Checklist of the Birds of Pelee Island

Pelee Island, located at the western end of Lake Erie, sits at the confluence of two major bird migration flyways, and is therefore ideally situated for receiving a large number of birds in transit during their spring and fall migrations. Of the 501 species known in Ontario, 314 have been recorded on Pelee Island.

The following checklist comprises all bird species identified on the island since 2004. The order of birds and bird names is based on The American Ornithological Society’s (AOS) Checklist, the official source on the taxonomy of birds found in North America.

Checklists are valuable in several ways. A checklist can be a fond reminder of a single birding trip to the island. If added to over a number of years, it can reflect the migration patterns of individual species – a mass of Eastern bluebirds one year, hardly any the next. It can serve as a record for birders aiming to see every bird recorded on Pelee Island. And a checklist can tell the birder if they are seeing a bird that is new to the island.

The following checklist is available in a PDF format, so you can download and print it before your visit to the island. Or you can purchase one from the Pelee Island Heritage Centre, located across from the ferry exit. Either way, keeping a checklist is an excellent and memorable way to enhance your visit to one of the best birding destinations in southern Ontario.

Italicized entries are on the review list for Southern Ontario, Ontario Bird Records Committee.

Northern Shrike | Photo by Paul Jones


“B” – regular breeding species – 73 species
“(B)” – former/irregular breeding species – 33
“FP” – documented by PIBO staff at Fish Point – 239
“P” – documented by PIBO staff on Pelee Island – 247
“*” – presumed escapee

Ruby-crowned kinglet | Photo by Paul Jones

Loons & Grebes

Red-throated Loon
Pacific Loon
Common Loon FP
Pied-billed Grebe (B) FP
Horned Grebe FP
Eared Grebe
Red-necked Grebe FP

Ducks, Geese & Swans

Tundra Swan FP
Trumpeter Swan
Mute Swan P
Greater White-fronted Goose
Snow Goose
Canada Goose B FP
Cackling Goose
Wood Duck B FP
Green-winged Teal FP
American Black Duck FP
Mallard B FP
Northern Pintail FP
Blue-winged Teal FP
Northern Shoveler FP
Gadwall FP
American Wigeon FP
Canvasback FP
Redhead FP
Ring-necked Duck FP
Greater Scaup FP
Lesser Scaup FP
King Eider
Long-tailed Duck FP
Black Scoter FP
Surf Scoter FP
White-winged Scoter
Common Goldeneye FP
Bufflehead FP
Hooded Merganser FP
Common Merganser FP
Red-breasted Merganser FP
Ruddy Duck FP


Double-crested Cormorant B FP


American White Pelican

Herons & Bitterns

American Bittern FP
Least Bittern B FP
Great Blue Heron (B) FP
Great Egret (B) FP
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Cattle Egret (B)
Green Heron (B) FP
Black-crowned Night Heron (B) FP
Yellow-crowned Night Heron
White Ibis
Glossy Ibis
Wood Stork

Vultures, Kites, Hawks & Eagles

Turkey Vulture FP
Osprey FP
American Swallow-tailed Kite
Bald Eagle B FP
Northern Harrier (B) FP
Sharp-shinned Hawk FP
Cooper’s Hawk B FP
Northern Goshawk FP
Red-shouldered Hawk (B) FP
Broad-winged Hawk FP
Red-tailed Hawk B FP
Rough-legged Hawk FP
Golden Eagle
Crested Caracara


American Kestrel B FP
Merlin FP
Peregrine Falcon FP

Grouse, Pheasants & Turkeys

Ring-necked Pheasant B FP
Wild Turkey B FP

Rails, Galinules & Coots

Yellow Rail
King Rail (B)
Virginia Rail FP
Sora B FP
Common Moorhen (B)
American Coot (B) FP


Sandhill Crane FP


Black-bellied Plover FP
American Golden Plover FP
Semipalmated Plover FP
Snowy Plover FP
Piping Plover (B) FP
Killdeer B FP

Gulls & Terns

Parasitic Jaeger
Laughing Gull FP
Franklin’s Gull FP
Black-headed Gull FP
Little Gull FP
Bonaparte’s Gull FP
Ring-billed Gull (B) FP
California Gull
Herring Gull (B) FP
Iceland Gull P
Lesser Black-backed Gull FP
Glaucous Gull FP
Thayer’s Gull FP
Great Black-backed Gull FP
Caspian Tern FP
Common Tern (B) FP
Forster’s Tern FP
Black Tern (B) FP

Pigeons & Doves

Rock Dove B FP
Mourning Dove B FP
Collared Dove

White-winged Dove


Black-billed Cuckoo B FP
Yellow-billed Cuckoo B FP

Stilts & Avocets

American Avocet
Black-necked Stilt FP

Sandpipers & Phalaropes

Greater Yellowlegs FP
Lesser Yellowlegs FP
Solitary Sandpiper FP
Willet FP
Spotted Sandpiper B FP
Upland Sandpiper (B)
Whimbrel FP
Hudsonian Godwit
Ruddy Turnstone FP
Red Knot FP
Sanderling FP
Semipalmated Sandpiper FP
Western Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper FP
White-rumped Sandpiper
Baird’s Sandpiper FP
Pectoral Sandpiper FP
Purple Sandpiper
Dunlin FP
Stilt Sandpiper
Buff-breasted Sandpiper FP
Short-billed Dowitcher FP
Common Snipe FP
American Woodcock B FP
Wilson’s Phalarope


Belted Kingfisher (B) FP


Barn Owl
Long-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl FP
Eastern Screech-Owl B FP
Great Horned Owl B FP
Snowy Owl
Barred Owl
Northern Saw-whet Owl FP

Burrowing Owl


Red-headed Woodpecker (B) FP
Red-bellied Woodpecker B FP
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker FP
Downy Woodpecker B FP
Hairy Woodpecker FP
Black-backed Woodpecker
Northern Flicker B FP
Pileated Woodpecker


Olive-sided Flycatcher FP
Eastern Wood-Pewee B FP
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher FP
Acadian Flycatcher (B) FP
Alder Flycatcher FP
Willow Flycatcher B FP
Least Flycatcher B FP
Eastern Phoebe B FP
Great Crested Flycatcher B FP
Eastern Kingbird B FP

Western Kingbird
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher


Northern Shrike
Loggerhead Shrike


Warbling Vireo B FP
Philadelphia Vireo FP
White-eyed Vireo B FP
Bell’s Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo B FP
Yellow-throated Vireo FP
Blue-headed Vireo FP

Goatsuckers & Swifts

Common Nighthawk B FP
Whip-poor-will FP
Chimney Swift B FP


Ruby-throated Hummingbird B FP

Crows & Jays

Blue Jay B FP
American Crow B FP


Horned Lark B FP


Purple Martin B FP
Tree Swallow B FP
N. Rough-winged Swallow B FP
Bank Swallow B FP
Cliff Swallow (B) FP
Cave Swallow P
Barn Swallow B FP

Chickadees & Titmice

Black-capped Chickadee B FP
Boreal Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Great Tit* P

Nuthatches & Creepers

Red-breasted Nuthatch FP
White-breasted Nuthatch (B) FP
Brown Creeper FP


Carolina Wren B FP
Bewick’s Wren
House Wren B FP
Winter Wren FP
Sedge Wren (B)
Marsh Wren (B) FP

Kinglets & Gnatcatchers

Golden-crowned Kinglet FP
Ruby-crowned Kinglet FP
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher B FP


Eastern Bluebird B FP
Mountain Bluebird
American Robin B FP
Townsend’s Solitaire P
Wood Thrush B FP
Veery FP
Swainson’s Thrush FP
Gray-cheeked Thrush FP
Hermit Thrush FP

Mockingbirds & Thrashers

Gray Catbird B FP
Northern Mockingbird FP
Sage Thrasher
Brown Thrasher B FP


European Starling B FP

Pipits & Waxwings

American Pipit FP
Cedar Waxwing B FP


Northern Parula FP
Orange-crowned Warbler FP
Tennessee Warbler FP
Blue-winged Warbler (B) FP
Golden-winged Warbler FP
“Brewster’s” Warbler FP
Nashville Warbler FP
Virginia’s Warbler
Yellow Warbler B FP
Chestnut-sided Warbler FP
Magnolia Warbler FP
Cape May Warbler FP
Black-throated Blue Warbler FP
Blackburnian Warbler FP
Cerulean Warbler FP
Black-throated Green Warbler FP
Yellow-rumped Warbler FP
Palm Warbler FP
Pine Warbler (B) FP
Prairie Warbler FP
Blackpoll Warbler FP
Bay-breasted Warbler FP
Yellow-throated Warbler FP
Kirtland’s Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler FP
American Redstart B FP
Prothonotary Warbler (B) FP
Worm-eating Warbler FP
Common Yellowthroat FP
Mourning Warbler FP
Connecticut Warbler FP
Kentucky Warbler FP
Northern Waterthrush FP
Louisiana Waterthrush (B) FP
Ovenbird FP
Canada Warbler FP
Hooded Warbler FP
Wilson’s Warbler FP
Yellow-breasted Chat B FP


Scarlet Tanager FP
Summer Tanager FP
Western Tanager

Cardinals & Allies

Northern Cardinal B FP
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (B) FP
Blue Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting B FP
Dickcissel (B)


Eastern Towhee B FP
Chipping Sparrow B FP
Clay-colored Sparrow FP
Field Sparrow B FP
American Tree Sparrow FP
Vesper Sparrow (B) FP
Grasshopper Sparrow FP
Henslow’s Sparrow
Le Conte’s Sparrow
Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow FP
Savannah Sparrow (B) FP
Song Sparrow B FP
Lincoln’s Sparrow FP
Swamp Sparrow B FP
Fox Sparrow FP
Harris’s Sparrow P
White-crowned Sparrow FP
White-throated Sparrow FP
Dark-eyed Junco FP

Lark Sparrow

Longspurs & Buntings

Lapland Longspur
Snow Bunting FP


Northern Oriole B FP
Orchard Oriole B FP
Eastern Meadowlark B FP
Western Meadowlark P
Bobolink (B) FP
Red-winged Blackbird B FP
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Rusty Blackbird FP
Brewer’s Blackbird
Common Grackle B FP
Brown-headed Cowbird B FP


Purple Finch FP
House Finch B FP
Common Redpoll
Pine Siskin FP
American Goldfinch B FP
European Goldfinch* FP
Evening Grosbeak

Old World Sparrows

House Sparrow B FP