Southwest Michigan Wildlife columnist for The Herald-Palladium


A male painted bunting on May 3 at the home feeder of Kenneth R. and Tammy M. Shull of Lake Township.

May 3 was a red-letter day in the Berrien County bird watching world, as two rarities showed up in two different areas of the county.

Berrien County’s third record of black-bellied whistling duck occurred that morning from along Second Street in Galien Township, just west of the village, when Brynja Davis discovered two of the species in a flooded field. The ducks remained present that day long enough for several birders to come see them and take photographs. The ducks were not relocated after May 3.

Whistling ducks

A pair of black-bellied whistling ducks on May 3 in Galien Township, discovered by Brynja Davis of Oronoko Township.

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