The American Pipit is a lovely songbird, often associated with shorebirds because of similar life histories. Like its shorebird counterparts, the American Pipit summers among the moss-covered, rocky hills on the bleak coast of Labrador, along the Arctic tundra to northern Alaska, and on the west coast of Greenland.
As soon as the young birds are able to care for themselves the Pipits gather into flocks and begin to migrate, leaving their breeding grounds before the end of August. The American Pipit winters in the mid United States and along the Gulf coast.
A pilot monitoring project was initiated by Nigel Shaw, TTPBRS coordinator. Although there were many observations of Pipits in previous years, this curious little bird has only been recorded in small numbers at Tommy Thompson Park. Nigel is hoping to capture and band a good sample of the birds that are passing through, and hopefully learn a little more about the species.
To date, the Pipit Project has been a success. Volunteers at the research station have witnessed 100's of American Pipits flying through the park during this fall migration. Tommy Thompson Park is on a significant migration route for this species. 41 individuals have been banded since the project began.
Discover the beauty and diversity of bird life at Tommy Thompson Park. Join experienced birders who will lead you through the best birding spots, helping to point out and identify many of the resident and migratory birds that rely on this urban wilderness. End the walk with a visit to the Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station to see bird banding demonstrations and learn about the important monitoring and research being done to conserve migratory birds.
Participants will meet at the entrance to the park, at the foot of Leslie Street at Unwin Avenue. The walk will begin promptly at 8:00 a.m., so make sure to get there early! There is no potable water or food at the park. Bring plenty of fluids and snacks. Long pants and boots are strongly recommended to protect you from biting insects. Finally, don’t forget your binoculars and field guide!
The team at the TTP Bird Research Station are seeing good migration numbers, despite the wet weather. On October 3, 195 birds were banded, with Kinglets taking over the total. Monitoring resumed on October 8, with a staggering 300 birds banded - 67% of the total were Kinglets.
If you're out bird watching this long weekend, watch for the tiny Golden-crowned Kinglet plucking small insects from clusters of needles, high up in conifer trees.