Grasshopper SparrowOf the total of 50 species of warblers possible during this Big Year Series, 38 species could be seen on this trip! And for 25 species—half of all the warblers for the Big Year Series—this tour represents the best chance of seeing these species for the year! That is, the highest probability of recording these species on our year list according to the data in eBird! Amazing!
In addition to all the warblers, this trip also has an astounding number of migrants and rivals Louisiana and the Upper Texas Coast for variety. From the beautiful mountains of West Virginia to the marshes and shorelines of Western Lake Erie, this large area offers the birder a chance to see tons of birds in their breeding plumages as they wing northward to their breeding grounds.
The average number of species of warblers per checklist for the second week of May (May 8-14) is 15.4 (according to eBird for all years and the spring months March, April, and May as of March 3, 2015). This is more than Pt. Pelee in Ontario, and more than High Island in Texas. In fact, it is the highest of all the other 11 hotspots I checked. It is one of those bucket list kind of places. And, if you are like me, you might spend the next 35 years coming here every spring to welcome the gems of spring—the warblers.
So if you are considering this trip, you should probably consider tagging on Biggest Week in American Birding (http://www.biggestweekinamericanbirding.com). Yes, there will be lots of people during the festival. (We will have less than half of the crowd on our tour when we visit Magee Marsh). It’s a great social event, too. You will literally see birders from all around the world. And Wildside Nature Tours (http://wildsidenaturetours.com) will be their helping with day tours, field trips, and presentations. Come say “Hi” to us and visit our booth at Maumee Bay State Park. Check out our trips to destinations around the world!
And you will have a chance to stop by BSBO—Black Swamp Bird Observatory—and give your support to their ongoing efforts of bird conservation and migratory bird research. Many of the birds you will see have traveled thousands of miles. This stopover is incredibly important. You can show your support in many ways. Stop by their headquarters there or go to their website at http://bsbo.org.