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Migration Analysis: 17-24 April 2015

Summer Tanager © Ian Davies

Summer Tanager © Ian Davies

Continental Summary

This week featured moderate to heavy flights across the southern US, from the Pacific to the Atlantic, and the central US, from Texas to the Canadian border, and these flights included Western Sandpiper, Wilson’s Phalarope, Bonaparte’s Gull, House Wren, Gray Catbird, Magnolia Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Lazuli Bunting, Western Tanager, and Summer Tanager.

Curious what birds will be on the move next? Check out our forecast.

Need a review of our definitions for regions, species on the move, and migration amounts? Please visit this link.

Quick Links to Regions

Upper Midwest and NortheastBirdCast Upper Midwest and Northeast Region Gulf Coast and SoutheastBirdCast Upper Southeast Region
Great Plainsbirdcast_plains West
BirdCast West Region

Upper Midwest and Northeast

Light to moderate movements in the Midwest and portions of the southern Appalachians and mid Atlantic were the only so-called highlights of the beginning of the period last weekend, before a large low pressure center moving across the region shut down most movements. Northern New England did see a nice pulse of birds on Sunday night, as the exception to this larger rule. The remainder of the week featured generally unfavorable conditions for migrants to fly, with locally light and isolated moderate movements punctuating an otherwise quiet (literally) nocturnal migration scene.

Top Movers

Increasing

Species Increase from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
Gray Catbird 543% 3.5
House Wren 91% 8.1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 48% 21.9
White-throated Sparrow 26% 33.2
Chipping Sparrow 13% 31.1
Purple Finch 30% 8.1
Summer Tanager 374% 0.7
American Goldfinch 10% 42.5
Greater Yellowlegs 26% 6.5
Savannah Sparrow 15% 5.9
Eastern Towhee 9% 18.7
Forster's Tern 32% 2.7
Willet 73% 1
Orange-crowned Warbler 126% 0.5
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 5% 19.8
Short-billed Dowitcher 87% 0.4
Black-bellied Plover 51% 0.7
Pine Warbler 8% 9.4
Laughing Gull 22% 3.1

Decreasing

Species Decrease from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
Golden-crowned Kinglet -71% 1.4
American Tree Sparrow -68% 1.3
Ring-necked Duck -42% 5.1
Fox Sparrow -60% 1.1
Brown Creeper -46% 2.8
Dark-eyed Junco -36% 15.2
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker -42% 4.8
American Wigeon -50% 1.7
Bufflehead -30% 8.1
American Black Duck -38% 3.6
Green-winged Teal -31% 5.2
American Woodcock -66% 0.6
Pied-billed Grebe -22% 7
Common Redpoll -90% 0
Common Merganser -24% 4.6
Bonaparte's Gull -31% 3.1
Hooded Merganser -24% 4.2
Lesser Scaup -27% 3.4
Gadwall -25% 3.9
Common Goldeneye -49% 0.9
Wilson's Snipe -31% 2.8

Black-throated Blue Warbler © Ian Davies

Black-throated Blue Warbler © Ian Davies

Gulf Coast and Southeast

Moderate to heavy flights occurred on most nights of this period, with many migrants moving into and through the region. Particularly extensive were the flights of Saturday, Wednesday, and Thursday, when many radars in the region were alive with bird migration; also note that some of these radars were detecting some substantial rain as well. Reports of some fallouts and concentrations during the period continued, given the precipitation early in the weekend, in particular from Alabama and Texas.

Top Movers

Increasing

Species Increase from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 120% 13.3
Black-throated Blue Warbler 241% 5.4
Baltimore Oriole 68% 10.6
Yellow Warbler 101% 7.8
American Redstart 70% 10.5
Magnolia Warbler 376% 2.5
Gray Catbird 42% 25
Indigo Bunting 41% 21.7
Northern Waterthrush 84% 6.9
Blue Grosbeak 54% 9
Ovenbird 57% 8.7
Black-throated Green Warbler 48% 10.3
Painted Bunting 42% 9
Summer Tanager 28% 19.4
Great Crested Flycatcher 30% 25.2
Black-and-white Warbler 31% 18.3
Spotted Sandpiper 41% 7.2
Wilson's Phalarope 156% 1.2
Least Flycatcher 134% 1.1
Western Kingbird 57% 3.4
Nashville Warbler 48% 5.5
Orchard Oriole 21% 12.1
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 15% 18.5
Common Yellowthroat 14% 17.2

Decreasing

Species Decrease from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
Hermit Thrush -49% 1.1
Pied-billed Grebe -31% 5.1
Redhead -54% 1
American Coot -21% 9.3
Dark-eyed Junco -80% 0.2
Gadwall -50% 0.9
Ruby-crowned Kinglet -17% 10.2
Herring Gull -24% 3
Green-winged Teal -59% 0.5
Double-crested Cormorant -14% 14.7
Killdeer -17% 12
Bonaparte's Gull -54% 0.5
Ring-billed Gull -22% 4.5
Northern Harrier -32% 1.5
Greater Yellowlegs -16% 4.6
Blue-winged Teal -11% 11
American Kestrel -34% 1.4
Northern Shoveler -20% 3.5

Bonaparte's Gull © Luke Seitz

Bonaparte’s Gull © Luke Seitz

Great Plains

The scattered light to moderate movements from Friday and Saturday nights stood in stark contrast to the blanks, so to speak, of Sunday night following the passage of a cold front. As high pressure built into the region, and much cooler temperatures prevailed with unfavorable winds, migration was hard to identify on radar to say the least. But Tuesday night’s moderate flights in the southern Plains previewed the more extensive moderate and even locally heavy flights that followed on Wednesday and Thursday nights.

Top Movers

Increasing

Species Increase from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
Yellow-rumped Warbler 36% 25
Lincoln's Sparrow 51% 10.4
Chipping Sparrow 30% 21.4
Franklin's Gull 29% 15.1
White-throated Sparrow 23% 12.7
Mourning Dove 12% 54.7
Blue-winged Teal 14% 44.9
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 21% 12.3
Brown-headed Cowbird 12% 33.7
Savannah Sparrow 17% 12.3
White-crowned Sparrow 20% 9.3
Hermit Thrush 30% 2.9
Common Grackle 8% 41.7
Least Sandpiper 21% 3.1
Eastern Meadowlark 10% 23.1
Bonaparte's Gull 32% 4.5

Decreasing

Species Decrease from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
Dark-eyed Junco -56% 4.3
Bufflehead -41% 4.2
Lesser Scaup -26% 8.5
Common Goldeneye -87% 0.2
Green-winged Teal -24% 8.7
Fox Sparrow -84% 0.2
Ring-necked Duck -25% 5.4
Herring Gull -81% 0.2
Bald Eagle -36% 2.8
Tundra Swan -43% 0.9
Canvasback -32% 3.1
American Wigeon -18% 8.1
Common Merganser -64% 0.4
Redhead -15% 7.8
Ring-billed Gull -11% 13.9
Rough-legged Hawk -82% 0.1

Lark Sparrow © Luke Seitz

Lark Sparrow © Luke Seitz

West

This week’s light to moderate movements in California and the Desert Southwest were some of the most consistent of the spring season, with birds moving extensively in these areas on almost every night of the period. Additionally, light movements were also apparent farther north along the Pacific Coast and in the Great Basin early in the period, as well as along the eastern front of the Rockies later in the period. Of all the region’s movements this week, California arguably experienced the largest and most consistent.

Top Movers

Increasing

Species Increase from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
Western Tanager 269% 4.1
Brown-headed Cowbird 56% 12.5
Wilson's Warbler 56% 11
Lazuli Bunting 88% 4
Yellow Warbler 62% 7.1
Western Sandpiper 60% 4.8
Summer Tanager 163% 2.3
White-faced Ibis 52% 4.8
Least Sandpiper 36% 7.2
Lark Sparrow 66% 3.6
Chipping Sparrow 33% 8.1
Spotted Sandpiper 67% 3.2
Barn Swallow 24% 17.2
Broad-tailed Hummingbird 55% 3.2
Black-throated Gray Warbler 31% 7.3
Blue-winged Teal 36% 4.9
Say's Phoebe 22% 10.5
Common Yellowthroat 22% 12.2
Semipalmated Plover 41% 2.4
American Avocet 22% 7.3
Green Heron 39% 3.2
Nashville Warbler 34% 3.6
Yellow-headed Blackbird 23% 5.7

Decreasing

Species Decrease from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
Common Goldeneye -39% 1.4
Fox Sparrow -28% 1.4
Surf Scoter -18% 2.1
Canvasback -21% 1.2
American Wigeon -12% 7.8
Varied Thrush -25% 1.2
Bufflehead -8% 10
Herring Gull -34% 0.5
Hooded Merganser -18% 1.7
Horned Grebe -12% 2.4

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Farnsworth and Van Doren

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