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Our appreciation  to Paul Jones, Mike V.A. Burrell, Richard K. Cooper, Sumiko Onishi and all the bird photographers who shared their work in these pages.

WELCOME TO THE PELEE ISLAND BIRD OBSERVATORY

The Pelee Island Bird Observatory (PIBO) is uniquely situated on the most southerly island in Canada, nestled in the western arc of Lake Erie, between the mainlands of Ohio and Ontario, but most importantly, in the path of two major migratory flyways for songbirds that winter in Central and South America and breed in Ontario. Among PIBO’s many research and outreach projects, PIBO conducts annual migration counts and bird banding. We also monitor the island’s significant breeding bird communities. Our online newsletter, The Auspice, provides migration summaries, records unusual bird sightings, bird population declines, and other birding news. And our downloadable bird checklist highlights the impressive range of birds that visit Pelee Island, including several Species at Risk and those that have limited breeding ranges in Ontario. Find out more about Who We Are and What We Do—and what YOU can do to help protect birds and bird habitat in southeastern Ontario

Play Video about video-Introduction to PIBO

Did you know?

Over the past two decades, Pelee Island has been home to several mating pairs of Yellow-breasted chats. These birds have declined sharply in Ontario in recent years—from 80 individuals in 2005 to possibly only 4 birds remaining today—and are listed as an Endangered Species in Ontario.

Yellow-breasted chats have been spotted on the island in recent years, and PIBO staff are engaged in ascertaining whether the chats are nesting there.

Stay tuned: maybe this year, evidence of the species’ true status on Pelee Island will be found!

Upcoming and Noteworthy

Bidding for Birds

Our spectacular Online Auction runs this year from May 1 to 17. Bid on more than a hundred delectable items, including artwork by Robert Bateman, Lori Richards, Wally Edwards, and other outstanding Canadian artists, birders’ books, jewelry, book club visits, a St. Lawrence cruise, a Georgian-Bay weekend, and guided birding tours in Toronto, Prince Edward County, Mexico, and Spain. There’s even a week in a fully renovated medieval castle in Italy! Plus mystery bags from Margaret Atwood, Louise Penny, Lorna Crozier, and many others.

Windsor, A Bird Friendly City—Almost!

In 2019, Nature Canada signed an agreement with Environment and Climate Change Canada to certify 30 Canadian centres as “Bird Friendly Cities” by May 14, 2022— this year’s World Migratory Bird Day. Led by Suzanne Friemann, PIBO and a small committee of staff and volunteers have been working hard to put Windsor on the Bird Friendly City map, hosting dozens of events, developing education programs, including bird checklists of Windsor and area. Covid has been a major distraction, but with sufficient political will and public pressure, Windsor has a good chance of becoming Canada’s next Bird-Friendly City.

Strike Up the Band!

Our spring bird banding begins with the spring migration in the second week of May, and continues until the end of June. During spring migration last year, we monitored 185 species, from Blue-grey gnatcatchers to Sawhet owls to American White pelicans. Our banding station is open to the public, and we encourage visitors to the island to come and watch our staff and volunteers as they work. We’re always eager to demonstrate and explain PIBO’s role in Ontario’s network of bird-protecting observatories.
Photo credit: Paul Jones