Southwest Michigan Wildlife columnist for The Herald-Palladium

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American avocets are seen Aug. 11 at Tiscornia Park in St. Joseph.

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American avocets are seen Aug. 11 at Tiscornia Park in St. Joseph.

With a height of 18 inches and wingspan of over 2 feet, American avocets are among the most striking shorebirds that regularly visit Southwest Michigan.

They are also one of the first bird species to migrate southward from their breeding grounds in western North America toward their wintering grounds of the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts.

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An imperial moth is seen in late June in Watervliet Township.

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A female pileated woodpecker is seen at Warren Dunes State Park on June 16.

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A garter snake is seen Monday on Singer Lake Road in Baroda Township.

Jonathan Wuepper is an area naturalist. Report your sightings to him at wuepperj@gmail.com.