Michigan Audubon Office: (517) 580-7364|birds@michiganaudubon.org

Migration Counts

The WPBO Migration Counts Blog provides updates on the spring and fall migrations of waterbirds, raptors, shorebirds, and more.

Spring 2018 Waterbird Count Totals

Here’s a list of all the waterbird species seen along with the seasonal total counted during the waterbird count at Whitefish Point in Spring of 2018, from April 15 through May 31: Greater White-fronted Goose: 2 flew low over the waterbird shack with a flock of Canada Geese on April 23. Snow/Ross’s Goose: 1 very [...]

2018-06-25T21:10:16+00:00 June 25th, 2018|Migration Counts|Comments Off on Spring 2018 Waterbird Count Totals

Late May Waterbird update

Some of the highlights since the last blog post include a flock of 19 American White Pelicans that flew past the tip on May 17 and the arrival of several shorebird species. A Red Knot appeared in the pond near the tip for a while on May 18. Surprisingly, this individual was not in breeding [...]

2018-05-25T12:59:29+00:00 May 25th, 2018|Migration Counts|Comments Off on Late May Waterbird update

Immature Broad-wingeds and a new Eagle high

Even with the end in sight the hawk count is still going strong! Among raptors, Broad-winged Hawk remains most numerous with a total of 4,749. They will surely remain in the lead, as immature birds have only in the past two days begun to make up a significant proportion of the kettles overhead, with the [...]

2018-05-24T18:50:56+00:00 May 24th, 2018|Migration Counts|Comments Off on Immature Broad-wingeds and a new Eagle high

10,000 Raptors!

This week the hawk count passed the milestone of 10,000 raptors tallied for the season! As of this update the count currently stands at 10,523 raptors since March 15th. In a strange turn of events, Broad-winged Hawk is the most common species, rather than Sharp-shinned. Just five times previously in the 40-year history of the [...]

2018-05-19T15:14:31+00:00 May 17th, 2018|Migration Counts|Comments Off on 10,000 Raptors!

Scoters and Whimbrels

One would think that with over 2000 Bonaparte’s Gulls passing by the point the day before that we would have seen at least a few hundred today, but only six individuals were seen braving today’s northwest winds. Fortunately, scoters made up the near absence of small gulls, with 91 White-winged Scoters flying by the point, [...]

2018-05-15T23:17:12+00:00 May 15th, 2018|Migration Counts|Comments Off on Scoters and Whimbrels

2000 Bonaparte’s Gulls

There wasn’t much of an evening flight on May 13, though a close pass by two Red-throated Loons was very enjoyable. There were no Bonaparte’s Gulls seen that evening though. It turns out that they were all waiting for today, May 14. During the eight hour count beginning at sunrise, 1920 were tallied. In an [...]

2018-05-14T22:57:30+00:00 May 14th, 2018|Migration Counts|Comments Off on 2000 Bonaparte’s Gulls

Swainson’s Hawks at Whitefish Point!

Swainson’s Hawk is in many ways one of the most interesting members of the genus Buteo, and is a highly desired treat for hawk watchers in eastern North America. They travel up to 14,000 miles each spring and again each fall, making them the longest-distance migrant among western hemisphere raptors. Virtually the entire world’s population [...]

2018-05-14T21:29:04+00:00 May 14th, 2018|Migration Counts|Comments Off on Swainson’s Hawks at Whitefish Point!

Scoters and Bonaparte’s Gulls

The mid-May migration of Bonaparte’s Gulls and scoters past Whitefish Point has finally begun! White-winged Scoters were especially late in arriving at the point in this late spring, with none recorded until May 7, when five were seen. They’ve been seen daily since, with 78 on May 9; in most years a few are spotted [...]

2018-05-13T18:49:18+00:00 May 13th, 2018|Migration Counts, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Scoters and Bonaparte’s Gulls

Hawks are back at the Point!

The hawk count has finally come alive! The slowdown began the final week of March. It continued into the first week of April, when 47 hours of ceaseless searching yielded a meager total of 23 raptors. Nothing changed through the second week of April, aside from the weekend’s blizzard dumping a fresh two feet of [...]

2018-05-02T18:49:35+00:00 May 2nd, 2018|Migration Counts|Comments Off on Hawks are back at the Point!

Waterbird migration may finally be starting!

By Louie Dombroski Almost one week into the waterbird count, there is still little to report. There were some hopeful signs in March and early April with a few (very few) Canada Geese, Mallards, and Sandhill Cranes all reported from the hawk watch. On one visit in March, I climbed [...]

2018-04-23T08:34:57+00:00 April 23rd, 2018|Migration Counts|Comments Off on Waterbird migration may finally be starting!