Are we sure it is spring???? For most of the country that cold front that
moved through last week has brought extremely cold weather that has lasted
all week long.
Large Fallouts from Texas to Florida
you were looking for migrants, 90% of you were probably very disappointed.
For the rest of you, it has been migrant overload! That front
brought very strong and persistent north winds. That has kept most migrants
confined to the Gulf coast and unable to make it any farther north.
From Texas to Florida, large, impressive fallouts have been reported
all week. Along the Texas coast, people have been reporting Ruby-throated
Hummingbirds, Orchard Orioles, Hooded Warblers, and Kentucky Warblers
in the hundreds! There have also been good numbers of Scarlet Tanagers,
Summer Tanagers, Indigo Buntings, Painted Buntings, Worm-eating Warblers,
Tennessee Warblers, and Nashville Warblers. In New Orleans, one person
reported 150 Indigo Buntings in one of the city parks! The situation
is much the same in Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida.
Tired Birds Landing on Oil Rigs
that these birds have to cross the Gulf of Mexico, which is normally
18-hour non-stop flight. Add in headwinds, and it can take even longer.
Thus, many of the birds are exhausted when they arrive along the
coast. One thing that commonly happens is that birds will land on offshore
oil rigs, or even cruise ships.
A group of
researchers is studying migrants landing on oil rigs. They report many
birds landing on the rigs, and many more flying overhead, so migration
is definitely in full swing.
With birds grounded along the Gulf, there really isn't much else
to report. Most places did not see an influx of new birds; not even a trickle.
The only exception was New Mexico, which reported their first Gray Flycatchers,
Scott's Orioles, Cassin's Vireos, and Western Kingbirds.The
cold weather is finally starting to move out, and yesterday winds were
from the south. This will allow many of those migrants
I mentioned to move north, so the rest of the country should have
lots to see over the next few days. At my study site yesterday I
saw my first White-eyed Vireos of the season, and heard the first
What's the Birdwatching Outlook Ahead?
you look at the weather map, you see another front moving across
the country. The winds behind it are not strong, so while the rain
will force birds to land, they should be able to take off again
within a day or two.
second front is moving in from the Pacific. This one is expected
to be stronger. That should create some more fallouts by the end
of the week and weekend.
While it is expected to be strong,
it is not expected to be as persistent as last week's winds, so after a couple
of days the winds should shift back to the south, allowing the rest of the
country to enjoy the show!
as things have been, we are still a couple of weeks away from the
peak of migration so there will still be lots more to see!
North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy