Migration Is Not Done Yet

May 18, 2023 by Team Journey North

What's in store for the final few weeks of spring migration? Keep your binoculars ready, and report your observations to Journey North!

Photo: Christine in Presque Isle, ME

Weather Forecasts for Migrating Songbirds

Migration continues to be slow in the southern half of the US but has picked up farther north. Dr. David Aborn shares the latest news:

Migration seems to have been either feast or famine across the country… Once that stationary front moved on, the good flying conditions helped push birds north, and many of them were able to skip stopping over in the South.

Read more in Dr. David Aborn’s 2023 Weather Forecasts & Migrating Songbirds Report #7»

Journey North Species

Baltimore Oriole and Bullock’s Oriole

More reports from Canada are being submitted of Baltimore Orioles as they begin to reach the northern limits of their breeding range.

Louise in Carignan, QC: “At 730 this morning. So glad they are back.” (05/10/2023)

Audrey in Winnipeg, MB: “Male arrived about 8 am chirping, at jelly feeder, flying around yard. Orioles have been nesting here for years. Last year we counted 23 male and female, in one day, mid May at our feeders” (05/11/2023)

Peter in Regina, SK: “My wife, Jean, spotted a male baltimore Oriole on our grape jelly feeder around 07:00… then we spotted a female Oriole on an orange half hanging from a small Oak at the far corner of the backyard. As luck would have it, I inadvertently included a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak in the shot!… ” (05/12/2023)

Bullock’s Orioles continue moving north. Journey North observers are expecting more arrivals soon.

Victoria in Boulder, CO: “Feeding from hummingbird feeder for about 5 days, along with female broadtail hummingbird.” (05/10/2023)

Roger in Topeka, KS: “We now have a pair of bullocks, 2 orchards and at least a dozen Baltimores visiting our jelly feeders” (05/11/2023)

Sarah in Casper, WY: “I put up my feeder about 3 weeks previous and this was the first oriole to visit.” (05/13/2023)

Red-Winged Blackbird

While most Red-winged Blackbirds have arrived to breeding territories, some Journey North observers are still reporting their first observation of the season.

John in Omega, OK: “While checking cattle - noticed Bird was setting on fence…This field uses cover crops as part of the soil health program” (05/14/2023)

Barn Swallows

Many Barn Swallows have already arrived to breeding grounds. Nesting season is underway!

Linda in Worth, NY: “Saw 6 cliff swallows during morning chores and saw 5 barn swallows in the afternoon! Still waiting for the tree swallows.” (05/08/2023)

Pamela in North Canton, OH: “We were very surprised to see the birds. They had made nests inside the pavilion roof.” (05/13/2023)

Common Loon

A welcome sight: Common Loons continue to appear on the lakes of the Northwoods.

Alison in Ardbeg, ON: “Heard a loon call two nights ago Saw 2 on the lake yesterday  Swimming and diving” (05/11/2023)

Dondina in Wasagaming, MB: “Saw a couple loons while visiting the Spruces at Clear Lake, MB. Heard their calls and it made my Mother’s Day. Heard some calling from the other side of the lake as well. Saw another one at Moon Lake as well.” (05/14/2023)

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. If possible, include a photo with each of your reports. Photos aid in identification and help verify reports, and we enjoy sharing them with our Journey North community. However, birds are not always cooperative photographic subjects. One potential workaround is to take a video and then extract a screenshot to use as a photo. Give it a try! Learn more in the tutorials below: