I apologize for not being able to submit a report last week. As I mentioned
in my March 9th report, I was at the joint meeting of the North American
Crane Working Group (NACWG) and The Waterbird Society in Nebraska. I
was an excellent meeting, with some of the leading and up-and-coming
researchers in crane and waterbird biology presenting findings from their
studies. At one point, Jane Goodall stopped by! While she is known for
her work on chimpanzees, she enjoys the spectacle of seeing the multitudes
of cranes that migrate through the Platte River Valley, and just happened
to be in the area during the conference. It was definitely an honor to
meet her! The birding was spectacular. Click on these images to see them
enlarged, with captions:
Platte River during spring migration: click to enlarge
and see caption
is a beautiful area, and I hope some of you will make it out there
someday to see the awesome display for yourselves. If you already live
in Nebraska, then get out there and see what is in your own back yard!!!
A BIG Week for Migration
So what has been happening with songbird migration the past couple of
weeks? In a word, LOTS! In my last report, I mentioned that there would
be southerly winds for a while, which would allow a lot of birds to
arrive. Well, lots of birds have been arriving! Along the Gulf Coast,
from Texas to Alabama there are reports of the first Ruby-throated
Hummingbirds, Louisiana Waterthrushes, Nashville Warblers, Black-and-white
Warblers, Hooded Warblers, Yellow-throated Warblers, Red-eyed Vireos,
and Yellow-throated Vireos. Whew! Here in Tennessee we have had our
first waterthrushes, Black-and-white Warblers, Black-throated-green
Warblers, Blue-headed Vireos, and Cliff Swallows. The southerly winds
have allowed some of the earlier migrants to make quite a bit of progress,
with Purple Martins arriving in Kansas and Tree Swallows and Barn Swallows
getting as far as New Hampshire.
People out west haven’t seen as much diversity, but birds are arriving.
Black-chinned Hummingbirds are showing up in Arizona and New Mexico,
Northern Rough-winged Swallows in California, and a Lucy’s Warbler
in Nevada. Don’t worry, I promise it will get better!
Does This Week Look?
stalled front extends from Iowa to Virginia. Winds below the front
are from the south; winds above it are northerly. This means birds
will have good flying weather until they get to that line, and
then they will have to land. People in the southeastern US should
have another day or two of fine birding.
They had better enjoy it, however, because there
is a front approaching from the middle of the country. While it is
not a strong one, it will probably bring some rain and north winds
which will stop the progress of many migrants. We might even see
small fallout along the Gulf coast.
much stronger front is coming down from Canada and will have a
bigger effect. Over the weekend, temperatures here
are expected to go from the 80’s down to the 60’s. That
kind of weather is sure to keep migrants grounded.
The western US looks better. High pressure will be
bringing southerly winds to much of the western US, which should
allow migrants to arrive from the tropics. Be on the lookout!
is just getting warmed up, so be prepared for better things to come!
Chickamauga Creek Conservancy