Regional Migration Analysis: 20-27 October 2017

Snow Bunting. Pam Rasmussen/Macaulay Library. eBird S40046338.

Continental Summary

Scattered light to moderate movements occurred in the West this week featuring Bufflehead, Canvasback, Lesser Scaup, Red-breasted Merganser, Western Grebe, Horned Grebe, Bonaparte’s Gull, Herring Gull, American Pipit, while pulses of moderate to locally very heavy movements featuring Common Goldeneye, Ring-necked Duck, Rough-legged Hawk, Franklin’s Gull, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, White-throated Sparrow, American Tree Sparrow, and Common Redpoll occurred in the East. A displacement of Neotropical migrants to points far north of their typical ranges occurred and continued to unfold at the end of the period in New England and the Canadian Maritimes.

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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

Moderate coastal flights kicked off the weekend, while a frontal passage across the Mississippi River brought the next wave of moderate to heavy flights into the Upper Midwest. As the front stalled, flights continued in the Upper Midwest and all but shut down to the east. By Wednesday night the front had passed off the Atlantic Coast, with moderate to locally heavy flights in its wake. This frontal boundary also captured numerous migrants in its flow, creating a major transport of Neotropical migrants, similar to what has occurred in previous years and to what may occur again next week, in portions of New England and the Canadian Maritimes. Early reports included numbers of Yellow-billed Cuckoo, White-eyed Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo, Hooded Warbler, Summer Tanager, and Indigo Bunting among others. We will provide an update on this system during the week of 30 October.

Top Movers

Increasing

Species Increase from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
American Tree Sparrow 334% 3.4
Dark-eyed Junco 103% 24.8
Bufflehead 358% 2.1
Fox Sparrow 143% 3.8
American Coot 65% 7.5
Snow Bunting 1576% 1
Ring-necked Duck 93% 3.3
Hooded Merganser 106% 2.6
Gadwall 57% 6.4
Common Loon 53% 5.3
Bonaparte's Gull 76% 3.6
Red-breasted Merganser 85% 2.3
White-throated Sparrow 19% 34
Pine Siskin 60% 3.9
Common Goldeneye 190% 0.7
Common Redpoll 3236% 0.4
Red-tailed Hawk 16% 16.7
Horned Grebe 87% 1.8
Rough-legged Hawk 232% 0.6
Surf Scoter 55% 3.2
Red-winged Blackbird 10% 26
Lesser Scaup 65% 1.7
Herring Gull 11% 17
Common Grackle 14% 12.8
Red Crossbill 150% 0.6

Decreasing

Species Decrease from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
Common Yellowthroat -95% 0.4
Gray Catbird -87% 2.5
Eastern Phoebe -63% 7.9
Palm Warbler -64% 4.9
House Wren -93% 0.4
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker -58% 3.9
Blue-headed Vireo -69% 1.8
Eastern Towhee -36% 8
Nashville Warbler -91% 0.2
Northern Flicker -29% 20.5
Lincoln's Sparrow -60% 2.3
Tennessee Warbler -100% 0
Wood Duck -33% 7.5
Ruby-crowned Kinglet -27% 18.1
Swainson's Thrush -96% 0.1
Great Egret -36% 6.2
Yellow-rumped Warbler -18% 28.2
Chimney Swift -120% -1
Marsh Wren -61% 0.8
Blue-winged Teal -52% 1.5
Osprey -44% 2.6
Indigo Bunting -109% -0.3
Black-throated Green Warbler -110% -0.3
Swamp Sparrow -20% 13.2
Chipping Sparrow -18% 10.4

Franklin’s Gull. James Reiman/Macaulay Library. eBird S40105756.

Gulf Coast and Southeast

Scattered light to moderate flights are the norm for Friday and Saturday. But the arrival of a strong frontal boundary brought favorable migration conditions in its wake, with moderate to locally heavy flights widespread across the region to the west of the Mississippi River on Sunday night. These flights expanded to the entire region on Monday and Tuesday nights before diminishing in extent (and altitude) on Wednesday night. Thursday night saw a return of marginal and unfavorable migration conditions and generally low intensities of movements across the region. An exception was west Texas where more favorable conditions allowed moderate flights to continue.

Top Movers

Increasing

Species Increase from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
White-throated Sparrow 476% 8.1
Golden-crowned Kinglet 531% 7.2
Yellow-rumped Warbler 268% 22
Swamp Sparrow 320% 8
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 125% 21.1
Savannah Sparrow 203% 6.8
Hermit Thrush 332% 3.4
Song Sparrow 108% 11.2
Tree Swallow 123% 7
Winter Wren 290% 2.8
Palm Warbler 65% 26.6
Gadwall 172% 3.6
Eastern Phoebe 53% 39.8
American Coot 79% 8.2
White-crowned Sparrow 139% 2.3
Eastern Meadowlark 68% 6.4
Orange-crowned Warbler 81% 5.1
Wilson's Snipe 110% 2.6
Greater White-fronted Goose 298% 1.2
Red-tailed Hawk 39% 12.4
American Kestrel 42% 13.7
Franklin's Gull 544% 0.7
Double-crested Cormorant 31% 18.1
Pied-billed Grebe 41% 11.1
Vesper Sparrow 140% 1.4

Decreasing

Species Decrease from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
Magnolia Warbler -70% 2.4
American Redstart -54% 7.2
Ruby-throated Hummingbird -63% 3.3
Tennessee Warbler -67% 1.6
Brown Thrasher -37% 11.3
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher -57% 2.2
Summer Tanager -71% 1.1
Yellow Warbler -97% 0.1
White-eyed Vireo -36% 9
Northern Parula -37% 6.4
Swainson's Hawk -86% 0.2
Eastern Wood-Pewee -50% 3
Black-throated Blue Warbler -47% 2.9
Hooded Warbler -64% 0.8
Wilson's Warbler -68% 0.6
Rose-breasted Grosbeak -51% 1.3
Nashville Warbler -49% 1.3
Blue Grosbeak -61% 0.6
Chimney Swift -108% -0.4
Black-and-white Warbler -19% 8.3

Brown Creeper. Wilmer Fernandez/Macaulay Library. eBird S39913878.

Great Plains

A quiet Friday night yielded to a much more active Saturday night as a cold front passed over the region. Moderate to locally heavy flights followed in the front’s path. Alternating nights of light to moderate flights punctuated the remainder of the period between generally favorable or marginal migration conditions and unfavorable southerly flow (for example on Wednesday). The greatest extents of these flights occurred on Monday night, although more localized flights were also noticeable on Tuesday and Thursday nights in the southern Plains.

Top Movers

Increasing

Species Increase from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
American Tree Sparrow 495% 9.6
Dark-eyed Junco 101% 33.6
Ring-necked Duck 135% 7.6
Rough-legged Hawk 459% 3.2
Song Sparrow 56% 17.4
Brown Creeper 95% 4.3
Lesser Scaup 100% 4
Red Crossbill 95% 3.4
Ring-billed Gull 26% 21.7
Harris's Sparrow 45% 11.7
Redhead 48% 6.8
Gadwall 38% 13
Fox Sparrow 100% 2.7
Lapland Longspur 133% 2.1
Bufflehead 63% 3.8
Snow Goose 85% 2.1
American Goldfinch 18% 22.5
Common Redpoll 4579% 0.4
Mallard 14% 22.2
American Wigeon 27% 7.6
Common Goldeneye 263% 0.3
Cackling Goose 86% 1.9
Golden-crowned Kinglet 57% 3.2
Eared Grebe 54% 2.6

Decreasing

Species Decrease from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
Turkey Vulture -80% 5.2
Orange-crowned Warbler -87% 1.9
Eastern Phoebe -79% 2.4
Ruby-crowned Kinglet -65% 6.7
Vesper Sparrow -77% 1.4
Franklin's Gull -51% 11.1
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher -88% 0.6
Blue-winged Teal -75% 1.9
Mourning Dove -50% 13.2
Spotted Towhee -76% 1.4
Great Egret -63% 3.2
Blue-headed Vireo -96% 0.1
Osprey -56% 3
Great Blue Heron -32% 15.1
Nashville Warbler -110% -0.7
House Wren -111% -0.6
Sedge Wren -73% 0.8
Brown Thrasher -90% 0.2
Clay-colored Sparrow -105% -0.2
Barn Swallow -110% -0.6
Eastern Meadowlark -42% 5.1
Common Grackle -33% 8.6
Chimney Swift -128% -1.2
Savannah Sparrow -37% 6.9
Greater White-fronted Goose -59% 1.4

American Wigeon. Cathy Reader/Macaulay Library. eBird S39965001.

West

Scattered light to moderate flights were the norm for the region in this period. Saturday and Monday nights saw the greatest extents of these flights, mostly from locations in the Pacific Northwest, the Central Valley, and the Desert Southwest. The Central Valley saw regular nightly movement for the period, a typical pattern for this location. Note, also, that Monday night’s flight included some movements in the Great Basin.

Top Movers

Increasing

Species Increase from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
Bufflehead 385% 6.7
Surf Scoter 70% 5.4
Lesser Scaup 91% 3.6
Cackling Goose 62% 6.4
Dunlin 93% 3
Hooded Merganser 87% 2.8
Western Grebe 39% 11
Red-breasted Merganser 180% 1.2
Bonaparte's Gull 89% 1.8
American Wigeon 28% 13.8
Canvasback 93% 1.5
Herring Gull 64% 3
Bald Eagle 35% 6.4
Common Loon 44% 4.1
Snow Goose 64% 1.9
Ring-billed Gull 21% 10.7
Ring-necked Duck 29% 7.3
Glaucous-winged Gull 33% 5.6
Common Merganser 31% 3.5
Clark's Grebe 48% 2.2
Pacific Loon 62% 1.6
Horned Grebe 36% 3.9
Ruddy Duck 21% 9.2
American Pipit 25% 7.4
European Starling 8% 25.3

Decreasing

Species Decrease from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
Yellow Warbler -99% 0
Black-throated Gray Warbler -77% 0.7
Orange-crowned Warbler -46% 5.4
Chipping Sparrow -45% 2.9
Wilson's Warbler -89% 0.3
Common Yellowthroat -41% 4.2
Turkey Vulture -38% 8.2
Barn Swallow -73% 0.8
Blue-winged Teal -46% 1.4
Cassin's Kingbird -36% 2.5
Pectoral Sandpiper -73% 0.3
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher -34% 2.4
Red-breasted Nuthatch -14% 11.6
Townsend's Warbler -27% 4.2
Western Tanager -73% 0.3
Long-billed Dowitcher -31% 2.3
House Wren -19% 5.4
Osprey -27% 2.9
Elegant Tern -47% 0.6
Common Grackle -50% 0.4
Cinnamon Teal -24% 2.2
White-faced Ibis -29% 1.5
Violet-green Swallow -50% 0.4

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Farnsworth and Van Doren

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