Weather and Songbirds

March 13, 2019 by By David Aborn

Spring migration has picked up!

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Weather and Migration: March 6, 2019

Dear Journey North members,

Spring migration has picked up, with lots of new sighting across the country, thanks to the southerly winds in the east I talked about last week. There were more Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and Louisiana Waterthrushes sightings throughout the Southeast, and the first Northern Parulas, White-eyed Vireos, and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers were seen in Mississippi and Louisiana.  The first Yellow-throated Warbler was also seen in South Carolina. As the storm system moved into the east over the weekend, the winds shifted to the south over the middle of the country, allowing Purple Martins to make it as far as Missouri. Good flying weather also allowed many western migrants to start arriving over the weekend, with Bullock’s Orioles being seen in Arizona and California, and Tree Swallows and Northern Rough-winged Swallows to making it as far as Nevada.

So does this week look just as promising? Well, we have a similar set up as last week. The high pressure area that followed last week’s cold front is moving off the east coast. That means much of the east has or will have southerly wind and clear skies; all good for migration! Rain is forming in the middle of the country ahead of a couple of cold fronts out west. That means migrants from the Midwest back to the Pacific will have poor flying conditions for a few days. As that system moves east, the poor conditions will arrive by the ends of the week, so migrants had better take advantage of the good weather while they can! By the end of the week and weekend, conditions in the Midwest and West will be good, so there should be another influx of migrants.

Things will continue to get more and more exciting for a while, so make sure you don’t miss out! Take care.

David Aborn