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Weather and Songbird Migration: Feb. 27, 2013
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Dear Journey North,

There are more indications that spring migration is underway, and before you know it, large numbers of birds will be winging their way across the country. This week, however, there is not much to report. A few more Tree Swallows have been seen in various parts of Tennessee, and I received one report of a Ruby-throated Hummingbird from Alabama, although I understand there were a few other sightings elsewhere along the Gulf Coast.

It is still very early in the migration season, so do not despair!

 

Dr. David Aborn, ornithologist
Photo: David Aborn
Dr. David Aborn
 
Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Photo: Laura Erickson
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Weather Map: This Week's Outlook
Will the coming week be any better? Let’s look at the weather map and find out:
Weather map 2/27/13
  • The front that brought the massive snowstorm to the Midwest is moving off the East Coast. If a strong storm system like this had happened later during migration, the storms ahead of the front and the north winds behind it would have forced many migrants to land, and they would be grounded for several days. That would mean some pretty exciting birding for many people! After a few days, the high-pressure areas would move off the coast, winds would shift around to the south, and migrants could make their way farther north.
  • The rest of the week looks pretty calm; no other storm systems are across the country right now. A cold front is arriving in the Pacific Northwest. Again, since it is early in the season, I don’t expect it to have a big effect on migration, especially that far north. If the cold front drops far enough south, it might ground some of the early western migrants arriving in southern California, Arizona, and New Mexico. Right now, the system is not expected to bring rain to the Gulf Coast, so any new arrivals should have good flying conditions all week.

Just because things were slow this week doesn’t mean you should slack off! Migrants will be arriving before you know it, and you will want to be ready!

Take care.

David Aborn
North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy
Chattanooga, TN


The next Weather and Songbird Migration Update will be posted on March 6.
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