Point Traverse Lighthouse by Blair Dudeck
Point Traverse Lighthouse by Blair Dudeck

2021 Sightings

Updates from Assistant Bander Jessica Bao

The first week of May has been an exciting ride. With plenty of warblers moving through, we banded 582 birds and we are up to 62 species as of yet! We had two days with over 130 birds banded and we cumulated 152 recaptures for the week.

Top species banded: White-throated sparrows, Yellow-rumped warbler and a last stretch of Slate-coloured junco’s and Ruby-crowned kinglets.

The first day of week 4 (May 2nd) was exceptional in terms of observations with plenty of new warblers trickling in such as the Yellow warbler, the Black-throated green warbler, the Northern Parula, the Pine warbler, the Blackburnian warbler, the Common yellowthroat, the Palm warbler, the Northern waterthrush as well as a rare vagrant, the Yellow-throated warbler.

New species banded this week: Nashville warbler, Black-throated green warbler, Black-throated blue warbler, Black-and-white warbler, Blackburnian warbler, Common yellowthroat, Yellow warbler, Chestnut-sided warbler, Magnolia warbler, Pine warbler, Cape-may warbler, Swainson’s thrush, Wood thrush, Rose-breasted grosbeak, House sparrow.

We were exceptionally lucky to have banded a beautiful older Scarlet tanager male, a Golden-winged warbler and some Baltimore orioles!

In terms of general observations, warblers have been in and out of the point while Slate-coloured junco’s have finally moved on. Here are some of the species observed over the course of the week: Blue-winged warbler, Yellow-throated warbler, Black-crowned night heron, Eastern bluebird, Ruby-throated hummingbird, Blue-headed vireo, Warbling vireo, Wood thrush, Green heron.

La première semaine de mai était excitante. Avec le passage de nombreuses parulines, nous avons bagué 582 oiseaux et nous en sommes à 62 espèces pour l’instant ! Nous avons eu deux jours avec plus de 130 oiseaux bagués et nous avons cumulé 152 recaptures pour la semaine.

Principales espèces baguées : Bruant à gorge blanche, paruline à croupion jaune et une dernière vague de junco ardoisé et de roitelets à couronne rubis.

La première journée de la semaine 4 (2 mai) fut exceptionnelle en termes d’observations avec l’arrivée de nombreuses nouvelles parulines telles que la paruline jaune, la paruline à gorge noire, la paruline à collier, la paruline des pins, la paruline à gorge orangé, la paruline masqué, la paruline à couronne rousse, la paruline des ruisseaux ainsi qu’un vagrant rare, la paruline à gorge jaune.

Nouvelles espèces baguées cette semaine : Paruline à joue grise, paruline à gorge noire, paruline bleue, paruline noire et blanche, paruline à gorge orangé, paruline masqué, paruline jaune, paruline à flancs marron, paruline à tête cendré, paruline des pins, paruline tigré, grive à dos olive, grive des bois, cardinal à poitrine rose, moineau domestique.

Nous avons eu la chance de baguer un magnifique mâle Pyranga écarlate, une paruline à ailes dorées et quelques Orioles de Baltimore !

En termes d’observations générales, les parulines ont fréquenté la pointe tandis que les junco ardoisés se sont finalement déplacés vers le nord. Voici quelques-unes des espèces observées au cours de la semaine : paruline à ailes bleues, paruline à gorge jaune, bihoreau gris, merle bleu, colibri à gorge rubis, viréo à tête bleue, viréo mélodieux, grive des bois, héron vert.

Hello everyone, here is the May summary for the Spring season along with some pictures (Blue-winged warbler, Blue jay, Eastern kingbird, Eastern white-crowned sparrow, Hooded warbler female)

The Spring banding season has officially finished and we are off to the MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) season for the summer.

The month of May brought us plenty of warblers, flycatchers as well as thrushes with over 2769 birds banded! Here are some of the warblers banded this month: Tennessee warbler, Nashville warbler, Northern parula, Chestnut-sided warbler, Cape-may warbler, Black-throated green warbler, Black-throated blue warbler, Yellow-rumped warbler (Myrtle subspecies), Blackpoll warbler, Bay-breasted warbler, Blackburnian warbler, Black-and-white warbler, American redstart, Ovenbird, Northern waterthrush, Mourning warbler, Common yellowthroat, Wilson’s warbler, Canada warbler.

As for flycatchers, Yellow-bellied flycatcher’s and Least flycatcher’s were our most banded flycatchers with a good amount of Trail’s flycatchers (which are either a Willow or Alder flycatcher however, they are difficult to determine at the species level unless they are heard) and some Great-crested flycatchers in our nets.

In terms of thrushes, we banded over 100 Swainson’s thrushes this month, 100 Gray catbirds, some Hermit thrushes, Wood thrushes, Veery’s and American Robin’s.

We banded 256 birds on our biggest day! With 38 Blue-jays, 31 Swainson’s thrushes, 22 Magnolia warblers, 18 Yellow-bellied flycatchers, we had some fun extracting and banding 40-70 birds per net run for most of the morning 🙂

Over the course of the month, we had some very exciting surprises with the appearance of 3 Golden-winged warblers in our nets, a Blue-winged warbler, a Hooded warbler, an Orchard oriole and 10 Scarlet tanagers! Pine warblers, Savannah sparrows and Eastern kingbird’s were also great to have in the nets.

Our most banded birds this month were Blue jays at 363, Magnolia warblers at 228, and Yellow warblers at 171. Ruby-crowned kinglet’s were still flowing through the point over the course of the month with 145 individuals banded.


Our last day of banding was quite diverse with some flycatchers, warblers, vireos, thrushes and a Golden-crowned kinglet! We had a wonderful spring season with 3,716 birds banded of 82 species!

Despite the hot and muggy weather, we had an exceptional month of August in terms of fall migration. We banded a total of 1,355 birds this month which is almost three times more birds than those banded in the past three fall seasons at the observatory. Our biggest day consisted of 152 birds! We’ve had a surprisingly early migration of Magnolia warblers as they usually migrate in mid-September, but we banded 187 this month! We also banded a decent amount of Red-eyed vireos at 131 individuals. In terms of warblers, our top banded were American redstarts, Black-throated blue warblers, and Bay-breasted warblers. We also had an early movement of Swainson’s thrushes! Flycatchers have been moving through nicely as per usual. We are quite pleased with the diversity of species that have been passing through the point as we are up to 59 species for the month of August!

As for our Bobolink nets, we have caught up to 287 individuals which is an average capture rate as compared to previous years.

In terms of observations this month, we had the pleasure of hearing and banding a few Carolina wren’s which are uncommon for the point. There have also been good movements of Merlins and Bald Eagles! Pectoral sandpiper, Least sandpiper, Spotted sandpiper, Solitary sandpiper, Killdeer Greater and Lesser yellowlegs have been observed around the shoreline as well!

Here is a table of all of the species banded for the month of August as well as how many individuals of each:

September treated us well with an average of 105 birds caught per day. We banded an impressive 3,160 individuals of 71 species this month.

We banded a decent number of flycatchers, thrushes, warblers, vireos and nuthatches with Swainson’s thrushes (SWTH) making a hit at 298 individuals banded. We banded 219 birds on our biggest day which consisted mainly of Blackpoll warblers (BLPW) and Yellow-rumped warblers (MYWA).

Over the course of the month, various species were moving through the point which gave for a high diversity of birds being banded on most days. Blackpoll warblers (BLPW) broke the 10-year record of 328 individuals banded with a whopping 423 banded this month!

Our top species banded in September were Yellow-rumped warblers (MYWA), Magnolia warblers (MAWA), Blue jays (BLJA) and Red-eyed-vireos (REVI). Golden-crowned kinglets (GCKI) and Ruby-crowned kinglets (RCKI) started moving through with many more to be expected in October.

An impressive amount of Black-throated green warblers (BTNW) and Black-throated blue warblers (BTBW) were banded this month as well. We had the pleasure of banding a Merlin (MERL) which was caught on the last day of our Bobolink (BOBO) program!

Our owl banding started on September 20th. With a quiet first week due to heavy winds, we were gifted with our first Northern saw-whet owl (NSWO) on the 26th and have banded a total of 22 in September.

In terms of observations, warblers were the highlight of the month and there were also a decent amount of Cedar waxwings (CEDW) moving through. Black bellied-plovers and American pipits were spotted by the shore while raptors also started to migrate with Sharp-shinned hawks (SSHA), Northern goshawks, Merlins, and Broad-winged hawks on the move.

Some beautiful, uncommon birds were also spotted such as the Yellow-billed cuckoo and the critically endangered Redheaded woodpecker.