Arrivals Continue

April 13, 2023 by Team Journey North

Spring migration continues to gain momentum. Dr. David Aborn provides an update on migration and weather throughout the U.S. What species are you noticing? Please report your observations to Journey North.

Common Loon
Photo: Sheila in Lake Shore, MN (04/09/2023)

Weather Forecasts for Migrating Songbirds

While slower than expected, bird migration is picking up. Dr. David Aborn shares in this week’s weather and migrating songbirds report:

“Several days of clear skies and southerly winds have allowed migrants to make some progress. The big winners of the week were Florida and Alabama, which saw a large arrival of migrants over the past few days, including 15 species of warblers!”

Read more in Dr. David Aborn’s 2023 Weather Forecasts & Migrating Songbirds Report #3»

Journey North Species

Baltimore and Bullock’s Oriole

Baltimore Oriole migration is showing signs of picking up. Reports are starting to come in from the Midwest, particularly in Michigan.

Michelle in South Padre Island, TX: “He was in the mangroves off the board walk at the convention center- eating bugs from the leaves. handsome one!” (04/08/2023)

And Bullock’s Orioles are venturing farther west into California. Be on the lookout and please submit your observations to Journey North.

Jeremy in Benicia, CA: “At backyard feeder, which has been up for weeks.” (04/09/2023)

If you observe other oriole species, please report under the reporting category All Other Signs of Spring.

Red-Winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbirds are moving into the northern United States and into Canada.

Gert in Gowganda, ON: “Flew in a short while ago…lots of Red winged blackbirds.” (04/10/2023)

Rick in Lake Park, MN: “Went out looking for prairie chickens dancing, found 6, and saw flocks of Mourning doves, lots of meadowlarks, sandhill Cranes, flickers. Redwings were singing up a storm around the wetlands. Only had cheap phone camera so not a good picture. Still 18 inches of snow on the ground for the most part.” (04/10/2023)

Barn Swallows

Barn Swallows also continue to move north.

Patrick in Breesport, NY: “flying around checking out bird houses” (04/09/2023)

Anton in Harley, ON: “First seen today.” (04/14/2023)

Common Loon

The upper Midwest and the Northeast are hotspots of loon activity. Some Journey North observers are noting mating behavior. And others are noting loon arrivals coinciding with ice-out dates.

Cathy in Fairlee, VT: “Lake Morey ice went out today, within a few hours the loon showed up.” (04/07/2023)

Sheila in Lake Shore, MN: “This is the first common loon that has returned to Upper Gull Lk on the Gull Chain of Lakes. It is in the channel. The main body of the lake is iced in and only the channels are open. Based on close observations, this is very likely the territorial male who nests in this channel.” (04/09/2023)

The Loon Preservation Committee of New Hampshire

The Loon Preservation Committee (LPC) is dedicated to restoring and maintaining a healthy population of loons throughout New Hampshire. In partnership with Journey North, the LPC has agreed to share their “Loon Facts of the Month” with Journey North readers. Check out April’s facts in the sidebar and also take a look at March’s facts at the bottom of this update.

Report Observations and Include Photos

This spring, remember to report your first observations of Red-winged Blackbirds, Barn Swallows, Baltimore and Bullock’s Orioles, and Common Loons. For other species, use the “All Other Signs of Spring” reporting category. 

If possible, include photos in your reports (one photo per report). Photos are always helpful to properly identify species and verify reports. 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!

April is Citizen Science Month!

At Journey North, we celebrate our volunteers who submit thousands of observational reports about migratory species and seasonal changes in our various project categories. Join us this month — and all year long — by reporting your observations to Journey North!