At the Mic: Alec Olivier
I’m a 13 year old birder from Marquette, Michigan. I have watched backyard birds my whole life, but got really interested three years ago. I’m currently trying to start the Upper Peninsula Young Birders Club. I am an amateur wildlife photographer and aspiring ornithologist. I am also the author of 21stcenturybirder.com. My dream is to study fall migration at Point Barrow, Alaska and waterbird migration pathways throughout the Great Lakes.
When I got asked to go on my first Breeding Bird Survey with one of our areas top birders, I jumped at the opportunity! I met Katie Koch, a US Fish and Wildlife Service bird biologist at 4:45am. That was the earliest time I’ve been birding by 15 minutes. When we got to the first survey point, it was 5:20. When the clock turned to 5:34 it was time to start. We waited and listened for three minutes. We were right on the edge of a jack pine tree stand. The first bird we heard was a Lincoln’s Sparrow. Then we heard a Chipping Sparrow, an American Robin, a Nashville Warbler, a Yellow-rumped Warbler, a Vesper Sparrow, a Pine Warbler, and I saw a lifer Eastern Towhee! Katie told me that we would drive half a mile, stop, and listen for another three minutes. Then we’d do that again 50 times!
Our last spot was in a deciduous forest. We heard a Ruffed Grouse, a pair of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, a Red-eyed Vireo, two Ovenbirds, a Blackburnian Warbler, and a Black-throated Green Warbler.
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