Spring is Almost Here

March 17, 2021 by Team Journey North

Spring officially begins on Saturday, March 20. And just in time for spring, Dr. David Aborn's Weather Forecasts for Migrating Songbirds return! Remember to report observations of Red-winged Blackbirds, Baltimore and Bullock's Orioles, Common Loons, and Barn Swallows to Journey North.

“Spring is right around the corner!” Photo by: Lynn (Harrison, MI; 03/09/2021)

Weather Forecasts for Migrating Songbirds

Dr. David Aborn’s weekly Weather Forecasts for Migrating Songbirds are back! Learn about the connection between weather and migration and follow along to predict when you will see migrating birds traveling through your area. What species is Dr. Aborn observing during the early stages of migration?

“There are lots of signs of springs here in Tennessee; wildflowers are in bloom, upland chorus frogs and spring peepers are calling, and robins and mockingbirds are nesting. The most exciting sign of spring for me, however, is the arrival of migratory birds! Swallows and martins, which both migrate early, arrived about 2 weeks ago. The first sightings of Blue-headed and Louisiana Waterthrush came in this week. Along the Gulf coast, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been seen, along with Northern Parulas and White-eyed Vireos.”

Read more of Weather Forestcasts for Migrating Songbirds #1

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.

“One of my favorite birds, the Eastern Bluebird, has not arrived in the Arb yet. Last year I saw an Eastern Bluebird in the Arb on March 7th so they seem to be late this year. I keep listening for their two note flight call … Friday, March 12th, was beautiful day and also a great day for birding. The Sandhill Cranes were calling out on Curtis Prairie as soon as I arrived. It always feels like a welcoming call to me.”

Read more of Chuck Henrikson’s birding report #52

Journey North Species

Red-Winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird migration is moving along at a brisk pace. More reports are coming from Canada, including the first of the season from British Columbia.

Jocelyn in Chilliwack, BC: “First sighting of a red wing blackbird near our pond. Characteristic “ko-kan-ee” singing.” (03/13/2021)

Chris in Belleville, ON: “Red-winged Blackbird was foraging under the peanut feeder this morning at 7:45 am.” (03/11/2021)

Barn Swallow

Texas remains the current migration hotspot for Barn Swallows.

Kasey in Van Alstyne, TX: “Spotted several barn swallows today. I’d say at least a group of 6-8 of them flying above my ranch.” (03/16/2021)

Baltimore Oriole and Bullock’s Oriole

Reports of Baltimore and Bullock’s Orioles are slowly coming in. When will migration increase? Check out our maps from previous years to compare data.

Roger in Williston, FL: “[Baltimore Oriole] behind our trailer, high up on a tree.” (03/09/2021)

Dawn in Bloomfield, NM: “[Bullock’s Oriole] at suet feeder.” (03/13/2021)

Common Loon

No new reports of Common Loons. Please report your observations of Common Loons. Loons are an important indicator species. Within their range, a healthy population (or lack thereof) of loons often reflects the wider health of an ecosystem.

Call for Photos

If possible, please include photos in your reports. Photos are always helpful; they aid in identification and shed light on behavior.