Pelee Roost on the Decline

After an increased number of martins settled into the roost peaking on August 20th, it appears now that they are moving on to other roosts south of Ontario. The number of Purple Martins counted on Friday, August 31, 2018 was approximately 4000, much lower than the 40,000 at their peak. The visits to the roost have been quite enlightening as the martins continue to exhibit behaviours never seen before by this observer. Many questions have arisen with regard to  their approaches, flyways and staging areas at Pelee. Flight patterns and flyway corridors seem to have been used for several decades at this site but there really doesn’t seem to be any previous observations reported as a point of comparison. The prevailing winds for the most part were out of the south, south-west with only a couple of nights of winds from the north, north -west . Hopefully, there will still be a few nights to view the smaller roost during the first week of September. The image below shows how small the roost has become on September 2, 2018.

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