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Point Pelee National Park of Canada

Spring Migration

Point Pelee National Park is renowned as the best location in inland North America to observe the northward migration of songbirds. The guest registry in the park's Visitor Centre shows that birders come from far and wide to experience this special event. Almost half are from outside Canada the majority of these being from the United States. Although not originally planned as such, mid-May at Pelee has become a birding festival with thousands of enthusiasts celebrating the return of the spring birds.

Probably the most impressive part of Pelee's spring migration is the diversity and huge numbers of northbound warblers that descend on the area. As such it has gained the reputation as "Warbler Capital of North America." Point Pelee is perfectly situated far enough north so as to receive both the warblers which fly north only through Texas or only through Florida. Yet, it is also far enough south to attract the "southerners" such as hooded, kentucky and worm-eating warblers. As many as 39 warbler species have been seen during a single migration, as was the case in 1979. On one day that year three birders each found a phenomenal 34 species!

To obtain the best spring birding experience at Point Pelee, it is important to realize that the national park is just one essential birding stop in the immediate area. Others include Hillman Marsh Conservation Area, Wheatley Provincial Park, Kopegaron Woods Conservation Area and the onion fields on the upper part of the Pelee peninsula.