Weather Forecasts for Migrating Songbirds #7


Published: 04/28/2021

Dear Journey North Followers,

Well, lightning struck twice! Last week, I mentioned that the weather was setting up for another big fallout along the Gulf Coast – and that’s what happened on Thursday (4/22). After the front moved through, storms and north winds forced migrating birds to land in big numbers. Indigo Buntings and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks were particularly numerous (check out this great photo). There were also many Blackburnian Warblers, Bay-breasted Warblers, and Hooded Warblers. Once that front moved off the Atlantic coast over the weekend, the winds shifted to the south, allowing many of those birds to head north again. Throughout the Southeast, there have been large numbers of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks in many places. Wood Thrushes have also arrived here in Tennessee. The strong southerly winds have helped to push Worm-eating Warbler, Prairie Warblers, Ovenbirds, and American Redstarts into New York. And the first Blue-headed Vireos arrived in New Hampshire. Birders in Minnesota are even being treated to some of their first migratory arrivals, including Golden-winged Warblers and Baltimore Orioles! 

Out west, migration has been steady. Violet-green Swallows and Vaux’s Swifts are being seen in good numbers throughout Arizona, California, and Oregon. Townsend’s, Orange-crowned, and Wilson’s Warblers were common in central California.

What does the next week look like? If you look at the weather map, there is yet another front moving across the country. But this one is not as potent. While it will still force migrating birds to set down over the next few days, there should not be the big fallouts we have seen the past 2 weeks. Birds over most of the eastern US still have a few days before the front arrives; there should be lots of new sightings in many places. West of the Rockies, where the front has already moved through, skies are clear and winds are southerly. The steady flow of migrating birds should continue out there.

We are at the peak of migration in the southern US, and it is starting to pick up in many other places. This is a great time to get out and enjoy it! 

Take care.

David Aborn