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March 14, 2007
Dr. David Aborn

Dear Students:
Well, as predicted this past week has been pretty uneventful, but that doesn't mean that migration has taken a break! Southerly winds have been blowing over much of the country, which means that many of the birds that were in the southern US were able to continue northward, and many birds arriving from the tropics were not slowed by bad weather. Most places are still reporting lots of swallows, especially Tree Swallows. Tree Swallows were seen in Washington, DC, Indiana, Ohio, and even as far north as North Dakota! New Mexico added a little more diversity, with Violet-green Swallows and Northern Rough-winged Swallows being seen along with Tree Swallows. At my study site there have been Tree Swallows and Purple Martins.

Migrants On Their Way
While swallows have dominated the scene, there are some indications that other migrants are on their way. The first Rufus Hummingbirds and Allen's Hummingbirds were seen in California, while people in Tucson, Arizona saw their first Yellow Warblers and a Lucy's Warbler. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were reported in Naples, Florida and Douglas, Georgia. Yellow-throated Warblers and Great-crested Flycatchers continue to be seen at various locations in Louisiana.

What Will the Weather Bring this Week?
For some parts of the country this week might be better than last week.

  • The storm system that has been stuck over Texas will be moving east, and a cold front is moving in from the north. These two systems will bring rain and northerly winds across the eastern half of the country by the end of the week and over the weekend. That means any birds arriving from the tropics will be forced to land. While it is still too early for a large fallout, there should be more migrants around, and bird watchers and ornithologists (people who study birds for a living) may have a lot to see.
  • For people in the western half of the country, conditions should continue to be warm, clear, and dry. This means migrants won't have any trouble arriving and making their way northward. I expect that we will see more migrant sightings in the northwest and northern Great Plains.

Happy Birding!

David Aborn
North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy
Chattanooga, TN