2018-08-30 / Columns

Migratory birds need our help

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FEATURED SPEAKER Steve Holmer speaks with Leelanau County’s own bird expert Dave Barrons at a Saving Birds Thru Habitat fundraiser. FEATURED SPEAKER Steve Holmer speaks with Leelanau County’s own bird expert Dave Barrons at a Saving Birds Thru Habitat fundraiser. The Saving Birds Thru Habitat (SBTH) fundraiser Saturday was a great success. In addition to being a lot of fun, everyone there learned a lot about the challenges facing migratory birds. The guest speaker was Steve Holmer, vice president of policy for the American Bird Conservancy, who gave a very interesting and informative talk. He reported that one-third of migratory birds are in urgent need of help, especially with habitat loss. About 3.5 billion (yes, billion) birds start their southward migration in Canada’s Boreal forest, which represents 25 percent of the world’s remaining intact forest, leading the world along with the Amazon. Around 80 percent is still relatively intact, but much of the southern region has been lost to development. Development continues to push northward, with about 30 percent allocated to some form of current or future development.

ED HINKELMAN talks to friends and neighbors about his sculpture at its unveiling last weekend. ED HINKELMAN talks to friends and neighbors about his sculpture at its unveiling last weekend. The most critical habitat needs, however, are in the birds’ winter habitats, mostly in Central and South America, where large areas are at risk; their stopover spots, which include areas in the United States; and their breeding areas, which includes our area. Along the way, there is increasing risk from windows, power lines, wind turbines, and other impacts of development.

Habitat loss is not the only threat. Two other significant dangers to birds are things that people can help solve. Feral and outdoor cats kill well over 1 billion birds a year. Window collisions are also a major source of bird deaths. Even birds that get up and fly away likely die later from head injury. The American Bird Conservancy’s website, abcbirds.org, is a wonderful source of information, including ways to make windows safer for birds.

Steve was very complimentary of SBTH as one of his organization’s active and important partners. It also turned out that Steve enjoyed getting to know Leelanau County, and extended his trip one day to see more.

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Congratulations to Ed Hinkelman on the completion of his very impressive limestone sculpture, which he unveiled Sunday to an audience of friends and neighbors. The sculpture is a giant ampersand entitled, “There’s more to come.” It’s Ed’s first sculpture of this size and in limestone. He had to learn how to create it at every step. The original block, measuring 4.5 inches thick and weighing 7,219 pounds, came from Reed Limestone quarries in Bloomington, Ind. It was sent by truck to KAL Excavating in Omena, whose crew then delivered it to Ed’s yard. It took over 3,000 cuts and well over 100 hours to complete the project.

Ed thanked his wife, Gayle Madison, for her support, inspiration and patience — especially when his first cuts showered limestone over the side of the house and her recently planted flower bed. He thanks his neighbors for putting up with the noise and, on occasion, limestone dust. He also thanked Steve Reed, the seventh generation owner of Reed Limestone Quarries, and Myles Schactner of 2 Sculpt, who supplied his sculpting tools as well as much appreciated advice.

Myles also conducts sculpting workshops in Lawrence, Kan.

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Kathy Schaeffer and Gary Roll hosted good friends Maggie Monahan and Jim Fessler from Chicago last week. They enjoyed long bike rides on five days around Omena Point, around north Lake Leelanau, up to the Lighthouse, through the hills near Peterson Park and along the Leelanau Trail. Every day after all that exercise, they shared great food and wine, at home and at local restaurants.

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The Northport Arts Association (NAA) is continuing its busy schedule into September and October, providing lots of opportunity for classes and exhibits. Upcoming classes include Eco Dyeing with Karin Fish on September 5, Zentangle with Kerry Bowe on September 11, a three-day collage class with Edee Joppich, September 17-19, and acrylic pouring with Debra Welty, a two day class on October 10 and 17. More information is available on the NAA website, northportartsassociation.org.

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The current Gallery Exhibit at the Village Arts Building (VAB) in Northport, which runs until Sept. 9, features Florence Winans, Debra Howard, Debra Welty, Tom Woodruff, Barbara Waddell and Sherie Waddell. The next two Gallery Exhibits are scheduled for September 10 – 23, September 24 – October 4.

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It will be the last Sunday of the 2018 season at Omena Presbyterian Church. Rev. Dr. Homer Nye will be preaching, with special music provided by the infamous M-22 Choir. The service is from 10-11 a.m., and everyone is welcome.

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Happy Birthday to Larry Reynolds who turns 80 this week! Happy Birthday also to Bob Wheeler, Dean Hulett, Brendan Duffiney, Sally Viskochil, Bob Joyce, Mary Woessner, and Isaiah Fitzgerald.

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