Arrival of More Species

April 27, 2023 by Team Journey North

May is just a few days away. Peak migration has arrived in certain areas and will move north over the coming weeks. What migratory bird species are you observing? Report to Journey North.

Baltimore Oriole
Photo: Dale in Dansville, NY (04/25/2023)

Weather Forecasts for Migrating Songbirds

After a slow start to spring, more favorable weather has boosted migration, though a couple of weather systems are moving across the US. Dr. David Aborn shares the latest news:

“On the weather map, you can see a couple of frontal systems moving across the country. These will bring on-and-off rain to much of the eastern US until early next week, so migrants will have to stay put for a while. Out west, those fronts have already passed, but high pressure is bringing northerly winds, so migrants out there will be grounded until the highs move east and the winds shift to the south again.”

Read more in Dr. David Aborn’s 2023 Weather Forecasts & Migrating Songbirds Report #5»

Journey North Species

Baltimore Oriole and Bullock’s Oriole

After a slow period of migration early in the season due to variable weather patterns, reports of Baltimore Orioles are picking up, particularly in the upper Midwest.

Shelly in Cleveland, OH: “Heard the little guy doing his happy chirp for about 5 minutes and then he hit the jelly feeder. He discovered the nectar feeder about 10 minutes later. Arrival 2 days later than last year. So happy they are back in NE OH!” (04/26/2023)

Lorraine in Jersey City, NJ: “Male Baltimore Oriole, spotted this morning and returned several times.” (04/24/2023)

Tonya in Lebanon, MO: “So Excited… I cannot wait to go home on lunch to see if “big Jelly” (the guy in the picture…) is back yet” (04/26/2023)

We have had few reports of Bullock’s Orioles. Be on the lookout and report your first observation to Journey North!

Bill in Union, MO: “Single Male Bullock Oriole at the Jelly Feeder. Warm day 74 Degrees ahead of severe thunderstorms” (04/20/2023)

Red-Winged Blackbird

Now that many Red-winged Blackbirds have arrived to breeding territories, what are you observing? Any territorial or nesting behavior? Let us know!

Sharen in Rocky Ridge, OH: “Flying all around the Crane Creek Estuary area.” (04/20/2023)

Barn Swallows

As their name implies, Barn Swallows are often found around barns and other human-made structures as they nest almost exclusively in these areas. for some observers, Barn Swallows are returning to familiar sites.

Max in Ellendale, DE: “… 2 Barn Swallows at last years nest.” (04/21/2023)

Pete in Hastings, IA: “First barn swallow of the year, flying by our barn.” (04/25/2023)

Common Loon

As spring progresses and ice-out events expand northward, more Journey North observers in northern latitudes particularly the lake regions of Minnesota and northern Wisconsin and into southern Ontario are welcoming back Common Loons. To our Journey North observers in the northeastern part of the country, are you seeing loons in New England?

Debra in Hayward, WI: “The most beautiful sound after the longest winter ever!” (04/15/2023)

Sandra in Cumberland, WI: “… 4 in front of my house for hours. Noticed six in distance in evening. One left six pack and joined the four. No calling. They were quiet, almost resting. I saw two lifting and shaking a leg. Have been hearing lots of Loon calls last few days, but not during afternoon/ eve when they were gathering. So fun!!” (04/19/2023)

Ann in Park Rapids, MN: “Saw the male loon on the Fishhook River. The next day (4/21) I saw two more male loons at close to the same location.” (04/20/2023)

Dale in Backus, MN: “Two arrived on Eagle Lake along with a bunch of Mergansers” (04/24/2023)

Kathy in Township Of Seguin, ON: “This is the 5th return of a lone loon who was born on Carter Lake 6 years ago and survived a snapping turtle attack. We call him Leggy because he still “exercises” his leg by rotating it above his head as he swims. It’s so heartening to see him back again for the season. We now await the return of his parents who have lived on Carter Lake for many years.” (04/19/2023)

Della-Marie in Hilton Beach, ON (04/22/2023)

Keep Reporting and Include Photos

Please keep reporting Red-winged Blackbird, Barn Swallow, Baltimore and Bullock’s Oriole, and Common Loon observations to Journey North. And if you observe other bird species, please report under the category All Other Signs of Spring. If possible, include photos in your reports. Photos help verify reports and we enjoy sharing them with our Journey North community!

Nearing the End of Citizen Science Month

April is Citizen Science Month! This April, and all year long, Journey North celebrates our citizen scientists and encourages you to join this important effort by submitting your observations.

Learn more about Citizen Science Month and other Journey North projects for observational reporting here.