Finding Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow in MI (no sightings)

Caleb Putnam larus10 at
Mon Sep 17 00:10:11 EDT 2007


Given that we are now entering the beginning of the fall migration window 
for the (apparently) very rare Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow, I thought I'd 
reinvigorate a discussion which took place most recently in 2004 regarding 
the true occurrence and status of this species in Michigan.  I have created 
a preliminary blog entry with links to detailed posts from Allen Chartier 
and others, and I have also added my 2 cents to the fray:

I am going to try to find this species at key wet, sedgy marshes/meadows 
during its peak window of approximately Sep 25- Oct 5, and it'd be neat if 
others were able to make similar efforts elsewhere.  Given the breeding 
distribution (northern Great plains and a disjunct Hudson Bay population) 
the most likely areas may be the SW lower peninsula and the SE lower 
peninsula, but perhaps even places like Houghton Lake Flats or Portage Marsh 
are worth some effort (Arcadia Marsh has at least 2 records, I believe).  
I'd guess that any place which seems appropriate for migrant Yellow Rails 
might be a good place to start.

Comments on any of the material I've assembled are very welcome- I may be 
dead wrong on this whole thing, but it will be fun to try to find out 

Good Birding,
Caleb Putnam

Caleb G Putnam
Grand Rapids, MI
larus10 at

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