Oriole Oriole
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Weather Forecast for the Birds
May 4, 2000

Dear Students:

Contributed by Dr. David Aborn

The orioles have arrived! The front I talked about in my April 20th report brought lots of migrants to our shores, including lots of Baltimore Orioles. The front was pretty strong, and Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi all reported 15-20 species of warblers, along with orioles, grosbeaks, thrushes, and cuckoos. When the front moved through here, it forced many birds to land, especially Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. A few days after the front passed, the winds shifted to the south, and many of the birds continued north. Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, and Illinois have all reported large numbers of migrants. A second cold front followed soon after, and while it wasn't as strong, it still brought lots of birds. At my study site this week I saw the first orioles for this area, along with the first cuckoos, a Blackburnian Warbler, and Yellow-breasted Chat.

The Weather Channel

The front I just mentioned has stalled over the Carolinas, so that should keep the birds around the Southeast for another day or two. Another cold front is moving in from the west. The Gulf coast states should expect good birding later in the week, and I should see more birds by the weekend or early next week. Orioles should be especially common, along with cuckoos, some of the thrushes, and chats.

As I mentioned last time, migration will be winding down soon here in the south, but farther north things are picking up, so don't put away your binoculars yet. Once migration ends, there is still plenty to see. Just today (5/3) I found a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher nest, a pair of Scarlet Tanagers starting to build their nest, and a pair of Blue Jays carrying nesting material!

Take care,

Dr. David Aborn
Ornithologist, Dept. of Biological and Environmental Sciences
University of Tennesse at Chattanooga


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