Migrants keep trickling in, and hopefully it won’t be long before
we start seeing some bigger movements. Tree Swallows and Purple Martins
continue to arrive here in Tennessee, and southerly winds over the last
couple of days have helped push Tree Swallows up into New York and Purple
Martins into New Jersey. New Jersey also reported their first Cliff Swallows.
A migratory bird of prey, the Osprey, has been reported throughout much
of the Washington, DC area, and just yesterday I saw an Osprey in Chattanooga
carrying a stick to add to its nest!
What to Expect This Week
Other than those reports, migration
has been pretty slow across the country. Looking at the weather map
it looks like it will stay slow for a few more days:
can see that much of the eastern US is covered by rain and snow
as a large area of low pressure and cold front moves across the
country. A bird would really have to be brave (or crazy!) to try
flying in that kind of weather!
the cold front you can see a series of high pressure areas. These
will be bringing clear skies but north winds, which will continue
to make it difficult for migrants to make much progress.
the front passes and the high-pressure area behind it moves east,
winds will shift to the south, allowing birds to resume their migration.
the western US, the high pressure will have moved far enough east
that the winds will shift around to the south in a day or two,
which would be more favorable for birds arriving from the tropics.
the end of the week, conditions should improve along the Gulf coast
and Midwest, and the eastern US should see migration weather by
the weekend. In addition to more swallows and martins, some of
the early warblers and vireos should start arriving, along with
Next Week: Pumped for a Spectacle!
Next week I will be in Nebraska at the joint meeting of the North American
Crane Working Group (NACWG) and The Waterbird Society. During the winter,
when there is no songbird migration going on, I study a population
of Sandhill Cranes at the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge. Because of my involvement
with cranes, I was asked to help organize this year’s meeting
of the NACWG. It is being held in Grand Island, Nebraska. The Platte
River in Nebraska is "crane central," with 500,000 cranes passing through
each spring, along with thousands of ducks and shorebirds. I have heard
a lot about this spectacle all my life, but this will be my first time
out there. Needless to say, I AM PUMPED!!!
will try to find time to submit a migration and weather report while
I am in Nebraska, but
in case I can’t, here is a link to a “Crane
the Rowe Sanctuary in nearby Kearny, Nebraska. That way you can
enjoy seeing all the cranes for yourself, and maybe take a trip sometime
to see them in person!
Chickamauga Creek Conservancy