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April 4, 2007
Dr. David Aborn

Dear Students:

Things are starting to happen! The first good fallouts happened last week with the passage of the cold front I mentioned, and it looks like there will be more in the coming week. Some of the more significant fallouts occurred in Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida. With the rain on March 30-31 along the Gulf coast, many migrants were forced to land. Louisiana had 13 species of migrants, including Worm-eating Warblers, Kentucky Warblers, Indigo Buntings, Painted Buntings, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, and some early Blackburnian Warblers and Tennessee Warblers. Among the birds seen in Alabama were many Red-eyed Vireos, White-eyed Vireos, Eastern Kingbirds, and their first Wood Thrush of the season.

April Fools Day: Many Migrants!
When the rain reached Florida on April 1st, birders there were treated to many migrants (no fooling!), including Common Yellowthroats, Swainson's Warblers, Prairie Warblers, Summer Tanagers, and Gray Catbirds. The southerly winds that prevailed before the front came along allowed many migrants from the south to make their way north until the rains came. Thus, places in the Midwest, Great Plains, and mid-Atlantic also had a good week. Washington, DC had gnatcatchers, Blue-headed Vireos, White-eyed Vireos, Yellow-throated Warblers, and Black-throated-green Warblers. Out in Oklahoma, they were treated to many of those same species. Up in Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois, they saw their first Common Yellowthroats, Yellow-throated Warblers, Louisiana Waterthrushes, and an Ovenbird. Here in Tennessee, there were also many migrants across the state. My study site had mostly gnatcatchers, but there was also the first yellowthroat and Eastern Kingbird. West Tennessee had quite a few warblers, along with a couple of very early Swainson's Thrushes. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were also reported from many places.

Not to be outdone, the western US also had a good week. When the front passed through during the first part of last week, it forced migrants to land there as well. New Mexico reported Hammond's Flycatchers, Lucy's Warblers, and Painted Redstarts. Arizona also reported many Painted Redstarts. People in California saw the greatest diversity of the western states. They had redstarts, Hammond's Flycatchers, Lucy's Warblers, Black-and-white Warblers, Northern Waterthrushes, and Summer Tanagers.

Coming Up: Storms and Strong Winds = Good Birdwatching

  • As I said at the beginning of my report, this week looks to be just as exciting.
    A powerful cold front is moving across the country right now. We have been in the 80's here in Tennessee, but temperatures are only going to be in the 50's the rest of the week!
    The warm weather across the country has caused many trees to leaf out and insects to emerge. With such a drastic change, migrants better have some extra fat to see them through.
  • The storms and strong north winds that this front is bringing will make more fallouts likely across the country. While I have not received a list of species yet, I have been told that the Texas coast has already had good numbers of migrants showing up. Don't miss the opportunity to see what's around!

Happy Birding!

David Aborn
North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy
Chattanooga, TN