Lazuli Bunting – Birdathon Birds – Black-backed Woodpecker – Northern Cardinal

The biggest news out of Whitefish Point this season is the first Point and third state record for a Lazuli Bunting observed on May 28, 2019, found by Point regular Dan Elliot. Lazuli Bunting are a western species that are strongly related to Indigo Bunting. They typically do not stray east of mid-United States, making this sighting one for the record books. As of writing this post, the vagrant continues at the feeders behind the Owls Roost giftshop, granting great views for those wishing to observe the bunting.

A Black-backed Woodpecker observed on May 27, 2019. Photo by Alec Olivier

A singing male American Redstart. During Birdathon, the redstart was one of the most commonly detected birds. Photo by Charlotte R. Catalano

On May 26, 2019, staff and a few volunteers set out to document as many bird species as possible inside a 24-hour period for WPBO’s yearly Birdathon fundraiser. The event yielded 155 species in the greater Whitefish Point area. The highlight species from the count include American White Pelican, Pacific Loon, and Black-backed Woodpecker, all seen at the Point itself. Other notable birds were American Bittern, Cooper’s Hawk, Glaucous Gull, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, LeConte’s Sparrow, and 24 species of warbler, including the season’s first Mourning Warbler. Many of us ended the day late and tired with sore feet but generally invigorated after a solid day of birding to help further WPBO’s mission. Thank you everyone who pledged and donated to the event!

The end of the season provided one last new species for the season: Northern Cardinal. The female bird was seen at the feeders behind the Owl’s Roost early this morning, the 31st.

It’s been a great season with plenty of birds and great diversity that promises to continue in the weeks ahead if you’re interested in coming up and visiting the Point.

– Charlotte R. Catalano, WPBO Field Ornithologist

Featured Photo: The first Point and third state record for a Lazuli Bunting first seen on May 28, 2019. Photo by Charlotte R. Catalano