PIBO Migration Summary

August 1st – 10th, 2011


After a busy summer research season and a brief break in July, PIBO staff and volunteers launched our 9th autumn migration-monitoring coverage season at Fish Point on August 1st. Fieldwork from the 1st – 10th was limited to the daily 90-minute census and some additional observations.


In keeping with early-August, local breeding birds and dispersed young dominated the area during the first ten days of coverage. Although migration activity was minimal, a few shorebirds were recorded on most days – Ruddy Turnstones and Sanderlings – and a steady stream of southbound swallows (mostly Purple Martins and Barn Swallows) were noted from the 3rd – 10th, along with smaller numbers of kingbirds, waxwings, and orioles, among others.


Lots of gulls and terns were observed at the tip throughout the summary period including more than 900 of the former (mostly Ringed-bills and Herrings) and 60 Common Terns on August 3rd. Other water birds observed in the count area included Great Blue Heron, Green Heron, Mallard, and Wood Duck, among others. ALeast Bittern (a presumed migrant) was heard at Fox Pond on August 7th. Few birds-of-prey were noted apart from a couple of local Bald Eagles, Northern Harrier, American Kestrel, a vocal Eastern Screech-owl in the netting area, and small groups of Turkey Vultures.


Some songbirds were on the move including Least and Willow Flycatchers and Northern Waterthrushes, along with the species mentioned above. Purple Martins and Barn Swallows were especially active on August 5th, with more than 40 and 30 individuals recorded flying south off the tip, respectively. Other migrants noted during the study period included a Canada Warbler on the 7th, along with small numbers of Yellow Warblers.


While migration is clearly just starting to get underway, the next week or so should see a noticeable increase in the number and variety of neotropical songbirds as they begin to make their way south .


PIBO’s next migration summary will be posted on August 23rd.

Photo: Sumiko Onishi