The list includes all birds known to have occurred at the E.S. George Reserve, Livingston County, Michigan. It includes my observations and those of other biologists from the University of Michigan who have lived at the George Reserve, including unpublished lists of R. E. Mumford, P. DeBenedictis, and K. L. Fiala. It cites published studies that I know about. To date, 197 species of birds have been recorded and 112 have bred on the Reserve. A few observations within 1 km of the Reserve (neighboring farms, Pinckney State Recreation Area) are included.

Names of species and families are from “The AOU Check-List of North American Birds,” Sixth Edition, 1983. Place names (Big Swamp, Southwest Marsh) on the George Reserve are in Sutton 1949. The 100-m grids are based on an overlay of aerial photographs of the reserve.

Link to the UMMZ Bird Division


*– breeding record c– common or abundant
P– permanent resident f– fairly common
S– summer resident u– uncommon
T– transient, in migration r– rare (occasional, not seen on most days in season)
V– vagrant, outside migration route x– accidental (few records)
W– winter resident or visitor e– extirpated (or formerly occurred, when used with a season code)
i– irregular (cyclic or irruptive)

Family Podicipedidae, Grebes

___*Pied-billed Grebe, cS, rW

Family Ardeidae, Herons and Bitterns

____Great Blue Heron, cS. Birds feeding at East Pond on the Reserve may nest in the large colony by the Huron River north of Dexter.

____Great Egret, uS, seen at Southwest Marsh

____Snowy Egret, rS, seen at Southwest Marsh in 1981

___*Green-backed Heron, cS, nesting in oak woods and dense shrubs around big swamp and southwest marsh, and fishtail marsh.

____Black-crowned Night-heron, rS

___*Least Bittern, rS

____American Bittern, uS

Family Anatidae, Swans, Geese and Ducks

___*Canada Goose, cS, cT, fW

___*Wood Duck, fS

____Green-winged Teal, uT

___*American Black Duck, uS

___*Mallard, cS

____Northern Pintail, uT

___*Blue-winged Teal, cT, uS

____Gadwall, uT

____Ring-necked Duck, cT

____Lesser Scaup, uT

____Common Goldeneye, uT

____Bufflehead, fT

____Hooded Merganser, uT

Family Cathartidae, American Vultures

___*Turkey Vulture, fS, nests in hollow trees

Family Accipitridae, Kites, Eagles, and Hawks

____Osprey, uT

___*Northern Harrier, uT, rS. Nested in 1940s (Hamerstrom and Hamerstrom 1951), also in 1955 (nestlings banded–REM) and 1957 (REM), on Southwest Marsh.

___*Sharp-shinned Hawk, uS, cT, rW

___*Cooper’s Hawk, uS, cT, fW (Hamerstrom and Hamerstrom 1951), bred 1978-1990 in pines near North Gate

____Northern Goshawk, rW

____Red-shouldered Hawk, uT

___*Broad-winged Hawk, fS, cT

___*Red-tailed Hawk, cS, fW. (Hamerstrom and Hamerstrom 1951), two pairs bred on Reserve in most years in 1980s, nests near Lost Lake and Cassandra Bog.

Family Falconidae, and Falcons

___*American Kestrel, cS. A pair regularly nests on electric pylons in grids Y33 and Y34, on old railroad bed north of ESGR, from 1982 through 1994, none seen 1995

Family Phasianidae, Partridges, Grouse, Turkeys and Quail

___*Ring-necked Pheasant, fP, “Szechuan” pheasants introduced in late 1980s

___*Ruffed Grouse, fP, oak woodlands

___*Wild Turkey, uP, introduced in Pinckney State Recreation Area in middle 1980s, became established with family groups seen in Reserve in 1989, 1990. An earlier introduction of 4 birds was unsuccessful.

___*Northern Bobwhite, uP

Family Rallidae, Rails, Gallinules, and Coots

___*Virginia Rail, uS, nested in Southwest Marsh

___*Sora, fS, nested in Southwest Marsh

___*Common Moorhen, fS, nested in 1978 in Southwest Marsh

___*American Coot, cS

Family Gruidae, Cranes

___*Sandhill Crane, uS, fT. Nested in Southwest Marsh in 1980s, in two years the nesting pair produced two fledglings.

Family Charadriidae, Plovers and Lapwings

___*Killdeer, cS, cT

Family Scolopacidae, Sandpipers, Phalaropes and Allies

____Greater Yellowlegs, fT

____Lesser Yellowlegs, cT

____Solitary Sandpiper, fT

___*Spotted Sandpiper, cT, cS, nest around experimental ponds (built in 1989) in north part of Reserve

____Upland Sandpiper, rT

___*Common Snipe, fS, cT

___*American Woodcock, cS

Family Laridae, Skuas, Gulls, Terns and Skimmers

____Ring-billed Gull, uT

____Herring Gull, uT

___*Black Tern, rS, fT formerly bred in area, none seen since 1976.

Family Columbidae, Pigeons and Doves

___*Rock Dove, cP

___*Mourning Dove, cS, fW

Family Cuculidae, Cuckoos

___*Black-billed Cuckoo, uS

___*Yellow-billed Cuckoo, uS

Family Strigidae, Typical Owls

___*Eastern Screech-Owl, fP

___*Great Horned Owl, cP

___*Barred Owl, fP

___*Long-eared Owl, uW, rS

____Northern Saw-whet Owl, fT, uS, uW. (Mumford & Zusi 1958) calling in May 1990

Family Caprimulgidae, Goatsuckers

___*Common Nighthawk, cS, cT.

___*Whip-poor-will, cS. (Sutton 1941)

Family Apodidae, Swifts

___*Chimney Swift, cS

Family Trochilidae, Hummingbirds

___*Ruby-throated Hummingbird, fS

Order Coraciiformes, Kingfishers and Allies

Family Alcedinidae, Kingfishers

___*Belted Kingfisher, fS, uW

Family Picidae, Woodpeckers

___*Red-headed Woodpecker, fS, uW

___*Red-bellied Woodpecker, fP, five pairs on Reserve in 1978 and 1979

____Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, fT

___*Downy Woodpecker, cP

___*Hairy Woodpecker, fP

___*Northern Flicker, cS, rW

Family Tyrannidae, Tyrant Flycatchers

____Olive-sided Flycatcher, fT

___*Eastern Wood-Pewee, cS, parasitized by cowbirds

____Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, uT

___*Acadian Flycatcher, cS, larger woods, mainly oaks, increasing in numbers with growth of woods (Mumford 1964), parasitized by cowbirds

___*Alder Flycatcher, fS, breeds in swamps along north railway

___*Willow Flycatcher, fS, breeds in swamps, also in uplands, parasitized by cowbirds

___*Least Flycatcher, cS, cT. (Mumford 1962)

___*Eastern Phoebe, fS, fT, parasitized by cowbirds

___*Great Crested Flycatcher, cS

___*Eastern Kingbird, cS

Family Alaudidae, Larks

___*Horned Lark, cS, uW breeds on open land on farms, not on the Reserve

Family Hirundinidae, Swallows

___*Purple Martin, fS

___*Tree Swallow, cS, cT, nests in dead trees, many in nestboxes established in 1988

___*Northern Rough-winged Swallow, fS, cT

___*Bank Swallow, cS, cT

___*Barn Swallow, cS, cT

Family Corvidae, Jays, Magpies and Crows

___*Blue Jay, cP, cT. Vocal behavior was studied by Cohen (1977).

___*American Crow, cS, fW

Family Paridae, Titmice

___*Black-capped Chickadee, cP, uT

___*Tufted Titmouse, fP

Family Sittidae, Nuthatches

____ Red-breasted Nuthatch, icW

___*White-breasted Nuthatch, cP

Family Certhiidae, Creepers

____Brown Creeper, fT, uW

Family Troglodytidae, Wrens

____Bewick’s Wren, rT, singing on 15 May 1955 and 24 April 1957 (REM)

___*House Wren, cS

____Winter Wren, uT

____Sedge Wren, uS, in wet grass around East Pond in 1981 and 1982

____Marsh Wren, uS

Family Muscicapidae, Muscicapids

Subfamily Sylviinae, Old World Warblers, Kinglets and Gnatcatchers

____Golden-crowned Kinglet, uW, uT

____Ruby-crowned Kinglet, cT

___*Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, cS, cT, nests in walnuts, oaks, from April to July

Subfamily Turdinae, Thrushes

___*Eastern Bluebird, fS, rW

___*Veery, fS, fT

____Gray-cheeked Thrush, fT

____Swainson’s Thrush, fS, cT

____Hermit Thrush, fS, cT, rW

___*Wood Thrush, cS

___*American Robin, cS, cT, uW

Family Mimidae, Mockingbirds, Thrashers and Allies

____*Gray Catbird, cS

_____Northern Mockingbird, uT

____*Brown Thrasher, fS

Family Bombycillidae, Waxwings

____Bohemian Waxwing, iuW

___*Cedar Waxwing, cS, cT, ifW

Family Sturnidae, Starlings

___*European Starling, cP, cT

Family Vireonidae, Vireos

___*White-eyed Vireo, luS, uV, ESGR, fledglings 1990 in Pinckney State Recreation Area

____Solitary Vireo fT

___*Yellow-throated Vireo, cS. parasitized by cowbirds (Sutton 1949)

___*Warbling Vireo, fS. (Sutton 1949)

____Philadelphia Vireo, uT

___*Red-eyed Vireo, cS, parasitized by cowbirds. (Sutton 1949)

Family Emberizidae, Emberizids

Subfamily Parulinae, Wood-Warblers

___*Blue-winged Warbler, fS, ESGR, parasitized by cowbird

___*Golden-winged Warbler, cT, fS, hybridizes with Blue-winged Warbler, two hybrid male “Brewster’s” warblers color-banded, each bred for four years, one with a female Blue-winged Warbler, the other with a female Golden-winged Warbler and fledged 6 young (Payne, in Michigan Breeding Bird Atlas 1991).

____Tennessee Warbler, cT

____Orange-crowned Warbler, uT

____Nashville Warbler, cT

____Northern Parula, rT

___*Yellow Warbler, cS, cT, parasitized by cowbirds

___*Chestnut-sided Warbler, cT, fS, parasitized by cowbirds

____Magnolia Warbler, cT

____Cape May Warbler, fT

____Black-throated Blue Warbler, uT

____Yellow-rumped Warbler, cT, rW

____Black-throated Green Warbler, cT

____Blackburnian Warbler, cT

____Yellow-throated Warbler, rV. Mumford 1958.

____Pine Warbler, uT

___*Prairie Warbler, uT, lrS, bred in 1980 (Groschupf & Dansereau 1980)

____Palm Warbler, cT

____Bay-breasted Warbler, cT

____Blackpoll Warbler, cT

___*Cerulean Warbler, uT, cS, ESGR, more numerous in recent years as forest grows

____Black-and-white Warbler, cT

____American Redstart, cT

____Prothonotary Warbler, rT, one sang well into summer in 1974 along edge of Southwest Marsh

____Worm-eating Warbler, rS, rV, one molting, netted 800 m south of Reserve in Pinckney State Recreation Area, 1984, S. M. Kielb

___*Ovenbird, cS, cT, parasitized by cowbirds

____Northern Waterthrush, fT

____Kentucky Warbler, rT, one singing, June 1977

____Connecticut Warbler, uT

____Mourning Warbler, fT

___*Common Yellowthroat, cS, cT, parasitized by cowbird

____Hooded Warbler, uT, uS

____Wilson’s Warbler, fT

____Canada Warbler, fT

___*Yellow-breasted Chat, uT, uS, nests in shrubby marsh along north railway on ESGR

Subfamily Thraupinae, Tanagers

____*Scarlet Tanager, cS, ESGR, parasitized by cowbirds

Subfamily Cardinalinae, Cardinals, Grosbeaks and Allies

____*Northern Cardinal, cP. parasitized by cowbirds. (Sutton 1935,1959)

____*Rose-breasted Grosbeak, cS. Sutton 1959.

____*Indigo Bunting, cS. parasitized by cowbirds. (Sutton 1935, 1959, Thompson 1969, 1970, 1972, Thompson and Rice 1972, Payne et al. 1981, 1987, 1988, Payne 1989, 1991, 1992, 1996, Payne and Westneat 1988, Payne and Payne 1989, 1990, 1993a,b, 1996)

_____Dickcissel, iuS

Subfamily Emberizinae, New World Sparrows

____*Eastern Towhee, cS. Nests on ground, often at base of junipers. Occasionally parasitized by cowbirds. (Sutton 1935, 1959)

_____Bachman’s Sparrow, rV

_____American Tree Sparrow, cT, cW

____*Chipping Sparrow, cS, xW, parasitized by cowbirds. (Sutton 1935, 1937, 1960, Dawson and Evans 1957, Evans 1964)

____*Field Sparrow, cS, rW. (Sutton 1935, 1960, Dawson and Evans 1957, Evans 1964, 1978), parasitized by cowbirds

____*Vesper Sparrow, fS, rW, (Sutton 1935, 1941, 1960, Dawson and Allen 1960, Dawson and Evans 1960, Evans 1964)

____*Lark Sparrow, eS. (Sutton 1960; habitat photos), formerly bred in sandy blowout, last seen about 1960 (RBP).

____*Savannah Sparrow, uS, cT. (Sutton 1935), breeds in alfalfa fields north of Reserve.

____*Grasshopper Sparrow, uS, not seen in summer since 1984 (Sutton 1935, 1936, 1959)

____*Henslow’s Sparrow, uS, formerly bred nearby (Hyde 1939, Sutton 1935, 1959)

_____Le Conte’s Sparrow, rT, one seen spring 1978 on marsh grid M3

_____Fox Sparrow, fT, uW

____*Song Sparrow, cS, uW. (Sutton 1935, 1960). parasitized by cowbirds

_____Lincoln’s Sparrow, uT

____*Swamp Sparrow, cS, cT, uW. (Sutton 1960). parasitized by cowbirds

_____White-throated Sparrow, cT, uW

_____White-crowned Sparrow, uT

_____Dark-eyed Junco, cW

Subfamily Icterinae, Blackbirds

___*Bobolink, fS, nests in alfalfa fields north of ESGR

___*Red-winged Blackbird, cS. (Laux 1970, Fiala 1979, 1981a,b,c, Fiala and Congdon 1983, Whittingham 1988)

___*Eastern Meadowlark, uS

____Western Meadowlark, uT

____Rusty Blackbird, cT

___*Common Grackle, cS, cT, uW

___*Brown-headed Cowbird, cS, cT. (Sutton 1959, 1960, Mumford 1959, 1964, Payne 1989). Local host species: willow flycatcher, eastern phoebe, veery, red-eyed vireo, yellow-throated vireo, scarlet tanager, blue-winged warbler, yellow warbler, chestnut-sided warbler, common yellowthroat, ovenbird, northern cardinal, indigo bunting, eastern towhee, field sparrow, chipping sparrow, song sparrow, swamp sparrow

____Orchard Oriole, rS

___*Baltimore Oriole, cS

Family Fringillidae, Finches

Subfamily Carduelinae, Cardueline Finches

_____Purple Finch, cT, ifW

____*House Finch, cP, none seen on ESGR, established in Pinckney in 1989, when heard at corner of M36 and Kelly Road

_____Pine Grosbeak, uW

_____Red Crossbill, ifW

_____Common Redpoll, icW

_____Pine Siskin, cT, ifW

____*American Goldfinch, cS, cT, ifW. (Sutton 1959).

_____Evening Grosbeak, icW

Family Passeridae, Old World Sparrows

____*House Sparrow, cP

Literature Cited

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8 May 1996, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

Robert B. Payne
Curator of Birds and Professor of Zoology
3019 Museum of Zoology
1109 Geddes Ave.
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1079 USA