Weather Forecasts for Migrating Songbirds #8


Published: 05/05/2021

Dear Journey North Followers,

It has been an active week of bird migration for most of the country! That cold front I mentioned in my last report forced a lot of birds to land along the Gulf coast. Birders reported lots of Yellow Warblers, along with many Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Scarlet Tanagers, and Indigo Buntings. The front slowed down and is just now reaching the eastern US. There was good flying weather in the east for much of last week. 

Here in Tennessee, I saw my first Blackburnian Warblers, Indigo Buntings, Gray-cheeked Thrushes, and Veerys. The southerly winds helped push many species north. This was especially true in New York, where birders in Central Park reported MANY Gray Catbirds, Indigo Buntings, Ovenbirds, and Northern Waterthrushes. In total, over 20 warbler species were seen! New Hampshire reported its first Wood Thrush of the spring, while Rose-breasted Grosbeaks made it to Michigan and Minnesota. Out west, flying conditions were also good since they were well behind the front. Black-headed Grosbeaks were seen from California up to Washington. And the first Black-chinned Hummingbird was seen in Idaho.

As I mentioned, that cold front is just now passing through the eastern US (there are big storms happening here as I write my report). Birds in this part of the country won’t be going anywhere for a couple of days. In the Midwest, the front has cleared, allowing birds that were grounded along the Gulf to be able to take off again. There should be lots of activity. The western US still looks clear; there should be a lot of migration taking place there as well. 

By the time the weekend arrives, most of the country will have good flying weather. Many birds should be on the move. The timing is great as May 8th is Migratory Bird Day! Migratory Bird Day is a day established to celebrate migratory birds around the world. There will be bird walks, arts and crafts activities, and speakers talking about the importance of birds. Check with your local parks, zoos, and/or nature centers to see what activities are taking place in your area! Take care.

David Aborn