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 American Pipit

Status in Michigan
Fairly Common Transient

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for American Pipit.

Use the links below to view the American Pipit reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Spring 2005
View American Pipit sightings.
American Pipit Archives Reports
Fall 2003 276
Spring 2003 358
Winter 02-03 0
Fall 2002 276
Summer 2002 0
Spring 2002 49
Winter 01-02 22
Fall 2001 311
Summer 2001 1
Spring 2001 39
Winter 00-01 6
Fall 2000 246
Summer 2000 0
Spring 2000 129
Winter 00-99 0
Fall 1999 233
Spring/Summer 1999 4

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: American Pipit

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Active Database - Fall 2003
View Fall 2003 sightings.
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Official Seasonal Count Summaries for the American Pipit
Fall 1999-Spring 2002
American Pipit
Note: Some species will not be present in the WPBO archives and will return no records.

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text
The Birds of Michigan - by: Norman A. Wood
Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75

Anthus spinoletta rubescens (Tunstall)
American Pipit

Common transient.

First listed for Michigan by Sager (1839: 415).

SPRING.-The American Pipit arrives in Michigan in April or during the first three weeks of May.

Lower Peninsula.-L. W. Campbell (1940:193) has reported the species from the Toledo-Erie marsh area during the first 3 weeks in May. Swales (1904:41) listed it as an irregular, sometimes common, transient in the Detroit area; with J. Claire Wood he observed 100 there on April 7, 1901, and 200 on May 10, 1903. Observers usually report this pipit in the Ann Arbor area between mid-April and mid-May, but a flock of 200 was seen as early as March 22 in 1935 (Trautman), and arrival was recorded there on March 31 in 1918 (N. A. Wood and Tinker, 1934: 36). Thirty birds were found by R. E. Olsen and A. D. Tinker near Battle Creek, Calhoun County, on May 12, 1935, and the species was reported from Jackson, in 1939, by Mrs. E. K. Frey on April 2 (6 seen) and April 9 (2). N. A. Wood observed the species and collected several specimens (U.M.M.Z.) between May 9 and 19, 1926, at Fish Point, Tuscola County.

Upper Peninsula.-N. A. Wood (1914: 72) recorded a flock of 20 American Pipits at Whitefish Point, Chippewa County, on May 21, 1914, and a single bird on June 3; Walkinshaw saw 2 there on May 29, 1934. Bryens has noted the species at McMillan, Luce County, throughout most of May, finding the greatest numbers during the middle of the month (70 on May 14, 1941, and on May 19, 2023). At Copper Harbor, Keweenaw County, N. A. Wood (1933: 731) listed the species as a common transient in 1931, first observing it there on May 15 (a flock of 20); Laurence Dayton found it on Isle Royale on May 2, 1937.

FALL.-The chief period of migration in the fall is from late September to early October in the Upper Peninsula and to mid-October in the Lower Peninsula.

Upper Peninsula.-Max M. Peet (1909: 379-80) recorded large flocks, of 20 to 200 birds, daily on Isle Royale between September 19 and 21 in 1905. A single specimen (U.M.M.Z.) was collected at Gogebic Lake, Gogebic County, on September 20, 1940, by R. Bohland; Trautman saw 130 American Pipits near Sidnaw, Houghton County, on October 1, 1934, and 200 near Matchwood, Ontonagon County, on the following day. S. S. Gregory, Jr. (1929: 187), collected a specimen in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County, on September 26, 1919, and listed the species as a rare fall migrant there between September 24 and October 17. Bryens has recorded the American Pipit at McMillan, Luce County, from the early part of September to early November, noting the largest numbers there in late September and early October (150 birds seen on September 25, 1928, and 200 on October 6, 2023). Christofferson has made similar observations at Blaney, Schoolcraft County, although in 1932 he recorded a flock of 50 as late as November 5.

Lower Peninsula.-Numbers of American Pipits were recorded by J. Claire "Wood (1913: 19) at Lincoln, Alcona County, during October: 30 to 200 daily in early October; 15 on October 21; and 3 on October 29. The species was found on Charity Island, Huron County (N. A. Wood, 1911:109-110), during the latter part of September: 20 on September 19; 15 on September 23; 50 on September 24; 1 on September 25. N. A. "Wood collected specimens (U.M.M.Z.) on Fish Point, Tuscola County: 2 on October 16, 1925, and 2 on November 5, 1927. C. "W. Gunn (1881o; 69) saw flocks of American Pipits near Grand Rapids, Kent County, on October 18. R. E. Olsen and A. D. Tinker saw 40 American Pipits at Portage Lake, Jackson County, on September 23, and 30 on October 7. A large flock was seen near Ann Arbor on October 10, 1908, by F. M. Gaige; one of the latest seasonal records from this locality is that of a specimen (U.M.M.Z.) taken by Gaige on October 30, 1917. Swales (1904: 41) indicated that this pipit was rarely found in the Detroit area after November 1; in 1903 Swales recorded "hundreds" there on October 21, but noted only a few by October 24. In the Toledo-Erie marsh area, L. W. Campbell has observed the species from mid-September to mid-November.

Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

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