Weather and Songbird Migration
The front regained its strength Monday night as it moved east, and reached the East Coast on Tuesday. In other words, the winds from the low pressure area became stronger and picked up more moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, producing more rain.
This bad weather forced many migrants to land. Many places in the east reported 10-15 warbler species, along
with buntings and tanagers. Since then, the winds have been from the south, so any birds that are not going to
breed in those areas have moved on.
As I write this report, another cold front is about to move through central Texas (04/15/98). It is not supposed to bring much rain, but today's southerly winds are supposed shift tonight to the northwest at 10-20 mph. That is a strong headwind for a small bird, so birdwatchers and researchers should have a good day tomorrow.
Just like in past weeks, as the front moves east the poor flying weather will move with it, forcing birds to land for a day or two.
We are heading into the peak time of migration in the southern United States, so people should be seeing a good diversity of birds. Oriole numbers should be picking up soon, so keep your eyes and ears open!
Dr. David A. Aborn