Weather Forces Birds to Land
It has been an interesting week. The front I mentioned last week stalled
across the middle of the country, bringing all those terrible storms. There
has also been a low pressure area that has just been sitting off the southeast
coast, bringing strong headwinds along the coast. That means that birds
have been forced to land along the western Gulf coast, in the Midwest,
and the east coast, but they have had a corridor of favorable weather in
between. In the Midwest, where the weather has been the worst, there were
some good fallouts. Places in Kansas reported Bay-breasted Warblers, Wilson's
Warblers, Blackpoll Warblers, Yellow Warblers, Chestnut-sided Warblers,
Swainson's Thrushes, and Veerys. In southwest Oklahoma, they have had 2.65" of
rain. That is no weather to be flying in, and many of the same species
as they saw in Kansas were seen, along with Nashville Warblers, Painted
Buntings, Least Flycatchers, and Yellow-billed Cuckoos. Farther south,
the Texas coast also had a nice diversity of migrants, although numbers
were low. In northeast Mississippi (Tishomingo State Park, a beautiful
place), birders hit the jackpot with 27 species of warbler!!! That is about
3/4 of the warbler species that might possibly be seen there.
Along the east coast, it was wet and windy, but that did not stop dedicated
birders from getting out and seeing what was around. The bad weather forced
many Hooded Warblers, Ovenbirds, and Wood Thrushes to land in the Charleston,
SC area, and the Georgia coast did well too. They saw 16 warbler species,
with Blackpoll Warblers, American Redstarts, and Yellow Warblers being
Between Storms: Good Weather for Migration
With good flying conditions in between the two storm systems, many migrants
have funneled into the Tennessee and Ohio Valleys and beyond. At my study
site, there have been lots of Yellow Warblers, American Redstarts, Blackpoll
Warblers, and Indigo Buntings. This morning I had a Connecticut Warbler,
which is uncommon, and a few always show up around Mother's Day, so they
are right on time! At Radnor Lake, near Nashville, birders tallied 26 species
of warbler, with Chestnut-sided Warblers and Blackpoll Warblers being most
numerous. Around Columbus, OH birders saw 17 warbler species and 5 vireo
species, and Minnesota recorded 17 warbler species, as well as the first
Gray-cheeked Thrushes, Swainson's Thrushes, Baltimore Orioles, Indigo Buntings
and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks (remember that last week the buntings and grosbeaks
were so numerous farther south).
The western US has had a quiet week for migration. There has been good
weather and migrants have been moving north. Oregon again reported Orange-crowned
Warblers, Wilson's Warblers, Warbling Vireos, and Swainson's Thrushes,
while Washington had lots of Western Kingbirds.
What's the Birdwatching Outlook Ahead?
that front is breaking down, so all those birds that were forced
to land can take off. Places in the northern Midwest and Great
Lakes can expect a good number of arrivals.
system off the east coast, however, will stay put for at least
a few more days. That means migrants will either have to stay put,
or move farther inland if they want to make any progress.
is moving down from Canada, but right now it does not look very
strong. All this means that for much of the country there
will be lots of migrants around.
International Migratory Bird Day May 12-13!
This weekend is International Migratory Bird Day, so it will be
a good time to get out and see what's out there. Many places like
zoos, museums, and nature centers have various programs and activities
for IMBD, so it is a good opportunity to see and learn more about
migratory birds. See what's being offered in your area and take
advantage of it.
A few more weeks of migration still remain, so get out and enjoy
it! If you have any questions about bird migration, just let me
it for this season. Take care and enjoy your summer!
North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy
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