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Regional Migration Analysis: 23-30 October 2015

Screenshot 2015-10-30 11.39.47

Great Cormorant, Ryan Schain

Continental Summary

Light to moderate flights earlier in the period from the southern reaches of the West featured Tundra Swan, Canvasback, Bufflehead, Bonaparte’s Gull, American Tree Sparrow, and Pine Siskin, while moderate to heavy flights last weekend and late in the current week featured Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, Common Loon, Great Cormorant, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Snow Bunting, Fox Sparrow, and White-throated Sparrow in the East.

Curious what birds will 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

A heavy coastal flight on Friday night was the highest density movement of the period. However, the Midwest saw moderate to heavy flights on Saturday night, as high pressure built into the Mississippi River valley. By midweek, most movement was shut down in the face of a large low pressure center moving north and west across the Ohio River valley, bringing heavy rain and otherwise unfavorable conditions for flight. Interestingly, in the wake of this system’s passage, primarily westerly and continuing southwesterly winds kept migration amounts low (in addition to the later season timing). Some more southern reaches of the region saw slightly more favorable conditions, where moderate flights occurred.

Top Movers

Increasing

Species Increase from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
Bufflehead 101% 7.6
Common Goldeneye 97% 1.9
Snow Bunting 64% 2.3
Hooded Merganser 43% 5.5
Common Merganser 52% 4.3
Red-throated Loon 60% 2.1
Thayer's Gull 135% 0.2
Common Loon 24% 6.5
Horned Grebe 30% 2.8
Pine Grosbeak 123% 0.1
Long-tailed Duck 34% 1.1
Harlequin Duck 99% 0.1
American Tree Sparrow 21% 3.9
Red-breasted Merganser 27% 2.6
Surf Scoter 28% 2.6
Black Scoter 22% 2.7
Bonaparte's Gull 18% 4.3
Ring-necked Duck 18% 4.5
Great Cormorant 36% 0.8
Gadwall 15% 6.3
Ross's Goose 108% 0.1
Northern Gannet 22% 1.7
Rough-legged Hawk 33% 0.4
Boreal Chickadee 113% 0.1
Purple Sandpiper 74% 0.1

Decreasing

Species Decrease from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
Eastern Phoebe -72% 3.3
Ruby-crowned Kinglet -60% 8.7
Common Yellowthroat -88% 0.4
Eastern Towhee -55% 4.6
Gray Catbird -72% 2
Chipping Sparrow -50% 5.5
White-crowned Sparrow -51% 5.6
Palm Warbler -57% 3.3
Lincoln's Sparrow -66% 1.2
Blue-headed Vireo -70% 0.9
Yellow-rumped Warbler -42% 18.6
Hermit Thrush -51% 4.9
Blackpoll Warbler -79% 0.3
Swamp Sparrow -41% 9.5
Golden-crowned Kinglet -43% 8.8
House Wren -95% 0.1
Field Sparrow -47% 4.8
Nashville Warbler -97% 0
Savannah Sparrow -43% 5.3
Pine Warbler -76% 0.2
Killdeer -40% 7.6
Orange-crowned Warbler -57% 0.7
Song Sparrow -25% 29.4
Clay-colored Sparrow -86% 0.1
White-rumped Sandpiper -59% 0.7

American Pipit, Ryan Schain

American Pipit, Ryan Schain

Gulf Coast and Southeast

A generally quiet weekend was primarily the handiwork of the approaching remnants of Hurricane Patricia combining with a low pressure center in the western Gulf of Mexico. Heavy rain kept migrants where they were for much of the first days of the period. However, with its passage, Sunday night was more extensive flights of moderate to locally heavy migration in Texas. This pattern persisted into the late days of the period, when, finally, the effects of low pressure abated. As more favorable conditions returned for birds to fly, moderate to locally heavy flights spread across more of the region. By Thursday night, flights of such intensity were widespread.

Top Movers

Increasing

Species Increase from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
Vesper Sparrow 213% 2.5
Greater White-fronted Goose 657% 2.3
Ring-necked Duck 101% 3.3
Hermit Thrush 74% 4
American Pipit 133% 1.8
Savannah Sparrow 46% 10
Gadwall 42% 4.8
Magnificent Frigatebird 89% 2.1
Le Conte's Sparrow 1589% 0.6
Virginia Rail 149% 1.4
Eastern Meadowlark 34% 8.2
Redhead 59% 2.3
White-throated Sparrow 22% 10.9
Ruddy Duck 33% 3.9
Sprague's Pipit 566% 0.3
Fox Sparrow 301% 0.4
White-faced Ibis 50% 2.8
Snow Goose 105% 0.5

Decreasing

Species Decrease from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
Eastern Wood-Pewee -68% 1
Wood Thrush -89% 0.1
Swainson's Thrush -60% 0.6
Chimney Swift -72% 0.4
Yellow-billed Cuckoo -77% 0.2
Gray-cheeked Thrush -84% 0.1
Nashville Warbler -44% 1.1
Brown Thrasher -24% 9.4
Black-throated Green Warbler -37% 1.4
Northern Flicker -22% 16.4
Tennessee Warbler -35% 1.3
American Redstart -20% 5.5
Pine Warbler -16% 7.8
Magnolia Warbler -25% 2.3
Bald Eagle -22% 6.7
Red-eyed Vireo -47% 0.7
Cedar Waxwing -44% 1.1
Blue Jay -11% 44.8

Snowy Owl, Ryan Schain

Snowy Owl, Ryan Schain

Great Plains

The Plains as a whole experienced a relatively quiet week for migration. Moderate to locally heavy flights were restricted to the central and southern Plains last weekend. Migrant densities aloft declined substantially to end the weekend, as southerly flow and approaching low pressure kept most birds grounded. Scattered light movements punctuated the central and southern Plains during the early and mid work week. These movements increased in intensity to end the period, but the extent of the flights never reached a widespread regional movement.

Top Movers

Increasing

Species Increase from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
Lesser Scaup 261% 8
Common Loon 219% 3.3
Fox Sparrow 81% 10.2
Snow Goose 94% 4.9
Snowy Owl 199% 1.1
Gadwall 34% 19.6
Ring-necked Duck 38% 9.7
Black-capped Chickadee 28% 32.4
White-throated Sparrow 34% 19.3
Canvasback 48% 3.7
Golden-crowned Kinglet 30% 6.5
Dark-eyed Junco 17% 43.5
Green-winged Teal 19% 15.8
Ruddy Duck 20% 13.2
Greater Scaup 57% 0.6
American Wigeon 21% 10.9
Peregrine Falcon 46% 1.2
Blue Jay 13% 50.8
Pine Siskin 26% 8.1
Bonaparte's Gull 24% 3.8
Redhead 16% 9.9

Decreasing

Species Decrease from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
Turkey Vulture -66% 4.4
American Avocet -75% 1.7
Tundra Swan -75% 0.4
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher -61% 1.1
American White Pelican -45% 6.2
Blue-winged Teal -42% 3.5
Pectoral Sandpiper -98% 0
Snowy Egret -89% 0.1
House Wren -90% 0.1
Brown Thrasher -84% 0.2
Common Grackle -41% 7.2
Eastern Phoebe -41% 3.1
Wood Duck -41% 1.9
Long-billed Dowitcher -47% 1.8
Ring-necked Pheasant -38% 4.5
Baird's Sandpiper -56% 0.6
Franklin's Gull -32% 17.4
Savannah Sparrow -35% 10.2
Clay-colored Sparrow -47% 1
Marsh Wren -40% 2
Great Blue Heron -20% 17.5
Nelson's Sparrow -49% 0.3
Sedge Wren -42% 1.2

Bonaparte's Gull, Ryan Schain

Bonaparte’s Gull, Ryan Schain

West

Scattered light movements occurred from the Central Valley south and east through the Desert Southwest to begin the period. But these movements faded by the beginning of the work week, with many areas experiencing little or no discernible movements on radar. Additionally, the days that followed saw increasingly less favorable conditions build into many areas, including the appearance of precipitation, and most migrants remained in place. The end of the week saw a return to light to isolated moderate migration in California, but little movement farther east in the region.

Top Movers

Increasing

Species Increase from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
Bufflehead 48% 9.8
Canvasback 51% 3.1
Ring-necked Duck 31% 9.1
Lesser Scaup 32% 4.6
Hooded Merganser 32% 3.8
American Wigeon 18% 16.9
Gadwall 17% 11.3
Greater Scaup 33% 2.1
Bonaparte's Gull 28% 2.6
Bald Eagle 17% 7.2
American Tree Sparrow 44% 1.1
Common Merganser 17% 5.3
Snow Goose 53% 1.3
Long-tailed Duck 46% 0.8
Pine Siskin 12% 13
Northern Shoveler 13% 13.3
Northern Pintail 13% 8.3
Green-winged Teal 13% 11.7
Tundra Swan 65% 0.5
Grasshopper Sparrow 79% 0.4
Mallard 8% 32.2
Ruddy Duck 11% 12.2

Decreasing

Species Decrease from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
Black-throated Gray Warbler -44% 1.1
Killdeer -25% 11.8
Violet-green Swallow -74% 0.1
Sandhill Crane -25% 1.8
Yellow Warbler -41% 0.4
Sanderling -35% 1
Black-bellied Plover -22% 2.8
Evening Grosbeak -22% 1.3
Townsend's Solitaire -19% 2
Common Grackle -29% 0.6
Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch -50% 0.1
Barn Swallow -37% 0.8
Western Kingbird -50% 0.2
Clay-colored Sparrow -50% 0.3
Wilson's Warbler -41% 0.3

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Farnsworth and Van Doren

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