Migration Summary for the Period April 15th – 21st


Pelee Island Bird Observatory




Rusty Blackbird


Steady north winds and cool, damp, conditions made for a generally quiet time at the Point during the summary period. A variety of species expected at this time of year remained south of us due to the weather, although there were a couple of active days mid-week.


It rained steadily on the 15th and just the census was completed. Conditions improved somewhat the next morning but it was cool (3° C), with winds from the northeast, and migrants were fairly scarce with the exception of small numbers of kinglets and ones-and-twos of five sparrow spp. In all, 46 species were recorded during our standard six-hour count period. 


April 17th was quite active with 56 species tallied including spring ‘firsts’ for Brown Thrasher and Savanna Sparrow, among others. Other birds noted on the day included Common Loon, Pied-billed Grebe, 12 waterfowl spp., and a nice variety of other typical April migrants. Numbers tapered off again on the 18th and 19th and there was not much to report apart from the first Northern Rough-winged Swallow and House Wren of 2009, although Hermit Thrushes were quite active on April 18th, with seven birds banded.


The weather warmed up on the final two days of the summary period, with a dawn reading of 10° C on April 20th, but conditions remained much the same as earlier in the week. Steady rain hampered the coverage effort and just the census and some additional observations were carried out on the 20th, with 44 species recorded, including the first Merlin of the spring. The 21st was a similar day, with 45 species tallied.


PIBO’s next summary will be posted on April 30th.      


Photo: Adam Pinch