Weather and Songbird Migration: April 27, 2016
By Dr. David Aborn

Magnolia warbler





CC BY-SA 2.0 / Bill_Majoros
Magnolia warbler
Rose-breasted grosbeak
Rose-breasted grosbeak
Black-throated gray warbler

CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 /Roy Brown
Black-throated gray warbler

Dear Journey North,

The birds keep arriving! Good weather for most of the week has allowed lots of migration to take place.

New Arrivals in the Gulf and Treats in the East
Among the new arrivals along the Gulf coast were Blackpoll Warblers, Magnolia Warblers, and Philadelphia Vireos. At my study site, I banded the first Veery, Gray Catbird, and American Redstart of the year, and Indigo Buntings have been around in good numbers. Farther north, birders in New York and Pennsylvania have been treated to an assortment of warblers, orioles and buntings, while Eastern Kingbirds showed up in Massachusetts.

Midwest Finally Getting in on the Fun
Birders in the northern Midwest have finally been able to get in on the fun, with lots of reports of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, and Baltimore Orioles in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota. Minnesota recorded its first Ruby-throated Hummingbird of the year!

More Good Movement in the West
Birds have been moving out west, too. Lots of Wilson's Warblers, Bullock’s Orioles, and Vaux's Swifts have been coming through Arizona, and southerly winds have helped push Warbling Vireos, Cassin's Vireos, and Black-throated gray Warblers into northern California, and Cassin's Vireos, House Wrens, and McGillivray's Warblers arrived in Montana.

Even Alaska continues to see new arrivals, with the first Orange-crowned Warblers showing up.

Weather Map  
Dr. David Aborn, ornithologist  

This Week's Outlook
So what does the coming week look like? You should be weather and migration experts by now! Look at the map, and see what is happening.

  • In the eastern U.S., strong southerly winds will continue to help migrants along for another couple of days, but look at what is coming their way…another cold front. This front has been bringing big storms to the middle of the country, and look at what they have in the upper Great Plains…snow! That should tell you that there are strong north winds behind the front, so migrants will be grounded for a few days after the front passes.

  • Out west, there are clear skies and southerly winds, so those birds will be able to continue migrating for a couple of more days, but there is another front moving in from the Pacific. That means they will be grounded for a couple of days as well, so they had better get moving!

Next week will be my last report for the season, so enjoy the birding while you can!

Take care,

David Aborn
North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy
Chattanooga, TN

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