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 Cape May Warbler

Status in Michigan
Uncommon Transient summer resident

Early Spring Date

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

Use the links below to view the Cape May Warbler 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 Cape May Warbler sightings.
Cape May Warbler Archives Reports
Fall 2003 21
Spring 2003 32
Winter 02-03 0
Fall 2002 14
Summer 2002 2
Spring 2002 32
Winter 01-02 0
Fall 2001 15
Summer 2001 1
Spring 2001 28
Winter 00-01 0
Fall 2000 5
Summer 2000 1
Spring 2000 22
Winter 00-99 0
Fall 1999 5
Spring/Summer 1999 2

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Cape May Warbler

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Active Database - Fall 2003
View Fall 2003 sightings.
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Official Seasonal Count Summaries for the Cape May Warbler
Fall 1999-Spring 2002
Cape May Warbler
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

Dendroica tigrina (Gmelin)
Cape May Warbler

Regular transient. Has been recorded in summer in Luce County.

First recorded for Michigan by Fox (1854:353).

SPRING.-The Cape May Warbler migrates through the southern counties in the second and third weeks of May and through the Upper Peninsula during the third and fourth weeks.

Lower Peninsula.-L. W. Campbell (1940: 207) has given May 13 to 18 as the average period of greatest abundance in the Toledo-Erie marsh area. Swales (1904: 39) found the species a rare transient in the Detroit area, but 4 years later Taverner (1908: 207) believed it had considerably in- creased. Individuals have been reported in the Ann Arbor region in the first week of May-rarely in late April-and greater numbers about the middle of the month; 2 were seen April 27, 1915, and 10, May 15, 1937. In Berrien County, N. A. Wood (1922: 26) observed the species from May 8 to 25 (1918 to 1920) ; in Kalamazoo County, Gibbs (1885: 39) listed it as rare and as arriving in early May. G. A. Ammann saw it at the Prairie Farm, Alicia, Saginaw County, on May 11, 1940; on Sand Point, Huron County, D. W. Douglass noted it during the second and third weeks in May (1931 to 1933). William Brewster collected a series of specimens (M.C.Z.) at Oden, Emmet County, and at Cadillac, Wexford County, May 14 to 24,1888.

Upper Peninsula.-Bryens recorded 2 individuals at McMillan, Luce County, on May 8,1938, and Christofferson 2 at Blaney, Sehoolcraft County, on May 11,1939. N. A. Wood (1914: 70) reported the species at Whitefish Point, Chippewa County, May 19 to 23, and S. S. Gregory, Jr. (1929: 185), noted it as a rare transient in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County, during the fourth week in May. It was seen in 1930 on Isle Royale by N. A. Wood from May 17 to 29, and 1 specimen (U.M.M.Z.) was taken there by A. Murie on May 16,1930.

SUMMER.-There is some indication that the Cape May Warbler nests in northern Michigan: Braund and Aldrich (1941: 99, 103) noted a total of 19 individuals in a spruce bog 12 miles northwest of Newberry, Luce County, between June 9 and 21; they saw 1 to 5 singing males at a time, and collected 2 on June 10. Lincoln (1939: 88) included northern Michigan in the breeding range of the Cape May Warbler, but knows of no definite breeding record from there (letter of January 16, 2023).

FALL.-The fall migration is more extended than the spring movement; it begins in early August and continues until late September or even early October in the southern counties.

Upper Peninsula.-Max M. Peet (1909: 373) saw 6 or 7 individuals on Isle Royale on August 15, and N. A. Wood collected 2 (U.M.M.Z.) there on August 21 and 27, 1929. S. S. Gregory, Jr., collected a specimen in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County, on September 20, 1919, and at Deer Park, Luce County, R. E. Olsen collected 2 (U.M.M.Z.) on August 31 and September 1, 1936. N. A. Wood (1914: 70) saw the species at Whitefish Point, Chippewa County, on August 5, 6, and 13, and a few were noted there by Fargo on September 2, 1925. K. Christofferson recorded this warbler at Blaney, Schoolcraft County, as late as September 11 (1932, 2 seen).

Lower Peninsula.-Max M. Peet collected a specimen at Burt Lake, Cheboygan County, on September 3, 1937. N. A. Wood (1911: 105-6) observed the Cape May Warbler on Charity Island, Huron County, from August 22 to October 3; and at Sand Point in the same county, N. A. Wood and Gaige (1911: 299) noted numerous flocks of 10 to 20 birds from August 18 until August 27, when the observers left the region. Walkinshaw saw an individual in Calhoun County on September 25, 1933, and N. A. Wood (1922: 26) recorded the species in Berrien County from August 29 to September 10, 1917. This warbler has been reported several times in October in the Ann Arbor area: Max M. Peet collected 2 near Ypsilanti, on October 3 and 5, 1914; R. C. Hughes secured 1 (U.M.M.Z.) at Ann Arbor on October 22, 1927. Swales' notes indicate that the species was the most common in the Detroit area during September (25 seen by Swales on September 12, 1913; 32 seen by J. Claire Wood on September 29, 2023). L. W. Campbell (1940: 207) gives August 20 to September 22 as the period of greatest abundance in the Toledo-Erie marsh area.

Mueseum 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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