Weather and Songbird Migration: March 25, 2015
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Dear Journey North,

Well, it hasn’t been the best week to be a migrant in the eastern US, but it has been pretty good for those out West.

Slow in East and Gulf Coast
Winds have been from the south over much of the southern US, allowing migrants already around to make it a little farther north, and for a few new arrivals along the Gulf Coast. Blue-gray Gnatcatchers were seen in Washington, DC, and the first Prairie Warblers, Hooded Warblers, and Worm-eating Warblers were seen in Alabama and Louisiana. We have also seen the first Blue-headed Vireos and Summer Tanagers here in Tennessee. However, migrants have been in a bit of a squeeze. Winter does not want to go away, and there have been strong north winds that kept birds from making it much farther than the mid-Atlantic region, Persistent rains have slowed arrivals along the Gulf.

Much Activity in the West!
It has been a much different story out West. Weather conditions have been very favorable to migrants. Orange-crowned Warblers, Audubon’s Warblers, Painted Redstarts, Hutton’s Vireos, and Scott’s Orioles all made appearances in Arizona. In the Los Angeles, CA area, 125 Western Kingbirds were seen, and the first Black-headed Grosbeak showed up at Yosemite National Park. Good flying weather helped push birds pretty far north, with Tree Swallows, Barn Swallows, and Orange-crowned Warblers making it to Colorado and Oregon.


Dr. David Aborn, ornithologist
Dr. David Aborn
Prairie Warbler
Laura Erickson
Prairie Warbler
Blue-headed Vireo
Laura Erickson
Blue-headed Vireo
Weather Map: This Week's Outlook
Will things get better for migrants in the East? Will conditions remain good in the West? Let’s look at the weather map and see!
Weather map for Feb. 25, 2014
  • This week’s map is pretty busy, with a number of fronts moving across the country. The first front is bringing rain, snow, and cold to the Midwest, and will be moving east over the next couple of days (we are going to be below freezing here in Tennessee over the weekend!). That means migrants will have to stay put until early next week, when winds will shift to the south again. The second front is moving into the Great Plains and does not look to be as strong, so it shouldn’t affect migration too much.

  • Out West, that first front is bringing rain and the high pressure behind it is bringing northerly winds, so it looks like migration will slow down for a few days

As we head into April, migration will really pick up, so get ready!

Take care.

David Aborn
North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy
Chattanooga, TN

Next Update: April 1, 2014