Weather and Songbird Migration: April 29, 2015
Please Report
Your Sightings!
Report Your Sightings
Dear Journey North,

Well, here we go again! For yet another week, rains along the Gulf Coast have kept migrants grounded for much of the week. There was a brief break over the weekend, and some migrants were able to take advantage of it.

Birds on the Move
A handful of species really seemed to take advantage of the break. Thrushes moved into my study site, with Swainson’s Thrushes being most common. I also saw my first Veery of the spring. Other new arrivals in my area included Chestnut-sided Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, and Yellow-breasted Chat. Gray Catbirds, Yellow Warblers, and Warbling Vireos were some of the other species that took advantage of the good weather, with sightings of all three throughout New England. Baltimore and Orchard Orioles were also common sights up there.

Migration was slower in the Midwest and Great Plains, but an increase in orioles was seen in Missouri, while catbirds, Common Yellowthroats, and Purple Martins were frequently seen in the Dakotas.

Migration Strong in the West
Farther west, most of the birds are still the warblers I have been talking about the past couple of weeks (Nashville, Wilson’s, Orange-crowned, Black-throated-gray), but one birder in Orange County, California reported “a ton” of Townsend’s Warblers. Numbers of Black-headed Grosbeaks have increased again, and birders all along the west and Rockies reported arrivals of Vaux’s Swifts and Warbling Vireos. Even up in Alaska, more migrants are arriving, with sightings of Tree Swallows, Bank Swallows, and Yellow-rumped Warblers.

Dr. David Aborn, ornithologist
Dr. David Aborn
David Aborn
Black-headed Grossbeak
Laura Erickson
Black-headed Grossbeak
Weather Map: This Week's Outlook
If you look at this week’s weather map, it looks like we may FINALLY see a break in the pattern.
weather map April 1, 2015
  • All the rain that has been flooding the Gulf Coast is moving off to the east, and for a change there is no series of fronts behind it to bring more rain. You will see that there is lots of high pressure to keep skies clear, and while there will be some north winds, they won’t be too strong so in a couple of days the migrant floodgates will open, and there should be lots of birds arriving in your area!

  • Another front is moving in off the Pacific, but it does not have much moisture with it, so it should not affect migration much later in the week.

This should be a good week for seeing migrants, and I hope some of you will check it out. I know I will!

Take care.

David Aborn
North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy
Chattanooga, TN

Evaluation: Share your thoughts!
Please take a few minutes to complete our Annual Evaluation. With your help, we can document Journey North's reach, impact and value. Thank you!

Journey North Evaluation
FINAL Update May 6, 2015