Weather and Migration
April 29, 2003
Migration is really peaking! There have been lots of sightings, including oriole sightings, from many different areas. The front I mentioned last week sped up and moved across the country a day or two sooner than I had predicted, but the results were the same. The bad weather reached Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi by April 23rd and 24th. Lots of migrants were seen around High Island and Galveston, TX, and Sabine National Wildlife Refuge, LA. These included many of the late-season migrants, such as Yellow Warblers, Magnolia Warblers, Acadian Flycatchers, and Yellow-breasted Chats.
By the 25th, the front had moved into the eastern Gulf region, and and
migrants arriving from the tropics had some heavy rains and high winds
to deal with. The Alabama and Florida coasts saw lots of birds, many of
which were the same species seen farther west, but there were also some
Cerulean Warblers, Swainson's Warblers, and Least Flycatchers mixed in.
By the 26th,
So will the good birding continue? Well, there is another front moving
across the country, but it is not as strong as the last one. Nonetheless,
we are still in the peak period for migration, so even a little bad weather
can create a good fallout. The front is on a similar schedule to the last.
It should reach the TX/LA coasts by May 1, and should be off the Atlantic
coast by May 3 or so. During that window, people should be looking for
migrants, especially more orioles! A lot of the thrushes (Veery, Gray-cheeked,
and Swainson's) should also be seen, along with some of the late-season
warblers, such as Cape May, Blackpoll, Chestnut-sided, and Bay-breasted
Warblers. There is a lot to see this time of year, so don't spend it inside!
In addition to looking for migrants, you should also be looking for signs
that the birds are breeding in your area. Watch for birds carrying nest
material or food. If possible, see where they go and look for the nest.
If you find it, it is a neat experience to watch the parents raise the
young (from a
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