oooohhhhh my, those running cranes, too funny. great captures today, i love them all!!

  3. LOVE your header photo most of all! good luck spotting the snow geese flocks! i've only seen them overhead - never landed. :)

  4. Springman, Wonderful shots, as expected! I'm certainly glad governments stepped in, in the nick of time!
    We have a yearly migration of huge numbers of Snow Geese, right on the coast. Last years flock was estimated at over 100,000 birds. It was a sight to behold, and the noise they made was absolutely deafening and wonderful!

  5. Lovely images and another wonderful essay.
    The Whooper Swans and Pink-footed Geese will soon be here in their thousands... a wonderful sight.

  6. Another very interesting post, Springman, I liked you description of your autumn season but it was the description and photos of the Plovers that sent me back to my reference books. I found that what you call the Black-bellied Plover is known out here in Australia as the Grey Plover. One of my books says that their distribution is "virtually cosmopolitan"!

  7. Wonderful shots and interesting post, Springman! The foliage colors are just beginning to change here and it looks to be a beautiful fall season.
    BTW, that header shot is fantastic!

  8. I shudder to think of what might have been too Dave. I fear that because of the economic woes of the world, we may be heading, once again. away from environmental concern toward the raping of the planet. I hope not.


    Your photos of the Black-bellied Plovers are incredible and thank you for all the great information on those little guys!

    Oh yeah, the header with the Great Egret and the bug, priceless!

  9. Great post and I love your dream shot (my dream) header photo.

  10. Good evening everyone and welcome to WBWXLVI.
    I understand non-blogger users are having trouble posting comments. That will never do. I will try using this full page form style to see if it helps out. If there continues to be a problem please give me a shout at so I can continue to trouble shoot the problem.
    Ok, back to your lovely blogs!

  11. Well written. It all sounds so beautiful. It has been a long time since I have seen sandhill cranes. love them. gorgeous photos as always. I saw my first black-bellied plover this year a few weeks ago. I have some shots, but mine are a bit pixel-ated. Your photos are so crisp! I, too, can not imagine what it would be like if the senseless slaughter of birds had not stopped!

  12. Love the plover pics! My bird for WWW is just a story--got to see my first Great Grey Owl a week or so ago! Yea! And I totally hear you about keeping it between the lines this time of year. Can't wait to be back to "real fall" in the Midwest.

  13. Springman, Thanks for your info on the killing years. Sadly...we still have a few ignorant SOB's that still think it is just fine to kill native birds.Grrr
    Outstanding shots...BTW.:)

  14. The cranes are awesome, not mention the egret in your header!
    As usually love your post ans many thanks for sharing:)

  15. How do you catch things catching things??? Your photos as always, are spectacular and the running cranes put a real smile on my face.

  16. Great in-shot flight of the plover! Also as soon as I told you our colors weren't changing yet a few weeks ago, I swear within minutes they did! Now of course the colors are poppin!

  17. Another eloquent post, Springman!I so much enjoy reading your blog. Beautiful shots of the Black-bellied Plover, and thanks for the info on their flying prowess, on their longevity... all new to me. Love your running cranes.

    Thank you so much for your donation to the Vermont Disaster Relief. Every little bit helps!

    Sept/Oct are two of my favorite months, but we don't have much color here yet... instead of reds and goldens, mostly yellow and brown... Have a fruitful and productive season!

  18. brinkka2011 says: Remarkably! Thanks!

  19. Excellant post as usual, and I love the Cranes. What an awesome header!!
    Grangy is my new BEST friend! He once played for the Erie Seawolves, and we live about 25 miles from Erie...Isn't he wonderful! Maybe you really should be a Bomber fan.
    Have a great rest of the week, and be sure to tune in Thursday night to see Nova shut down the Tigers.

  20. I saw two Sand Hill Cranes in Genoa Nevada. I didn't realize what I had seen until we were long past. I'm still kicking myself for not stopping and taking a picture. Yours are so good. Thank goodness for animal savious.

  21. THANK YOU so much for changing your comment form!!!!!!!

    I love the cranes (and all your pictures and essay as always)....

    I enjoyed the history about the market hunters. When we were in Louisiana, we learned about the tabasco sauce family (McIlheney?) who worked to save the egrets who were hunted to near extinction for their feathers. I will try to dig up my old post and maybe repost it - that was very interesting to learn about.

    Thanks again for the meme and for changing the comment form!!!!

  22. Another fine post chock full of awesome photos...the Black-Bellied is a beautiful shore bird- I fist saw one in a sea of Grass...out at the sod farm!

    At least our birds were saved too bad they didnt see the benefits in saving ALL of the wildlife they destroyed---

  23. Wonderful post, Springman! I always love to see plovers, and the running cranes are terrific! My busy life right now is keeping me away from having a bird blog ready for WBW, but I do enjoy seeing what you've come up with each week. Hopefully I'll be able to get back in the habit of contributing soon!

  24. Honestly. HONESTLY. It is truly shocking. SHOCKING ! Your pictures just keep getting better and BETTER ! When are you going to have a spread in National Geographic magazine ? Outdoor Magazine ? I don't know... somewhere. They are all so good, especially the header with fish flying in open beak. Awesome Mr Springman, simply awesome. Audubon is salivating copiously in his eternal bird sanctuary. Eliot Porter is grinning with pleasure. Now I'd just like to see a video of you imitating those running cranes. That would be priceless.

    As for my lack of participation this week, all I had to offer again was a Parisian pigeon. Such poor fare compared to plomers and cranes and golden hawks, so I abstained. Perhaps one day I will try to capture a bird.

    As for snow geese, if you are ever in New Jersey at the right time of year, do stop in the Brigantine National Wildlife Refuge, also named the Edwin B. Forsythe Refuge. It is very close to where my grandparents lived, we went there often. I can remember vast stretches of march white with snow geese. And I didn't have a camera back then. Sigh.

  25. Ah, at last it looks like I had some gremlins and have been unable to post comments on some blogs. Sorry I missed you for a while springman.

    This is a great post sir, but what hits me is the guile of the early conservationists who had the foresight to see what harm was being done and the ability to persuade others to realise the same and to manage the hunting better. Great great post with superb images