Summer news from PIBO

Spring migration monitoring summary

It was another productive and rewarding spring migration season at Fish Point with daily coverage commencing on April 1st and running to June 10th. A total of 164 species was recorded during PIBO’s standardized count period and 857 birds of sixty-seven species were captured during 1275 net-hours of operation, for an average catch rate of 0.67 birds/net-hour. Based on the catch-rate, it was the most active spring at the Point since 2011. A full summary will be presented in PIBO’s year-end report. 

Prothonotary Warbler by Sumiko Onishi 2018 

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Breeding Bird Census
This summer PIBO completed its second complete cycle of Breeding Bird Census surveys at all ten survey plots on the island. Each plot has been surveyed twice now in the last eight years. The sites were set up in 2009 and all ten were surveyed that year and in 2010. Since then PIBO staff had been monitoring two or three plots each summer. The 2018 censuses included more than 72 hours of fieldwork in June at three survey sites: Middle Point Conservation area (NCC), Brown’s Road field (NCC) and Lighthouse Point (Ontario Parks). Detailed results will be presented in PIBO’s year-end report. 


Marsh Monitoring Program
We also finished our 12th year of Marsh Bird Monitoring this summer at Lake Henry. A total of thirty-seven species was recorded during approximately nine hours of coverage over three visits from May to July. At least three Least Bitterns were noted on territory along with ones-and-twos of Green Heron and a lone Pied-billed Grebe.

Photo of Monarch Butterfly and Green Heron by Sumiko Onishi 2018.
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Photos below by Hannah Mittelstaedt. American Redstart being released after banding, Sumiko at the net lanes and summer student Connor Hawey at the banding station. Photos were taken during spring migration 2018. 
Species at Risk
There were Prothonotary Warblers (endangered) summering on the island this year and a potential hatch-year bird was reported at Fish Point in early August, but no conclusive nesting evidence was recorded in 2018. Similarly, a Yellow-breasted Chat (endangered) was heard singing at a familiar location on Stone Road just once in mid-June, but with no further evidence of this now elusive species on spring migration or during the breeding season. Other Species at Risk recorded on the island this summer holding confirmed, probable, or possible territories include Least Bittern, Chimney Swift, Common Nighthawk, Barn Swallow, Bank Swallow, and Eastern Meadowlark.   

Island Community Involvement
Another busy PIBO picnic was held on Mother’s Day weekend this spring with a nice turnout of old friends and new visitors. A good time was had by all and much food was consumed thanks to the culinary efforts of PIBO’s own Suzanne Friemann. Thanks so much for all the support!
On June 4-5th PIBO staff had a chance to join the annual meeting of The Lake Erie Islands International Consortium (LEIIC). This group gets together annually to share ideas and discuss ways to highlight and conserve the island’s unique habitats. During the meeting, we visited a young wetland habitat on Pelee that the Nature Conservancy of Canada has created in recent years, which included some nice views of migrant Semipalmated Plovers and a Wilson’s Phalarope. The group later joined us on PIBO’s morning census and enjoyed a lovely walk to the tip of Fish Point and back. 
PIBO received a donation from the volunteer flower group (the island beautification committee), which produced mug cups with Sumiko (PIBO’s field supervisor)’s paintings.   

Photo of Wilson Phalarope by Michael Gora 2018. 
Update on PIBO's Education Program

The Spring 2018 season was another phenomenal success for PIBO’s Education Program. From implementing new lesson ideas to starting our Classroom Bird Collision Prevention Initiative funded by TD Friends of the Environment. Highlights also included putting on a well attended “Music & Migration” event and having our very first education intern. We are very happy with all that we have accomplished and how the PIBO Education Program has continued to grow. 
This season has been full of finding areas for improvement within our lessons and making changes to enhance our programs.  We listened to feedback from educators in Fall of 2017 and implemented these modifications during our visits in the spring. We have worked hard to further develop and support the classroom before and after our visit with pre-visit, and post-visit activities. 
 We were able to engage students from early years to grade twelve in our lessons within a variety of academic institutions and settings. We were able to reach new students this year in different streams of learning including Homeschooled students and Montessori schools.
Our hands-on approach and curriculum linked lessons as well as pre-visit, and post-visit lessons were delivered to approximately 3000 students with special projects and opportunities added in throughout the season.

Photos by Sarah Keating 2018


Students from Windsor and Essex County during some of PIBO's in class lessons. 

Photos by Sarah Keating 2018
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Are you an educator in the Windsor Essex County region and interested in  PIBO coming to your class?

Our award-winning collaborative activities are available for students grades kindergarten to 12. These presentations are curriculum-linked and approximately 100 minutes in length with several opportunities for participatory learning and discovery.  Teacher and student resources are always provided and, for interested classes, there is the opportunity to book a follow-up field trip to the island to visit the Bird Observatory.

Sign up here for PIBO to visit your classroom!
Nesting Dickcissels
Of interest, this summer was possibly the first confirmed nest record for Dickcissel on Pelee Island with the discovery of five fledged young at a site on Victoria Road where a male had been singing regularly since early June. Like elsewhere in Ontario, it was an active summer for this species on Pelee, with up to six males reported along Victoria at various times along with other individuals encountered on Mahoney and West Shore Rd. We’ll see if they return next year!
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Pelee Island Bird Observatory · 585 South Shore Road · Box E2, General Delivery · Pelee Island, ON N0R 1M0 · Canada

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