March 18, 2008
Dr. David Aborn

Dear Students:

Last week's weather has slowed migration down, but birds are still trickling in. The rain and winds from last week's front kept many birds grounded and kept many new birds from arriving. Nonetheless, there were a few sightings across the country. Texas reported their first Nashville Warblers, and Mississippi had its first Northern Parula. Louisiana had the greatest diversity, with many Tree Swallows, Northern Parulas, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, and their first Yellow-throated Vireo and Hooded Warbler.
Birders along the Alabama coast reported many Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, as well as Black-and-white Warblers, White-eyed Vireos, Yellow-throated Warblers, and the first Prothonotary Warblers of the spring.

Picking Up Again
After all the rain moved out, it did not take long for the winds to shift back from the south. By the weekend, some of those migrants made it farther north, with Arkansas reporting its first Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, and a Northern Parula made all the way to Pennsylvania.

A Bonanza of Swallows
Not much was going out west, except in New Mexico. At Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, they had a bonanza of swallows. Violet-green, Barn, Northern Rough-winged Swallows were all seen, as well as 400 Tree Swallows!

What to Expect This Week
So will things be just as good this week? The recent good flying conditions did not last long. Take a look at the weather map:

  • You’ll see another front moving across the country. This is bringing heavy rain to much of the Great Plains, Midwest, Texas, and parts of New Mexico.
  • By the middle of the week, the bad weather will reach the Gulf Coast, Southeast, and Mid-Atlantic States. This will force birds to land, and we might see a few small fallouts occurring along the coasts.
  • The winds behind the front are not particularly strong, but should still keep migrants grounded a couple of days.
  • By the end of the week, winds should shift — and with clear skies, birds should be able to resume their journey north.


Take Care.

David Aborn
North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy
Chattanooga, TN