March 26, 2008
Dr. David Aborn

Dear Students:

After being shut down by northerly winds at the end of last week, birds are on the move again. Over the weekend, the high pressure system had moved far enough east that southerly winds took over and allowed birds to start flying again.

New Arrivals in the South
Notable new arrivals include Black-throated-green Warblers in Texas, Alabama, South Carolina, and Georgia, a Wood Thrush in Louisiana, Chimney Swifts in Florida and Louisiana, Orchard Orioles in Alabama, and Great-crested Flycatchers in Louisiana, and Red-eyed Vireos in Florida (lots of them) and Alabama.

Good Birding in the North
Birders farther north got their first taste of migration, as birds that were in the south were able to complete another leg of their journey. Washington, DC, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Indiana all reported Yellow-throated Warblers, and a Louisiana Waterthrush was seen in Ohio. People in the Show-Me State could have also shown you a Hooded Warbler and a Common Yellowthroat on Monday.

Migrating Birds in the West
There was also a nice movement of birds out west. Hammond's Flycatchers and Ash-throated Flycatchers were seen in New Mexico, along with a variety of swallows. Arizona was treated to their first Warbling Vireos, Lucy's Warblers, Scott's Orioles, and Black-chinned Hummingbirds. Not to be outdone, birders in California also reported Scott's Orioles, as well as Rufus Hummingbirds, a Summer Tanager, Common Yellowthroats, a Bullock's Oriole, and White-throated Swifts.

What to Expect This Week
So, will this week just as good (or maybe better?!) than last week? Take a look at the weather map:

  • Another cold front is moving across the center of the country right now, but it is weak; that means it is not bringing much rain, and the winds behind it are not very strong. It may slow birds down a bit, but not for long.
  • Winds are expected to swing around from the south just a day or two after the front passes. For example, here in Chattanooga, temps are supposed to be in the mid-70's on Friday, mid-60's on Saturday, and then back into the 70's on Sunday. All this means that migration should continue without much interruption.

While diversity of species was good last week, there weren't large numbers of things. That should begin to change as migration picks up. It should be a good week, so get out there and enjoy it!
Take Care.

David Aborn
North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy
Chattanooga, TN