Michigan License Plate Features the Kirtland’s Warbler

Wildlife Habitat License Plate to Support Nongame Species like the Kirtland's Warbler

One of the rarest songbirds, almost the entire global population of the Kirtland's Warbler spends its breeding season in Michigan. Thanks to a decades-long, international recovery effort, the Kirtland's Warbler was recently removed from the Endangered Species List after loss of critical habitat caused the species to plummet to fewer than 200 singing males in the 1970s and 80s.

To celebrate this unique bird's recovery, Michigan's wildlife habitat license plate now features the Kirtland’s Warbler. Proceeds from the sale of the wildlife habitat license plate support the State of Michigan’s Nongame Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund, and will benefit nongame species like the Kirtland’s warbler.

The Kirtland’s Warblers nests in the stands of young jack pines, a habitat that grows up only briefly after fires. Its nests have been heavily parasitized in recent decades by Brown-headed Cowbirds.

Ongoing efforts by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and a multitude of partners have ensured nesting habitat is available for this large songbird. But there is more work to be done to ensure its long-term success!

You can buy the wildlife habitat license plate through the Secretary of State for $35, with $25 of that fee going to the Nongame Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund. Since 2006, the fund has received more than $3.9 million from the purchase of wildlife habitat license plates. Questions? Contact the DNR Wildlife Division at 517-284-9453.

Learn more on how conservation efforts helped Kirtland's Warbler rebound, what work needs to be done to keep them safe. RSVP for the free webinar, “Back from the Brink: A New Model for Kirtland’s Warbler Conservation,” which will take place Wednesday, April 6 at 12 p.m. ET/11 a.m. CT.

- Hannah Schauer, Communications & Education Coordinator for Michigan Department of Natural Resource’s Wildlife Division


MI Birds is a public outreach and engagement program created by Audubon Great Lakes and Michigan Department of Natural Resources, which aims to increase all Michiganders' engagement in the understanding, care, and stewardship of public lands that are important for birds and local communities.

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