Nature and Wildlife

Any vegetation along the Elk River shoreline provides bird habitat and is important for stop over migration.

Birds observed three weeks ago by Bill Scharf, noted biologist and ornithologist, were:

  • crows
  • grackles
  • robins
  • cardinals
  • starlings
  • ring-billed gulls
  • mallards

…the only mammal observed was a rabbit.

Please enjoy walking around the unique and beautiful island that we own.  Bring along a pair of binoculars and see what you can find!

Island Property’s evolving ecological legacy

Elk Rapids News – May 4, 2017
Elaine Glowicki, Elk Rapids

Dear Community,

Great appreciation to Dr. Bill Scharf (ornithologist) for leading our first nature/bird walk of the island property.  The weather cooperated and those attending spotted 15 different birds:  ring-billed and herring gulls, mallards, common mergansers, double-crested cormorant, kingfishers, grackles, red-winged blackbirds, robins, mourning doves, starlings, cardinals, chickadees, goldfinches, and song sparrows.  Dr. Scharf explained the importance of our diverse and natural environment affording habitat and a stopover resting haven for migrating birds.

We identified the bands of bushed and trees growing up from the riverbank: red osier dogwood, willows and white cedars that are able to withstand the changing water levels.  We enjoyed the planted species of budding poplars, sugar maples, aspen, ash, locust and serviceberry.  We admired the tall white pines and the dune plants as we shared stories of recently sighted turtles, beavers, muskrats, ermine and rabbits on the island.

This is the middle of the immigration season and early morning or late afternoon walks will afford seeing the most birds.  We more deeply recognize this habitat not only for the birds and wildlife bit also for the continued enjoyment by our children, residents and visitors.

Please enjoy our evolving ecological legacy.


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