Environment & Conservation

Posted 4/6/2020

Ways You Can Help Birds

Top 10 Ways You Can Help Birds

1. Protect birds from glass collisions

2. Say “No” to pesticides

3. Donate to a reliable bird conservation group

4. Be a responsible cat owner, keep your pet inside.

5. Take action for birds - become a conservation advocate. Promote Chimney Swift, and Purple Martin conservation.

6. Create a native bird habitat

7. Reduce, reuse, recycle

8. Buy bird-friendly coffee

9. Turn out lights; Safe Passage Great Lakes

10. Plant bird friendly plants

Resources for this list: www.abcbirds.org (American Bird Conservancy)

This article is on Recycling in Michigan, and was inspired by a spot on “Live in the “D”” about battery recycling in Michigan.
I am sure if you are like me you are always looking for new ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle. I will start with batteries; remember when you could take your batteries to Radio Shack and recycle them? After their bankruptcy, a search of my

i-phone shows that there are only two stores left in Michigan, some Michigan residents may have a long drive to use that service. A call to Lowe’s and a few other recyclers turned up empty. With these results, we are going to have to be a little more creative in our recycling efforts.


The recycling solution that was covered on the morning TV show turned out to be a pay to recycle solution, with “kits” ranging in price from $50 - $300 depending on the amount of batteries recycled. This is probably not a viable solution for most individuals trying to be good environmentalists.

I tried searching for why battery recycling wasn’t much of an option anymore. I found an article titled, Recycling that typical household battery is not as easy as you think (www.michiganradio.org). Basically most recyclers; since mercury was removed from lithium batteries in 1990 feel that it is not profitable enough to recycle most batteries, and recommend throwing them in the trash. It all comes down to money.


We are not going to succumb to profit. Last year after collecting many containers of batteries (lithium, alkaline, button, etc.), I finally started calling everyone a search of the internet said recycled batteries near me. I decided on Discount Battery stores, because they were near me, and they took my batteries. I am sure there are places near you who will recycle your batteries, 

you just have to be consistent.


Another piece of information from the show, is that Michigan only recycles 15% of its recyclables; lowest in the Great Lakes region, and among the lowest in the U.S.. EGLE (Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy) was started in 1995. They have an educational program called “Know it Before You Throw it”, www.michigan.gov/mienvironment, which utilizes RecyclingRacoons.org, to teach about proper way to use your community recycling. You might ask how does recycling save birds, recycling reduces the plastic that goes into our oceans which chokes and traps seabirds. The landfills poison, birds and take up space, destroying the habitat for land birds.

- Jerry Rogers

Posted 1/6/2020


Classes held in January, February and March at the Detroit Zoo

The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) is inviting Southeast Michigan residents to hop to it and join the local chapter

of FrogWatch USA. The citizen science program teaches volunteers how to identify frogs and toads by their breeding

calls and to gather and record data that supports a national network. FrogWatch volunteers choose from locations

throughout the tri-county area and monitor the sites for several weeks. Their observations provide valuable insight

into whether amphibians in the region are declining or increasing or if new species are being found in areas where

they have not been identified before.

FrogWatch training classes for 2020 will be offered free of charge

at the Detroit Zoo’s Ford Education Center on the following dates:

* Wednesday, January 29 – 5-9 p.m.
* Sunday, February 2 – 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
* Saturday, February 8 – 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
* Tuesday, February 25 – 5-9 p.m.
* Thursday, March 5 – 5-9 p.m.
* Saturday, March 14 – noon-4 p.m.

For more information or to register for FrogWatch, contact DZS Associate Curator of Amphibians Rebecca Johnson

by clicking HERE. I plan to join one of these classes to expand my Citizen Science training.


- Jerry Rogers

Posted 9/8/2019


Cell phones contain a mineral called coltan, mostly mined in Central Africa; which is home to the
endangered eastern gorilla. Modern electronics have created the term conflict minerals (known
as 3TGs (from their initials). These are cassiterite (for tin), wolframite (for tungsten, coltan (for
tantalum), and gold ore, which are extracted from the eastern Congo, the profits from which
have been used to finance conflict in the area. You may remember the movie about conflict diamonds.

This all effects the endangered species of the area. Recycling of electronics, and other efforts,
can help reduce the dangers of mining conflict minerals in this area.

Inspired by a short article in the Detroit Zoo magazine Habitat; Summer 2019

- Jerry Rogers


Posted 8/2/2019


Looking for an opportunity to learn about Michigan’s ecosystems from experts and volunteers involved in conservation efforts in your community? Interested in gaining the knowledge and skills needed to lead and assist in local initiatives? Consider enrolling in the Michigan Conservation Stewards Program (CSP).


CSP is designed for those interested in learning science-based ecosystem (aquatic and terrestrial) management principles and sharing this knowledge with others to help restore and sustain healthy natural areas throughout Michigan. MSU Extension works with local conservation partners to design and deliver a series of evening and Saturday lectures and field sessions, combined with online instruction.


Professional level instruction is provided by MSU Extension, Michigan Natural Features Inventory, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and a variety of local conservation partners. Sessions are offered in a variety of locations which highlight local natural areas on-the-ground conservation. 


This fall, Michigan State University (MSU) Extension local conservation partners are offering three programs:

  • Washtenaw County- September 4 – November 13, 2019 (evening classes held on Wednesdays)

  • Capital Area- September 10 – November 5, 2019 (evening classes held on Tuesdays)

  • Northern Michigan- September 10 – October 22, 2019 (evening classes held on Tuesdays)

Registration fee is $250. Scholarships are available. Deadline to register is August 20, 2019.


Visit the CSP website for complete program and registration


details: https://www.canr.msu.edu/conservation_stewards_program/

Posted 4/8/2019


Oakland Audubon Society is informally partnering with North Oakland
Headwaters Land Conservancy (NOHLC); and Clinton River Watershed Council (CRWC).

Their websites has many great ecological, educational, and volunteer activities coming up.

One example is the NOHLC has a Native Plant Sale June 1.


There will be an announcement when there are opportunities for OAS Members to participate in these events.

North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy  www.nohlc.org

Clinton River Watershed Council  www.crwc.org

I wanted to let you know about the newest Michigan water contaminant, as far as I know. 

I was birding at Kensington Metro Park (Group Camp), looking for my first Philadelphia Vireo,

and took a picture of this sign; it is about PFA’s found in fish.

This worries me because I use well water in western Oakland County,

and am in the watershed of the Huron River.

Basically PFA’s are a chemical toxin (similar to mercury), in that they bio-accumulate  in the bodies of animals as they consume the fish.  Humans, Ospreys, & Eagles consume fish, and the more consumed the more toxins accumulate in their bodies; as we have already seen with mercury.  This is a real problem.


The sign does not even say cut back on fish consumption; it says “DO NOT EAT THE FISH”!

We should take this new event seriously;

Jerry Rogers

Link to the EPA Website on PFA’s https://www.epa.gov/pfas/basic-information-pfas


Chimney Swift Survey

Members; Michigan Audubon is looking for people to survey Chimney Swifts.

Please look at the link below, to see if you are interested.



- Jerry Rogers