Migratory Activity is High

May 5, 2021 by Team Journey North

May is here and spring migration is now widespread throughout North America. What bird species are you observing? Report your observations to Journey North and celebrate World Migratory Bird Day this Saturday, May 8th.

“Saw a beautiful Yellow-Rumped Warbler at the Madison Heights, Michigan Nature Center. It was a very warm day in the 80’s and the birds were all utilizing the little pond there to cool off.” Photo by: Pat (Madison Heights, MI; 05/02/2021)

Celebrate World Migratory Bird Day: “Sing, Fly, Soar – Like a Bird!” 

World Migratory Bird Day is this Saturday, May 8th. Journey North is proud to join with you, our citizen scientists, and many others who believe strongly that migratory birds connect us with their unique songs and flights, and remind us of the importance of working together, across borders, to protect them. The theme of this year’s celebration is “Sing, Fly, Soar – Like a Bird!“ 

Join the global celebration by listening to – and watching birds – wherever you find yourself this weekend. And report your bird observations to Journey North. 

Read our blog: Celebrating Migration While Helping Unravel the Mystery of Bird Movement»

Read the World Migratory Bird Day 2021 News Release»

Weather Forecasts for Migrating Songbirds

Migratory activity is high throughout North America. What species is Dr. Aborn observing? And how is weather impacting migration?

“Here in Tennessee, I saw my first Blackburnian Warblers, Indigo Buntings, Gray-cheeked Thrushes, and Veerys. The southerly winds helped push many species north … By the time the weekend arrives, most of the country will have good flying weather. Many birds should be on the move. The timing is great as May 8th is Migratory Bird Day!”

Read more of Weather Forestcasts for Migrating Songbirds #8»

Chuck Henrikson’s Birding Report 

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

“Today as I walked through the Arboretum and more specifically Curtis Prairie I came across 5 spectacular Yellow Warblers. Even though it was a cloudy day, the yellow of the warbler was bold and bright.  Not far down the path was a male Common Yellowthroat. The black mask of the male provides great contrast to the yellow of the throat. Both were FOY birds for me.”

Read more of Chuck Henrikson’s birding report #59»

Journey North Species

Baltimore Oriole

Reports of Baltimore Orioles are coming in at a blistering pace. Over 500 reports have already been submitted through the first four days of May. This is more than all of the reports in April and almost half of all reports this spring. Last spring followed a similar trend. Explore our Oriole (1st Baltimore) map to compare trends year over year. Thus far, the northernmost report has come from latitude 46°N in Menahga, Minnesota.

Catherine in Menahga, MN: “7:58 AM the first Baltimore Oriole showed up at the jelly feeder.” (05/04/2021)

Patrick in Appleton, WI: “Saw one male [Baltimore Oriole] in the morning. Hours later 2 more arrived and used the cut orange, jelly feeders and the hummingbird feeders.” (05/03/2021)

Heather in Copake, NY: “Saw my first Baltimore Oriole today along with an Orchard Oriole.” (05/03/2021)

Chris in Belleville, ON: “So happy to have the first visit at 1:00 pm this afternoon by this beautiful male [Baltimore Oriole]. I heard him first, then I saw him. It’s a year to the day exactly that he came last year. Sure brightens up a cloudy day!” (05/04/2021)

Bullock’s Oriole

Out West, Bullock’s Oriole migration is a bit behind last year’s pace. Where are you seeing Bullock’s Orioles? 

Linda in Montrose, CO: “Just saw my first male Bullock’s Oriole at my jelly feeder! One and a half weeks late but looking healthy!” (05/03/2021)

Barn Swallow

Thus far, the northernmost report of Barn Swallows has come from latitude 49°N in Lethbridge, Alberta.

Ken in Lethbridge, AB: “A cold front passed through Lethbridge last night. While birding I came across a mixed flock of Northern Rough-winged and Violet-green Swallows. While scanning them, one Barn Swallow was discovered among the flock.” (05/02/2021)

Common Loon

Reports of Common Loons in Canada continue to rise.

Heather in Temagami, ON: “Only got a photo of one loon but I saw 3.” (04/25/2021)

Red-Winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbirds are an adaptable species. From agricultural fields to urban environments, they thrive in a variety of settings.

Dondina in Minto-Odanah, MB: “Many [Red-winged Blackbirds] spotted sitting on reeds around the sloughs at the HWY 10/16 junction at Minnedosa. First bunch noticed of the spring.” (05/02/2021)