Regional Migration Analysis: 23-30 September 2016

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Tim Lenz/Macaulay Library. eBird S31793165.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Tim Lenz/Macaulay Library. eBird S31793165.

Continental Summary

Widespread light to moderate movements dominated the first half of the forecast period in the West and featured Cackling Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, Dunlin, Varied Thrush, Hermit Thrush, American Pipit, Yellow-rumped Warbler and Palm Warbler, Golden-crowned Sparrow, while pulses of moderate to very heavy flights graced the East and featured Pied-billed Grebe, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Sprague’s Pipit, Orange-crowned Warbler, Rusty Blackbird, Brewer’s Blackbird, White-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, and Dark-eyed Junco.

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

Moderate to heavy flights occurred across the region during this period, with some of these movements less widespread than others. Friday through Monday was a particularly active and extensive period of such movements, nicely highlighting the arrival of two different bouts of favorable air masses in which birds moved. Note also, some lucky observers experienced these locally intense movements, a nice description of which comes in this account of a fallout event on 23-24 September from John Kearney in Nova Scotia. The second half of the forecast period saw generally less extensive movements, though still similarly intense; mostly the extents were restricted by disturbances and their associated precipitation passing through the region.

Top Movers

Increasing

Species Increase from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
White-crowned Sparrow 325% 5.5
White-throated Sparrow 170% 18.5
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 133% 13.2
Dark-eyed Junco 229% 7
Golden-crowned Kinglet 155% 6.8
Yellow-rumped Warbler 97% 21.4
Orange-crowned Warbler 221% 2.5
Swamp Sparrow 72% 8.5
Winter Wren 144% 2.4
Lincoln's Sparrow 74% 6.3
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 69% 6.7
Brown Creeper 71% 4
Harris's Sparrow 438% 0.7
Palm Warbler 34% 15.1
Rusty Blackbird 87% 1.3
Fox Sparrow 298% 0.4
Pied-billed Grebe 40% 7.2
Ruddy Duck 60% 1.6
Hermit Thrush 54% 1.9
Franklin's Gull 108% 0.9
Savannah Sparrow 29% 5.8
Le Conte's Sparrow 458% 0.3
American Pipit 43% 2.6
Nelson's Sparrow 81% 0.7
Ring-necked Duck 72% 0.7

Decreasing

Species Decrease from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
Warbling Vireo -80% 0.4
Yellow-throated Vireo -62% 0.9
Ruby-throated Hummingbird -41% 7.3
Common Nighthawk -87% 0.2
White-eyed Vireo -45% 2
Green Heron -42% 3
Eastern Wood-Pewee -36% 7
Red-eyed Vireo -34% 8.7
Least Sandpiper -41% 3
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher -59% 0.6
Semipalmated Plover -43% 2
American Redstart -25% 11.5
Wilson's Warbler -40% 1.5
Acadian Flycatcher -75% 0.1
Semipalmated Sandpiper -47% 1.5
Solitary Sandpiper -44% 1.2
Veery -56% 0.5
Olive-sided Flycatcher -88% 0
Chestnut-sided Warbler -30% 2.9
Least Flycatcher -45% 0.8
Sanderling -39% 1.7
Lesser Yellowlegs -32% 3.5
Killdeer -21% 11.6
Stilt Sandpiper -62% 0.4

Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Tom Murray/Macaulay Library. eBird S31811371.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Tom Murray/Macaulay Library. eBird S31811371.

Gulf Coast and Southeast

Light to moderate flights were the norm for the weekend, as less than favorable migration conditions persisted in most areas. Monday night brought the arrival of some changes, including the passage of a frontal boundary that spawned significantly heavier movements west of the Appalachians through Texas. However, some lingering poor visibility conditions associated with the passage of the frontal boundary resulted in an dangerous combination of artificial light and nocturnally migrating birds flying into the unfavorable conditions and was responsible for killing more than 250 birds in Tennessee (see this story). With the passage of this frontal boundary, generally favorable migration conditions prevailed for the remainder of the period, when moderate to heavy flights dominated the migration scene across much of the region.

Top Movers

Increasing

Species Increase from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 832% 3.8
Tennessee Warbler 99% 10.2
Palm Warbler 66% 9.8
House Wren 140% 4.8
Gray Catbird 54% 20.6
Swainson's Thrush 59% 12.2
Nashville Warbler 191% 4.2
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 63% 8.8
Bay-breasted Warbler 125% 2.4
Yellow-rumped Warbler 590% 1.3
Northern Flicker 48% 12.9
American Kestrel 59% 8
Orange-crowned Warbler 485% 1.3
Peregrine Falcon 85% 2.9
Magnolia Warbler 43% 13.3
Pied-billed Grebe 66% 8.9
Common Yellowthroat 30% 19.5
Gray-cheeked Thrush 63% 2.8
Philadelphia Vireo 62% 2.6
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 495% 0.8
Marsh Wren 116% 1.1
Brown Thrasher 20% 22.6
Eastern Phoebe 21% 17
Blue-headed Vireo 45% 3.1

Decreasing

Species Decrease from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
Purple Martin -80% 0.2
Eastern Kingbird -39% 2.1
Great Crested Flycatcher -33% 3.2
Kentucky Warbler -56% 0.4
Semipalmated Sandpiper -48% 0.8
Baltimore Oriole -28% 3.3
American Black Duck -82% 0
Gray Kingbird -62% 0.2
Semipalmated Plover -27% 2.6
Orchard Oriole -54% 0.3
Common Nighthawk -37% 0.8
Cerulean Warbler -73% 0.1
Alder Flycatcher -64% 0.1
Black-bellied Plover -26% 2.6
Wilson's Phalarope -79% 0.1
Seaside Sparrow -55% 0.3
Prothonotary Warbler -31% 1
Short-billed Dowitcher -30% 1.1
Stilt Sandpiper -41% 0.6
Willet -17% 5
Cassin's Sparrow -67% 0.1
Bell's Vireo -75% 0.1

Dark-eyed Junco. Yves Dugré/Macaulay Library. eBird S31794968.

Dark-eyed Junco. Yves Dugré/Macaulay Library. eBird S31794968.

Great Plains

Moderate to very heavy flights arrived on Saturday and Sunday nights with the passage of a cold front, ushering in a wave of migrants across the region. As high pressure built in following this frontal passage, conditions became generally more marginal and unfavorable for widespread movements. Intensities waned to light to moderate levels in many areas, and the extents of these flights was also significantly more restricted relative to the weekend’s flights. By the end of the period, migration was limited to isolated areas of the central and southern Plains, with high pressure and southerly flow in control and keeping most birds on the ground.

Top Movers

Increasing

Species Increase from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
Dark-eyed Junco 404% 14.3
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 151% 22.1
Harris's Sparrow 185% 6.9
White-throated Sparrow 113% 10.7
Yellow-rumped Warbler 104% 22.8
Lincoln's Sparrow 145% 9.8
Fox Sparrow 342% 2.3
White-crowned Sparrow 103% 8.3
Swamp Sparrow 284% 2.3
Orange-crowned Warbler 60% 17.7
Savannah Sparrow 74% 7.1
Golden-crowned Kinglet 438% 1.1
Song Sparrow 63% 8.7
Brewer's Blackbird 121% 2.2
Pied-billed Grebe 43% 20.7
Spotted Towhee 64% 4.9
Red-bellied Woodpecker 41% 28.4
Eastern Meadowlark 41% 6.3
Vesper Sparrow 34% 6.2
Palm Warbler 55% 2.6
White-breasted Nuthatch 39% 23
Sprague's Pipit 276% 0.4
Hermit Thrush 79% 1.3

Decreasing

Species Decrease from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
Red-eyed Vireo -99% 0.1
Yellow Warbler -83% 0.7
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher -97% 0.1
Wilson's Warbler -61% 2.2
Semipalmated Plover -98% 0
Say's Phoebe -89% 0.2
Eastern Wood-Pewee -64% 1.1
Northern Parula -69% 0.6
Chimney Swift -53% 6.4
Black-and-white Warbler -75% 0.5
Yellow-billed Cuckoo -80% 0.4
Swainson's Thrush -63% 0.6
Gray Catbird -37% 6
American Redstart -64% 0.5
Common Nighthawk -45% 2.5
Caspian Tern -65% 0.5
Rose-breasted Grosbeak -74% 0.3
Eastern Kingbird -93% 0.1
Ruby-throated Hummingbird -27% 9
Northern Mockingbird -44% 5.4
White-eyed Vireo -66% 0.4
American Wigeon -45% 1.9
Barn Swallow -31% 10.9
Least Flycatcher -54% 1.5
Western Tanager -66% 0.2

Dunlin. Bradley Hacker/Macaulay Library. eBird S31665132.

Dunlin. Bradley Hacker/Macaulay Library. eBird S31665132.

West

Widespread light to moderate flights kicked off the beginning of the period across much of the region. These flights continued in many areas into the work week, though with lesser intensity. As the period drew to a close, scattered precipitation kept birds grounded in many areas, and less than favorable winds kept movements light and local in most areas free of precipitation.

Top Movers

Increasing

Species Increase from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
Golden-crowned Sparrow 62% 15.8
Cackling Goose 111% 3
Yellow-rumped Warbler 51% 27.3
Greater White-fronted Goose 95% 2.9
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 45% 14.6
Hermit Thrush 63% 4.1
White-crowned Sparrow 31% 35
American Pipit 57% 6.1
Fox Sparrow 38% 7.6
Lincoln's Sparrow 36% 11.6
Dunlin 125% 1.4
American Wigeon 25% 8.4
Long-billed Dowitcher 25% 4.8
Green-winged Teal 26% 8.3
Golden-crowned Kinglet 21% 6.2
Sandhill Crane 43% 2.7
White-throated Sparrow 102% 0.6
Northern Flicker 12% 33.4
Black-bellied Plover 27% 3.1
Glaucous-winged Gull 20% 5.1
Common Loon 24% 3.4
Palm Warbler 157% 0.4
Varied Thrush 58% 0.9

Decreasing

Species Decrease from Last Week % of Checklists Reporting
Wilson's Warbler -46% 5.7
Vaux's Swift -52% 1.3
Violet-green Swallow -59% 1.5
Willow Flycatcher -48% 1
Barn Swallow -36% 8.1
Pacific-slope Flycatcher -36% 3.1
MacGillivray's Warbler -43% 1
Black-chinned Hummingbird -45% 1.4
Caspian Tern -38% 2.6
Western Tanager -29% 4.3
Broad-tailed Hummingbird -50% 0.7
Western Wood-Pewee -37% 2.7
Red-necked Phalarope -36% 1.2
Rufous Hummingbird -55% 0.5
Yellow Warbler -25% 7.4
Black Tern -83% 0
Gray Catbird -47% 0.4
Olive-sided Flycatcher -60% 0.2
Hooded Oriole -61% 0.2
Solitary Sandpiper -70% 0.1
Cliff Swallow -55% 0.4
Forster's Tern -25% 2
Bank Swallow -71% 0.1

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Farnsworth and Van Doren

Toggle Grid