Dr. David Aborn
Winter is still holding on. Here in Chattanooga, we were in the
70's over the weekend, but had snow on Tuesday! I mentioned last
week that were a couple of cold fronts, including this last strong
one, that would keep migrants bottled up along the Gulf Coast for
a while, and that is what has happened. Along the Texas coast,
there were reports of many Summer Tanagers, Red-eyed Vireos, Black-and-white
Warblers, and the first reports of Worm-eating Warblers, Yellow-breasted
Chats, and Painted Buntings. The high-pressure area has moved far
enough east that winds were coming from the south by the first
part of this week. While we generally think of many songbirds as
being long-distance migrants, there are other species that make
long journeys as well. One of those species is the Broad-winged
Hawk. With the southerly winds, people in Corpus Christi, TX reported
a total of 8,500 broad-wings flying over on April 5th, 6th, and
Good Bird-Banding Weather along Eastern Gulf
Meanwhile, migrants were still grounded along the eastern
Gulf. The person I mentioned last week who bands birds along the
Alabama coast banded 300 birds on April 4th, and another 250 on April
in the area report high numbers of Prothonotary Warblers, Hooded
Warblers, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, White-eyed Vireos, and Black-and-white
I also mentioned last week that there would be a very short
break between fronts that might allow migrants to make a little progress.
At my study site over the weekend I had the first arrivals of Red-eyed
Vireos, White-eyed Vireos, Black-throated green Warblers, Black-and-white
Warblers, Common Yellowthroats, and House Wrens. A scattering of
migrants were reported from other parts of the country, including
Wren in Pennsylvania,
Louisiana Waterthrushes, Barn Swallows, and Black-and-white Warblers
in West Virginia, and Yellow-throated Warblers and Tree Swallows
A Steady Stream!
Out West a steady stream of migrants has been arriving
from the tropics. New Mexico and Arizona have seen their share of
Summer Tanagers, Lucy's Warblers, Orange-crowned Warblers, Wilson's
Warblers, Black-throated-gray Warblers, Yellow Warblers, and Cassin's
Vireos. California did pretty well, too, with Bell's Vireos, Black-chinned
Hummingbirds, Ash-throated Flycatchers, and Yellow Warblers all being
to Expect This Week
Will this week give migrants a chance to make up for
lost time? Looking at the weather map, they should be in good shape:
The high-pressure area that has brought all the cold
weather is moving off the southeast coast. The winds have already
shifted to the south, which will make for good flying weather. I
would expect to see some good reports from the Midwest and Northeast
as birds from farther south continue their migration.
Another front in the western US will force migrants
to land, so look for some fallouts in that part of the country over
the next day or two.
As the front moves east, the poor flying weather
will arrive in the eastern US over the weekend.
By that time, weather will have improved out West,
allowing a new group of migrants to arrive.
By early next week, another front is going to be moving in from the
Pacific, and the pattern will repeat itself.
are approaching the peak of migration, so lots should be happening!
North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy