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Point Pelee National Park of Canada

Monthly Summaries of Autumn Migrants


The first killing frost of the season can usually be expected about November 5, and immediately thereafter the migration of many birds including shorebirds and seed-eating species including sparrows is essentially over.

The freezing of bodies of water to the north, however, forces more and more waterfowl to appear in Pelee's marshes and offshore waters. A late wave of Bonaparte's gulls often appears, and blackbirds are sometimes observed roosting in the marshes at night by the thousands. Migrations of red-tailed hawks are often encountered in November and it is also a good time for long-earned owls to appear.

Although November is not the time of year for numbers of birds, it is, however, a time when many rarities should be looked for. Birds which have appeared in November at Pelee include northern gannet, harlequin duck, purple sandpiper, red phalarope, black-legged kittiwake, ash-throated flycatcher, American white pelican, townsend's solitaire, western tanager and mountain bluebird.