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DNR will plant 2 million pines to help rare songbird

Photo by USFWS; Joel Trick

This time of year, the DNR plants some 2 million pine trees in Northern Michigan in an effort to save what it calls the rarest song bird in North America.

There are some 4,000 Kirtland's warblers in existence, according to the Associate Press, and nearly all of them live in Michigan.

They'll only breed in young jack pine forests. But those forests are no longer regenerating through wildfires, says the DNR’s Dan Kennedy.

That’s why there’s the need for so many tree plantings.

Kennedy says people travel from around the globe to get a glimpse of the warbler.

"There are anywhere from 2 to 3,000 people who come here to Michigan just to see this bird."

Kennedy says the species has rebounded from just 167 singing males in the 1980's.

Kate Wells is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently covering public health. She was a 2023 Pulitzer Prize finalist for her abortion coverage.
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