Weather and Songbird Migration: Spring Is Near

February 26, 2020 by Team Journey North

March is just around the corner and the spring equinox is less than a month away. It won't be too long before migratory songbirds return to the U.S. and Canada from their overwintering grounds.

Yellow warblers are long-distance migrants that overwinter in Central and South America. Be on the lookout for them in the upcoming weeks as they tend to arrive earlier than other migratory warbler species. Photo by: Pat

The Anticipation Begins

With spring just weeks away, many Journey North observers are anticipating the arrival of migrant songbird species from the tropics. Songbird migration is very dependent on weather conditions, so in order to understand when and where songbird migration may occur, you need to know how to read a weather map.

While we wait for the spring migration to fully kick into gear, Journey North observers are reporting other bird species that we associate with spring such as Red-Winged Blackbirds, Northern Cardinals, American Robins, and Bluebirds.

From Allegany, NY: Judi noted, “a flock of about 15 [Red-Winged Blackbirds] by the feeder in my backyard.” (02/20/2020)

From Champaign, IL: Arman said, “I was eating lunch with my dad when he saw a Cardinal sitting on our bushes by the window.” (2/22/2020)

From Churchville, NY: Beth observed, “Three blue birds spotted at Churchville Park!” (2/12/2020)

An Exciting Season Awaits

This season is going to be an exciting one as migration always brings interesting sightings. Remember, as Dr. Aborn noted last year, now is a great time to build your understanding of weather maps and clean off (or grab) a pair of binoculars so you’re ready to find some birds!