Discussions in Lansing about opening hunting seasons for Sandhill Cranes and Morning Doves has birders headed to the Capitol today. Several hundred people are expected to meet with lawmakers for what they’re calling “Wildlife Day”. Director of the Michigan Songbird Protection Coalition, Julie Baker, says there had been a misinformation campaign alleging that Sandhill Cranes will charge at farmers as they attempt to plant corn. Baker says the false premise led to a resolution endorsing a hunting season for Michigan’s largest bird species
“The representative that wrote the legislation and presented evidence, presented a photo that he used as an example to show how bad these birds were, and I said ‘ those aren’t Sandhill Cranes, that’s not Michigan’. And we found out that in fact was not Sandhill Cranes, they were Eurasian Cranes in Israel that were trained to feed from the tractor” -Julie Baker, MSPC
Baker says there are at least 805 breeding pairs of Sandhill Cranes in Michigan. She says the population only recently bounced back from near extinction due to habitat loss and hunting.