Point Pelee National Park of Canada
Monthly Summaries of Spring Migrants
May is the month dear to the hearts of most birders, since it is possible to see more species at the height of migration (about mid-May) than at any other time of year. Now many of the long-distance, land bird migrants arrive, many from Central and South America. It is interesting that these migrants from afar arrive on more predictable dates each year than do those spending the winter closer to Ontario.
Weather plays an important role in the numbers of a species one is likely to see. On rare occasions there will be a "grounding" of migrants due to inclement weather, and it is then that astounding numbers of certain species will descend on Point Pelee. This phenomena, however, is the exception, rather than the rule.
Most of the waterfowl migration is over by early to mid-May and many of the April land bird migrants as well have already passed through.
Early (before the 7th)
Black Scoter (rare)
Cape May Warbler
Wilson's Phalarope (rare)
Prairie Warbler (rare)
Great Crested Flycatcher
Hooded Warbler (rare)
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Mid-May (after the 7th)
Prothonotary Warbler (rare)
* most numerous between May 18th and 23rd
Most warblers, vireos, thrushes, tanagers, orioles, flycatchers, etc, are abundant between May 10 to 20. Towards the end of May, red knot, one of the latest migrants, will arrive and at this time several other shorebirds are found in great numbers.