Birds, birds, everywhere! With the exception of the Midwest, the weather
across the country has been pretty quiet. Southerly winds have allowed
migrants that were already here to spread northward, and allowed new migrants
to arrive from the tropics. I am not sure where to begin! I guess I will
start south and work my way up.
The Gulf coast did not see any fallouts, but a great diversity of migrants
was everywhere. Warblers were plentiful all along the Texas coast, with
11 species being seen. They included the first reported Cape May Warbler.
People in Grand Isle, Louisiana saw 9 species of warblers, along with
Indigo Buntings, Orchard Orioles, Gray Catbirds, Eastern Kingbirds, and
some of the first Baltimore Orioles and Yellow-billed Cuckoos. They also
saw an uncommon Black-whiskered Vireo, a species that breeds only in southern
Florida. Bird watchers on Dauphin Island, Alabama also saw a Black-whiskered
Vireo, along with 7 species of warblers.
In the Southeast, diversity was just as good last week. At Kennesaw Mountain,
Georgia, there were Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, a Blue-winged Warbler, a
Cerulean Warbler, and a Black-billed Cuckoo. Here in Tennessee, I saw
or received reports of a great variety of migrants. One person in McKenzie,
TN (northeast of Memphis) saw 18 species of warblers!!! Warner Park in
Nashville had 30 White-eyed Vireos, 6 Wood Thrushes, and 5 Kentucky Warblers.
Other sightings included the first Chestnut-sided Warblers, Cerulean Warblers,
Yellow-breasted Chats, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Acadian Flycatchers, and
Least Flycatchers. At my study site, I banded a Tennessee Warbler, White-eyed
Vireo, Common Yellowthroat, Gray Catbird, Ovenbird, and an early Magnolia
Warbler. I also saw Wood Thrushes, another Ovenbird, a Yellow-throated
Vireo, and a Red-eyed Vireo.
In the Midwest, where the only storms of week occurred, Iowa had a pretty
good fallout. They saw some of the migrants that have been farther south
the past couple of weeks, including Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Northern Parulas,
Yellow-throated Warblers, and Louisiana Waterthrushes. The same was true
for people in Ohio and Wisconsin. Ontario, Canada, had their first Tree
Out West, New Mexico had an influx of flycatchers (4 species), along with
Grace's Warblers, Yellow-throated Warblers, Painted Redstarts, and Scott's
Orioles. California also saw several species of flycatchers, as well as
Palm Warblers and a couple of Baltimore Orioles. The southerly winds have
even brought the first migrants to Alaska! They reported their first Dark-eyed
Juncos. Juncos winter in the southern United States, so even though they
are not Neotropical migrants, it is still an impressive trip for them!
Week’s Weather and Migration Outlook
The next week looks like there may be some more active weather.
• The front that brought all the storms to the Midwest was weak
in terms of the north winds behind it, so even though the front has
passed through the eastern US, it won't affect the birds much.
• Another storm system and cold front is moving across the middle
of the country right now. Again, it is not very strong, although it
is predicted to bring more rain to the east than the last system.
This all means that there could be a few small fallouts, but for the most
part birds will have good weather for migration. We are heading into the
peak of migration in many places, so I expect there will lots of birds
to see, no matter where you live!
North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy
Next Weather and Migration Update will Be Posted on April 26, 2006
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