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Point Pelee National Park of Canada

Spring Migration

Finding Rarities

Finding a rarity is both exciting and rewarding for the birder. Many hundreds of observers scouring an area as small and productive as Point Pelee each spring usually find many rare birds. There are some, like the Virginia's warbler, lesser nighthawk, swallow-tailed kite, sage thrasher and Cassin's sparrow that are perhaps once-in-a-lifetime sightings. One, however, must always be positive about an identification before reporting a rarity to others.

Many rarities are somewhat predictable as to when, and sometimes where, they will appear. The list which follows includes many of the sought-after rarities at Pelee and the best times they are to be looked for. Never expect to see more than a few of these listed on any one visit!

Late March

Eurasian Wigeon
Greater White-fronted Goose

Early May

Eared Grebe
Cattle egret
Piping Plover
Laughing Gull
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Bewick's Wren
Worm-eating Warbler
Hooded Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler
Le Conte's Sparrow
Clay-coloured Sparrow

Mid May

Blossy Ibis
King Rail
Loggerhead Shrike
Bell's Vireo
Blue Grosbeak
Prothonotary Warbler
Kentucky Warbler
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Summer Tanager

Mid/Late May

Franklin's Gull
Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow

Late May

Western Kingbird
Acadian Flycatcher