Southwest Michigan Wildlife columnist for The Herald-Palladium

A male harlequin duck was located on Feb. 16 in the waters off the St. Joseph North Pier by David Ferris of Buchanan. Since the initial sighting, the bird has been seen by two dozen birdwatchers over two days. The bird had been relocated on Feb. 19 off Silver Beach by Derek Pelc of Love Creek County Park.

The harlequin duck is an uncommon but annual visitor to Berrien County. An average of one to five are seen per calendar year, usually seen in Lake Michigan or in the St. Joseph or Galien River channels. I am unaware of any harlequin ducks in any inland waters in Berrien County, though they have been found inland elsewhere in Michigan on rare occasions.


A Cooper’s hawk on Feb. 13 in Bridgman.

Jonathan Wuepper is an area naturalist. Report your sightings to him at