Get Your Binoculars Ready!

April 22, 2022 by Team Journey North

Happy Earth Day! Peak spring migration is approaching in certain areas. Dr. David Aborn provides news on bird migration throughout the U.S. And Chuck Henrikson shares his latest update from Journey North's home base, the UW–Madison Arboretum. What migratory bird species are you observing?

Hooded Oriole. Photo: Robynn in Napa, CA (04/17/2022)

Weather Forecasts for Migrating Songbirds

As May approaches, how is spring bird migration progressing? Dr. David Aborn shares the latest news:

“The weather has still been active and so has migration. The breaks in the storms have allowed a nice influx of migrants along the Gulf coast, including Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Blue Grosbeaks, Indigo Buntings, Yellow Warblers, and Yellow-breasted Chats. Those brief periods of clear skies and southerly winds have allowed a few migrants to make some progress northward … There has been good weather out west for most of the week. Birders in Arizona were treated to 8 species of warblers, including their first Townsend’s, McGillivray’s, and Wilson’s Warblers.”

Read more of Dr. David Aborn’s 2022 Weather Forecasts for Migrating Songbirds #5»

Chuck Henrikson’s Birding Report

At Journey North’s home base, the UW–Madison Arboretum, spring has thus far felt like an extension of winter. What birds is Chuck Henrikson observing?

“The number of sparrows has been increasing in the last week … I saw three Yellow-rumped Warblers today … They were all good looking males. A couple other species of warblers have been seen in Dane County but the numbers are still very low … The number of Ruby-crowned Kinglets has increased recently making them a bit more common than the Golden-crowned Kinglets … Today I saw my first of year (FOY) Northern Rough-winged Swallows.”

Read more of Chuck Henrikson’s birding report #109»

Journey North Species

Baltimore and Bullock’s Oriole

Last year, reports of Baltimore Orioles started picking up in late April. This year appears to be following the same trend.

Stacey in Creal Springs, IL: “4 observed, all males. First one this season. 3 Baltimore orioles but I do believe the 4th in the rail is an Orchard!” (04/20/2022)

Farther west, Bullock’s Orioles are making their way up to Northern California.

Jeremy in Benicia, CA: “[Bullock’s Oriole] at backyard oriole feeder.” (04/16/2022)

Barn Swallow

Some Journey North volunteers are noting that Barn Swallow migration appears to be behind last year’s pace.

Lynn in Madison, WI: “Our scouts arrived this morning, but they are a week late. Boathouse doors are open, and our swallows have found their 2022 home. Their travelling companions will arrive soon.” (04/21/2022)

Common Loon

As spring progresses and ice-out events expand northward, Journey North volunteers in Canada are welcoming back Common Loons.

Natalia in Morrison Landing, ON: “Lone loon. First one this season.” (04/18/2022)

Red-Winged Blackbird

So far, the northernmost report of a Red-winged Blackbird is latitude 50°N in Manitoba, Canada.

Evelyn in Gimli, MB: “First one of the year arrived in spring storm.” (04/14/2022)

Keep Reporting and Include Photos

Are you noticing your first Baltimore and Bullock’s Oriole, Barn Swallow, Common Loon, or Red-winged Blackbird of the season? Remember to report your observations. And if you observe other bird species, please report under the category All Other Signs of Spring. If possible, include photos (one photo per report). Photos help verify reports and we enjoy sharing them with our Journey North community!