Spring Is Almost Here

March 18, 2022 by Team Journey North

Spring officially begins on March 20. And just in time for spring, Dr. David Aborn's Weather Forecasts for Migrating Songbirds reports are back! Plus, find out what birds Chuck Henrikson is seeing at Journey North's home base, the UW–Madison Arboretum. And report your first observations of Barn Swallows, Baltimore and Bullock's Orioles, Common Loons, and Red-winged Blackbirds to Journey North. For other species, use the "All Other Signs of Spring" reporting category.

“Eastern bluebird pair checking out a house together around 7:30 am this morning.” Photo: Mary in Wayland, NY (03/17/2022)

Weather Forecasts for Migrating Songbirds

Dr. David Aborn’s weekly Weather Forecasts for Migrating Songbirds reports 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 these early stages of migration?

“I am currently on the South Carolina coast with one of my undergrad ornithology classes. We saw a handful of Northern Parulas, Yellow-throated Warblers, and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. I have not seen any other reports of migrants from other locations. Before that big cold front came through, the earliest migrants had arrived such as Tree Swallows and Purple Martin, both now seen regularly throughout the Southeastern U.S.”

Read more of David Aborn’s Weather Forecasts for Migrating Songbirds #1

Chuck Henrikson’s Birding Report

How is migration unfolding farther north at Journey North’s home base, the UW–Arboretum? Find out in Chuck Henrikson’s latest birding report.

“The number of American Robins has really jumped this past week … A couple days ago as I was walking along Arboretum Drive by the houses and I could hear a bird calling that I had not heard for some time. It may or may not have been a new arrival but I don’t remember hearing one of these in this vicinity before. It’s a little bird with a big voice. To my surprise it was a Carolina Wren.”

Read more of Chuck Henrikson’s birding report #104»

Journey North Species

Red-Winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird migration is moving along at a brisk pace. Reports are picking up in Canada.

Pamela in Pardee, ON: “First Red-winged Blackbird has arrived. Still lots of snow. The Common Redpolls and Pine Grosbeaks appear to have left in the past couple of days.” (03/18/2022)

Baltimore Oriole and Bullock’s Oriole

Reports of Baltimore and Bullock’s Orioles are few and far between. Migration is still in the early stages. When do you usually see your first oriole?

Diane in St Johns, PA: “[Baltimore Oriole] spotted in backyard which is a some hilly dense forest.” (03/07/2022)

Kimberly in New Braunfels, TX: “[Bullock’s Oriole] on bird feeder.” (03/17/2022)

Common Loon

Common Loons are back in the Northeast! It will not be long before their iconic calls echo throughout the landscape

Brian in Kingston, MA: “[Common Loon] seen at Duxbury Beach at second crossover. 1PM.” (03/15/2022)

Barn Swallow

No new reports of Barn Swallow. There’s only been two reports so far which is much lower than at this same time last year. What could be impacting migration? Explore our maps from previous years to see if you notice any patterns and when reports might pick up.

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. Give it a try!