The Detroit Free Press reports that bird-watchers are flocking to Saline in hopes of seeing this rare roseate spoonbill:
This is the first record of a roseate spoonbill in Michigan, said Molly Keenan, communications and marketing coordinator at Michigan Audubon in an email to the Free Press.
Michigan DNR biologists believe the bird either escaped from a local zoo or is very confused, according to a Facebook post from Saline police.
Roseate spoonbills are typically found on the Gulf Coast, in the Caribbean and in Central and South America, but they have been spotted in neighboring states, said Benjamin Winger, curator of birds at the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology and an assistant professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.
“It was really only a matter of time before one was documented in Michigan,” he said.
In the late summer, it’s normal for young water birds such as spoonbills, herons and storks to wander, Winger said.
“Sometimes, they wander a bit too far,” Winger said.
I’m not gonna definitively tell you to believe the zoologist over the DNR, but I am gonna look hard at the DNR & ask if they remember their decades of denial around cougars in Michigan.