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Weather and Songbird Migration: April 2, 2014
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Dear Journey North,

The birds are really on the move! The weather over much of the country has been more spring-like the last few days, and the migrants are really taking advantage of it. In Florida, one birder reported that Hooded Warblers were “too numerous to count,” and the first Eastern Kingbirds and Yellow-billed Cuckoos have shown up as well. The first Cerulean Warbler made its appearance in Alabama. Ceruleans are the fastest declining migratory songbird in North America, the their arrival anywhere is a welcome sight!

The southerly winds the past few days have really helped push migrants northward. Here in Chattanooga, I have seen or heard my first Hooded Warbler, Black-throated-green Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, and White-eyed Vireo. Louisiana Waterthrushes and ruby-throated Hummingbirds are also becoming more numerous across the state. Waterthrushes and Blue-gray gnatcatchers have been seen in New York and Illinois, while Tree Swallows have made it as far as Massachusetts and Michigan.

Southerly Winds = Good Northward Progress
Farther west, the weather also improved enough for migrants to move north, so birders have not been disappointed! There has been a steady stream of Yellow Warblers, Lucy’s Warblers, Orange-crowned Warblers, Black-throated-gray Warblers, Wilson’s Warblers, Nashville Warblers, Cassin’s Vireos, and Black-headed Grosbeaks moving through Arizona, New Mexico, and California. As in the rest of the country, southerly winds have allowed birds to make good progress northward, with Purple Martins arriving in Oregon, Orange-crowned Warblers showing up in Washington, and Cliff Swallows and Tree Swallows making their first showing in Idaho.

Dr. David Aborn, ornithologist
Photo: David Aborn
Dr. David Aborn
 
Cerulean Warbler
Photo: Wikipedia
Cerulean Warbler
 
Nashville Warbler
Photo: Laura Erickson
Nashville Warbler
Weather Map: This Week's Outlook

You should be getting familiar enough with reading a weather map to have some idea of what migration will be like this week. Take a look:

Weather map for Feb. 25, 2014
  • Another front is moving across the country. It does have some rain with it, and some decent north winds (we are supposed to go from the 80’s down to the 60’s by the weekend), so many migrants in the central and eastern US won’t be able to get too far by later in the week and over the weekend.

  • By the start of next week, the skies look like they will be clear and winds will be southerly, so people in the Midwest and New England should get ready for more arrivals!
  • Most of the western US looks pretty good as well. Rain is predicted over the weekend in the Northwest, but there won’t be much in the way of northerly winds to keep birds grounded. As soon as the rain clears out, the birds can get on their way again!.

There should be a lot happening in the next few weeks, so get out there and enjoy it!

Take care,

David Aborn
North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy
Chattanooga, TN


Next Update: April 10, 2014
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