A Slow Pace

March 10, 2021 by Team Journey North

Spring migration is difficult. Temperature, wind patterns and storms can influence the pace of migration. Activity should significantly increase in the coming weeks. Report your first observations of Red-winged Blackbirds, Baltimore and Bullock's Orioles, Common Loons, and Barn Swallows to Journey North. And Dr. Aborn’s weekly Weather Forecasts for Migrating Songbirds reports return next week!

“First [Red-winged Blackbird] sighting this morning on feeder around 9:00 am.” Photo by: Mary (Town of Wayland, NY; 03/10/2021)

Journey North Species

Red-Winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird migration is still well ahead of other species. Journey North citizen scientists are noting their arrival in Canada and near breeding habitat such as lakes.

Heather in Welland, ON: “About 15 males singing in our trees and feeding below the feeders.” (03/03/2021)

M in Pekin, IL: “First sighting at 5:30 pm in our backyard overlooking the lake.” (03/03/2021)

Barn Swallow

Texas remains the current migration hotspot for Barn Swallows.

Jennifer in Austin, TX: “Many Swallows have arrived! First sighting today.” (03/09/2021)

Baltimore Oriole and Bullock’s Oriole

 Reports of Baltimore Orioles are trickling in. When will migration ramp up?

B A in Harlingen, TX: “He [Baltimore Oriole) actually was getting nectar from my hummingbird feeder.” (03/05/2021)

Amie in Jacksonville, NC: “Beautiful Baltimore Oriole enjoying grape jelly. This morning we have had Purple, House, and Goldfinches. A pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers, a Carolina Wren, and a Northern Mockingbird as well. The Eastern Phoebe was dipping into the pool for insects and then there was of course the Mourning Doves and a few scattered sparrows.” (03/06/2021)

No new reports of Bullock’s Orioles. What’s slowing the pace of migration?

 Common Loon

No new reports of Common Loons. Has ice melted in your area? Common Loon arrivals often follow ice-out dates. 

Keith in Big Bend, WI: “The ice was out on the Fox River in this area.” (03/05/2021)

Chuck Henrikson’s Birding Report 

What species is Chuck observing? Find out in his latest birding report from Journey North’s home base, the UW–Madison Arboretum.

“Signs of an emerging spring are all around us. After that tough winter this weather is so welcome … I encourage all of you to go out birding during these early stages of migration.”

Read more of Chuck Henrikson’s birding report #51»

Call for Photos

If possible, please include photos in your reports. Photos are always helpful; they aid in identification and shed light on behavior. However, birds are not always cooperative subjects. One potential workaround is to take a video and then extract a screenshot to use as a photo. Learn more in the tutorials below:

Weather Forecasts for Migrating Songbirds

Dr. Aborn’s weekly Weather Forecasts for Migrating Songbirds reports return next week!