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 Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Status in Michigan
Fairly Common 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 Northern Rough-winged Swallow.

Use the links below to view the Northern Rough-winged Swallow reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Summer 2005
View Northern Rough-winged Swallow sightings.
Northern Rough-winged Swallow Archives Reports
Spring 2005
Fall 2004
Spring 2004
Winter 03-04
Fall 2003 8
Spring 2003 87
Winter 02-03 0
Fall 2002 5
Summer 2002 15
Spring 2002 43
Winter 01-02 0
Fall 2001 491
Summer 2001 256
Spring 2001 32
Winter 00-01 0
Fall 2000 3
Summer 2000 9
Spring 2000 34
Winter 00-99 0
Fall 1999 90
Spring/Summer 1999 4

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Northern Rough-winged Swallow

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

Stelgidopteryx ruficollis serripennis (Audubon)
Rough-winged Swallow (A.O.U. 1998: Northern Rough-winged Swallow)

Summer resident north to Luce and Schoolcraft counties.

First listed for Michigan by Miles (1861: 226).

SPRING.-Migrants are reported in southern counties chiefly in late April and the first part of May; the species has appeared in the Upper Peninsula before mid-May.

Lower Peninsula.-In the Toledo-Erie marsh area (L. W. Campbell, 1940: 110, 191, 205) the Rough-winged Swallow has been observed as early as mid-April, the beginning of the main flight (maximum of 100 birds in a day) averaging April 28. Swales (1904: 37; 1905: 113; and notes) seldom found this swallow in the Detroit area before the first of May. In the Ann Arbor region arrival has usually been recorded in the third or fourth week of April and sometimes in the second week; examples of numbers seen there are 5 birds on April 14, 2023 (by C. H. Van Tyne, II), and a flock of 30 on April 29, 2023 (by D. "W. Douglass and Brodkorb); sometimes in spring the species has been found to be fairly abundant (N. A. "Wood and Tinker, 1910: 134-35) in the area. Nearly every year in the 1930's Walkinshaw listed this swallow in the Battle Creek region in the third or fourth week of April. It was recorded on Saginaw Bay at Fish Point, Tuscola County, on May 4, 2023 (20 birds: 2 in U.M.M.Z.) and at Sand Point, Huron County, on May 15, 1935, when 4 specimens were taken (3 in U.M.M. Z.) by James H. Wood and on May 25,1932, when 1 (U.M.M.Z.) was taken by D. W. Douglass.

Upper Peninsula.-At McMillan, Luce County, Bryens has noted 1 or 2 birds at a time in spring; he recorded arrival there on May 7 (1941); May 14 (1929); May 17 (1930); and May 24 (1939).

SUMMER.-Eggs are commonly found from the last of May to the last of June.

Lower Peninsula.-In the Detroit area J. Claire Wood (1909c: 108) found a nest with 7 eggs on May 31, 1908. Near Clarkston, Oakland County, Swales and J. Claire Wood secured 3 sets of 5 eggs each, and 3 sets of 2, 6, and 7 eggs, respectively, on May 30, 1901; on May 31, 1902, in the same locality, they took 3 sets of 4, 5, and 7 eggs, respectively. N. A. Wood and Tinker (1910: 134-35) noted a pair of Rough-winged Swallows nesting near Ann Arbor in the latter half of May in 1905, in 1907, and in 1909. Walkinshaw banded 6 young in a nest near South Haven, Van Buren County, on July 8,1932, and Barrows (1912: 553) mentioned a set of 5 eggs taken in Kalamazoo County on June 8, 1888. At Sand Point, Huron County, N. A. Wood and Gaige (1911: 295-96) found a nest with 7 eggs (U.M.M.Z.) on June 18, 1908, and David E. Davis banded 4 young in a nest near Frankfort, Benzie County, on July 3, 1929. A pair of Rough- winged Swallows were noted at their nest by Trautman at Lovells, Craw- ford County, on June 21, 1935; several of the species were seen and 1 (U.M.M.Z.) was collected on South Fox Island, Leelanau County, in late June, 1939, by A. E. Staebler and L. D. Case. At Douglas Lake, Cheboygan County, Blanchard and Nelson (MS of 1937) found a nest with 8 newly hatched young on July 1, 1937.

Upper Peninsula.-In Schoolcraft County, Christofferson saw 2 Rough- winged Swallows at Blaney on June 5, 1937, and at Seney, Brodkorb collected a pair and 7 eggs on June 5,1938. Bryens, at McMillan, Luce County, saw these swallows every summer during the 1930's (generally 2 or 3 birds); F. W. Braund and Aldrich (1941: 98, 103), found 2 nests in the vicinity of Newberry, Luce County (1, with 5 eggs, on June 9, 1940; 1, with 6 eggs, on June 10, 2023).

FALL.-Information on fall migration is very meager; apparently this movement takes place principally in July. Bryens reported a few birds at McMillan, Luce County, in July (seldom more than 4 to 7 in a day, but on July 19, 1940, a flock of 10) ; usually he observed none there after the third week in July (July 22, 2023 and 1940). At Burt Lake, Cheboygan County, Blanchard and Nelson (MS of 1937) recorded 1 flock of 15 to 20 birds (several collected) on July 17, 1924. Rough-wings were not seen after August 1 at Sand Point, Huron County (N. A. Wood and Gaige, 1911:295-96), nor after August 16 near Ann Arbor (1935, U.M.M.Z., specimen by George M. Sutton). In the Toledo-Erie marsh area, L. W. Campbell (1940: 110, 191, 205) notes the disappearance of main groups (maximum of 8 birds in a day) of these swallows by July 27 on the average, and records individuals on occasion as late as the end of August.

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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