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The Bird Detective features at wrap-up dinner

Canada Warbler photograph by Theresa Durning.

The Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory Spring Bird Count and Baillie Birdathon has wrapped up for another year. The Baillie Birdathon is a Canada-wide fundraiser organized by Bird Studies Canada. During any 24-hour period throughout the month of May, participants find as many species as they can, sponsored at a flat rate or so much per species. This event generates a significant portion of the funds needed to operate the migration monitoring station at Prince Edward Point.
The wrap-up dinner is set for Saturday, May 29, 5-9 p.m. at the Picton Legion, $25/person. Special guest speaker:  Dr. Bridget Stutchbury, author of Silence of the Songbirds and her just released book The Bird Detective. Visit for ticket information. And for more on the birdathon, see Terry Sprague’s blog.

Observation Highlights May 14th – May 20th
ATLANTIC BRANT were moving this week and over 2000 have gone past including 1150 on the 17th. When the lake is calm up to 500 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, 2000 LONG-TAILED DUCKS and 250 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS can easily be seen. A late BONAPARTE’S GULL was seen on the 18th and two BLACK TERNS were spotted on the 20th. What would May be without warblers and 28 species were seen this week. 25 species were noted on the 14th and included 100 NASHVILLE’S, 15 NORTHERN PARULA, 150 YELLOW, 55 CHESTNUT-SIDED, 12 CAPE MAY, 300 MYRTLE, 50 BLACKBURNIAN, 45 BLACK AND WHITE’S, 40 OVENBIRDS and included the first TENNESSEE, ORANGE-CROWNED, MOURNING, WILSON’S and CANADA’S of the spring. Numbers declined during the week but the variety was always there. A CERULEAN was seen on the 15th and a CONNECTICUT was singing that day as well. Another arrival was had on the 20th and involved 22 specieUp to 10 SCARLET TANAGERS have been seen daily. s of warbler notably 120 YELLOW, 75 CHESTNUT-SIDED, 150 MAGNOLIA, 6 CAPE MAY’S, 25 BLACK-THROATED BLUE’S, 8 BAY-BREASTED, 3 CERULEAN’S, 25 AMERICAN REDSTARTS, 4 MOURNING WARBLERS and 10 CANADA’S. Up to 10 SCARLET TANAGERS have been seen daily. HOODED WARBLERS have been seen three times during the week and a SUMMER TANAGER was seen at Point Traverse on the 15th. Of course our (resident?) HARLEQUIN DUCKS are still here, three females and a male. That makes just over four weeks they have been here so far, they have now moved to Point Traverse and can be found just below the cliffs.
The highest total of species observed for the week was on Thursday May 20th with 104. The total number of species seen during the census this year is 164.
Highlight of the week is the influx of the warblers.
In 1999 the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory became part of a nation-wide collaborative program of Bird Studies Canada called the Canadian Migration Monitoring Network. The main objective of PEPtBO is to monitor migratory bird populations in the spring and fall through observations, a daily census and banding practices. The information collected year to year can help us get an idea of population densities, longevity and migratory routes of various bird species.
Banding is done by first catching the birds in mist nets and then placing an aluminum band with an identification number around their leg. During this process information is written down about the bird such as wing length, weight, sex and age of bird. Visit for more information.

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