PIBO Migration Summary

May 1st – 10th, 2012



Magnolia Warbler


It was a busy and enjoyable ten days at the Point from May 1st – 10th and large numbers of migrants were documented throughout the summary period. In all, 46 spring ‘firsts’ were recorded and 452 birds of fifty-one species were banded, including twenty-two warbler spp. Although the wind shifted to the north on the 6th – along with some intense thunderstorms on the 7th – and activity tapered off, there was still a nice variety of birds in the area from the 6th – 10th despite the weather.


The month started off on a positive note with nine spring ‘firsts’ tallied on May 1st including a male Cerulean Warbler on census and two Blue-winged Warblers in the netting area. ‘Western’ Palm Warblers were numerous, with 62 individuals counted, along with a nice variety of others, including seven sparrow species. The 2nd was active as well, with 61 species recorded during the standard count period, including a Least Bittern calling at Fox Pond, a singing White-eyed Vireo, and a Northern Parula. A large ‘fallout’ on May 3rdproduced 71 species on the day, including sixteen ‘firsts’ for the year, and sixteen warbler species.


May 4th proved to be the busiest day of the summary period – 71 species were recorded and 108 birds of twenty-eight species were banded in thirty-seven net-hours, for an average catch-rate of 342 birds/100 net-hours. Nashville Warblers led the way (32 banded) followed by moderate numbers of thirteen other captured warbler spp., including 2 Orange-crowned. The 5th was active as well, with 64 species noted and 84 birds of twenty-five species banded in sixty net-hours (140/100 net-hours). A nice variety of birds were observed in moderate numbers both on census and in the netting area including 25 Blue Jays, 12 Gray Catbirds, 26 Nashville, 16 Magnolia, and 10 Black-and-white Warblers, 6 Ovenbirds, 10 Rose –breasted Grosbeaks, and a Red-headed Woodpecker.


Migrants continued to move through the area on May 6th, including ‘firsts’ for Gray-cheeked Thrush and Black-throated Blue Warbler, but conditions deteriorated the next day, with strong northeast winds and intense rain and thunderstorms all morning on the 7th. There were still lots of birds around but viewing conditions were limited. Some intermittent rain on May 8th hampered the netting effort but it was an active morning, with 70 species recorded including ‘firsts’ for Green Heron, Spotted Sandpiper, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and Marsh Wren. Seventeen warbler species were noted along with a group of about 20 Bobolinks in the tree tops on census, singing in the rain. 


The final two days of the summary period were less active, although a combined 96 birds were banded on the 9th and 10th including 40 Yellow-rumped Warblers, along with twelve other captured warbler spp. A nice variety of species were observed over the two mornings: Sora, Merlin, Wood Thrush, Northern Parula, Cape May Warbler, and 7 Scarlet Tanagers. A small group of shorebirds at the tip in the late afternoon on May 10th included Black-bellied Plover, Dunlin, Ruddy Turnstone and dowitcher spp. Though not observed by the PIBOcrew, an unusual, out-of-season, Purple Sandpiper was discovered by the Burrell Family at Fish Point in earlier in the day.


PIBO’s next summary will be posted on May 21st.


Photo: Sumiko Onishi