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Michigan bird sanctuary expands to protect sensitive species

The Michigan Audubon Society's Bernard W. Baker Sanctuary is growing by 80 acres to help protect sensitive species that breed at the property.

The Kalamazoo Gazette reports an $180,000 grant in collaboration with The Conservation Fund and Ducks Unlimited is funding the expansion of the bird sanctuary in Eaton County.

The newly purchased parcel will be named the Mabelle Isham Shagbark Trails in memory of Mabelle Isham, the property's former owner.

Her daughter, Marilyn Isham Robinson of Saline, inherited the property but believed her mother would have wanted it permanently protected.

The property contains the final unprotected piece of the 700-acre Big Marsh Lake wetland area that attracts thousands of migrating sandhill cranes each fall.

There's also an active bald eagle nest and a breeding pair of trumpeter swans.

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