It's snowing here in Chattanooga, so it is hard to believe spring is
almost here! I heard the first robins singing here on February 19th,
the bluebirds have paired up and are busily checking out nest sites.
of all, it won't be long before migrants start arriving from their wintering
grounds in the tropics! There are still a few weeks before things
really get busy, so you have time to practice predicting migratory
activity from looking at a weather map. Last week, Journey North
was kind enough to
post my tutorial on how to read a weather map and how weather affects
What to Expect This Week
Does This Week’s Weather Mean for Migration? Let's take a look at
the weather map:
Right now, much of the southern US is covered
by rain and snow. If any birds were arriving from the tropics today
they would be forced to land quickly along the Gulf coast because
of the poor flying conditions, an event known as a fallout because
the birds look like they are falling out of the sky. That means bird
watchers and researchers would have plenty of birds to see.
the low-pressure area moves off the east coast,
there is high pressure behind it, which means northerly winds. Those
headwinds would keep birds grounded for an extra day or two.
Once the high
pressure moves east, winds will shift to the south and the birds
can make their way north with the help of tailwinds.
system is moving in off of the Pacific
Ocean. That means western migrants arriving from Mexico will be in
the same position as birds in the East...grounded. In a couple of
days, conditions will improve and then the birds will be able to
For Early Migrants!
IIt is still too early for large numbers of migrants to be arriving,
but a few early arrivals are starting to trickle in. I have received
reports of Tree Swallows and Purple Martins from Mississippi and Florida.
addition to swallows and martins, other early arriving species to look
for include Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Louisiana Waterthrushes, and
While migration may be slow for now, it won't be long before we are all
up to our necks in migrants, so dust off your binoculars!
Chickamauga Creek Conservancy