Point Pelee, Crane Creek & the Kirtland's Warbler: May 12—20, 2007

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Price: $2,035
Departs: Detroit, MI
Tour Limit: 14
Download Itinerary: PDF (76.4 KB)

Tour Leaders

Chris Merkord

Chris Merkord has been an avid naturalist since childhood. Family vacations nurtured a keen ...


Kim Eckert

Kim Eckert, with over 40 years of birding experience throughout the U.S. and Canada, has now...

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Register for this Tour

Register for this tour by phone (800/328-VENT or 512/328-5221), or by downloading a tour registration form. Signed and completed forms can be faxed, mailed, or scanned and emailed to the VENT office.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Rose-breasted Grosbeak— Photo: Brennan Mulrooney

Features the strong possibility of 30+ species of warblers plus many other migrants at Point Pelee, probably the most famous migrant trap of them all, followed by a visit to the endangered Kirtland's Warbler nesting grounds of central Michigan.

Point Pelee National Park in Ontario has long been famous as one of the most remarkable migration concentration points in North America. Extending some nine miles into the western end of Lake Erie, this Point is a funnel of land that birds follow on their way south in the fall and, more significantly, is the first available land that trans-lake migrants reach on their way north in the spring.

If the weather is good (i.e., south winds over the lake bringing birds up to meet a cold front or rain shower at Pelee), the concentration of grounded migrants will provide some of the most impressive birding anywhere. Thirty species of warblers or more are then possible, not to mention flycatchers, vireos, thrushes, tanagers, grosbeaks, buntings, orioles, and others teeming at Pelee and other nearby concentration points. During our four days here, with side trips to nearby Crane Creek State Park and Rondeau Provincial Park, we will especially watch for less common possibilities such as American Woodcock, Little Gull, Red-headed Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Philadelphia Vireo, Gray-cheeked Thrush, Prothonotary Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, and Dickcissel.

Following our stay at Pelee, we will travel to north-central Michigan—the breeding grounds of the endangered Kirtland's Warbler. Here, weather permitting, we will observe and listen to singing males perched atop the jack pines. Michigan is also home to several other noteworthy breeding species which may have eluded us at Pelee: e.g., Ruffed Grouse; Sandhill Crane; Virginia Rail; Upland Sandpiper; Black-billed Cuckoo; Barred Owl; Pileated Woodpecker; Alder and Willow flycatchers; Sedge Wren; Blue-winged, Golden-winged, Pine, Cerulean, Mourning, and Hooded warblers; both waterthrushes; Henslow's and Grasshopper sparrows; Bobolink; and Evening Grosbeak.

Leisurely bird walks of short to moderate length; several early morning starts; trails can be crowded at Point Pelee and Crane Creek; weather often cool and windy on Lake Erie and in Michigan.