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Regional Migration Forecast: 20-27 May 2016

Common Nighthawk. Carl Winstead/Macauly Library. 19 May 2016. eBird S29791783

Common Nighthawk. Carl Winstead/Macauly Library. 19 May 2016. eBird S29791783

Continental Summary

A period of generally favorable migration conditions featuring light to moderate flights of Common Nighthawk, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Willow Flycatcher, Common Yellowthroat, Grasshopper Sparrow, and Western Tanager is in store for much of the West, particularly in the Rockies, while an unfavorable cool and wet start to the East gives way to later week moderate to heavy flights of White-rumped Sandpiper, Dunlin, Red-necked Phalarope, Black Tern, Black-billed Cuckoo, Red-eyed Vireo, Mourning Warbler, and Scarlet Tanager.

Arrows show wind speed and direction (arrow points in the direction to which wind is blowing) 100 m above ground level. Areas with southerly winds are colored red; northerly winds colored blue. Accumulated precipitation (in 6 hour intervals) is green, outlined by white. Broadly speaking, areas of the map in red will experience conditions that are favorable for migration, and areas where red and green (and red and blue) intersect and overlap may experience migrant concentrations and fallouts as migrants interact with precipitation.

We use data collected by eBird users help make more accurate forecasts. If you enjoy the predictions contained in these posts, please consider submitting your own bird sightings to eBird to even further improve the content. Every observation counts, whether it be a single bird at a feeder in your backyard, or an entire day spent in a national park. To get started with eBird, head on over to the site!

Additionally, please note that photographs and other digital media showing birds come from the Macaulay Library, which receives credit along with the photographer/observer in the media caption as part of a new initiative that allows public contribution, access and use of natural history media.

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

Increasingly unfavorable migration conditions will build into the region over the weekend, with moderate to heavy movements likely only in scattered areas that do not experience precipitation. Once the disturbance responsible for these unfavorable conditions departs off the Atlantic Coast on Monday, southerly winds gradually return. Western reaches will experience moderate to heavy flights on Monday night, with more widespread flights occurring across much of the region by Tuesday night. By Wednesday, an approaching frontal boundary keeps movements chugging east of the Appalachians, but shuts down flights farther west with its associated precipitation. These conditions continue through the end of the period, as the frontal boundary becomes stationary. During this period, areas free of precipitation will continue to see moderate to heavy flights and areas experiencing nocturnal precipitation will see little to no movement.

Henslow's Sparrow. Kurt Schwarz/Macaulay Library. 19 May 2016. eBird S29778887

Henslow’s Sparrow. Kurt Schwarz/Macaulay Library. 19 May 2016. eBird S29778887

Species on the Move

Beginning Arrivals What is this?

Species Migrants Begin Arriving Rapid Migrant Influx Peak Rapid Migrant Departure
Dickcissel 5/20 5/31 6/18 -
Henslow's Sparrow 5/21 5/30 6/12 -

Peaking Arrivals

Species Migrants Begin Arriving Rapid Migrant Influx Peak Rapid Migrant Departure

Beginning Departures

Species Migrants Begin Arriving Rapid Migrant Influx Peak Rapid Migrant Departure
Dunlin 5/4 5/11 5/20 5/31
Semipalmated Plover 5/2 5/10 5/20 6/1
Eastern Kingbird 4/23 5/3 5/20 -
Great Crested Flycatcher 4/23 5/3 5/20 -
Common Nighthawk 5/3 5/11 5/21 5/31
Willet 4/11 4/21 5/21 -
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 4/26 5/7 5/21 -
Olive-sided Flycatcher 5/5 5/12 5/22 6/1
Black-bellied Plover 5/5 5/12 5/22 6/2
Sanderling 5/6 5/13 5/22 6/3
Marsh Wren 4/23 5/5 5/22 -
Black Tern 4/30 5/9 5/22 -
Mourning Warbler 5/5 5/13 5/23 6/1
Ruddy Turnstone 5/6 5/13 5/23 6/2
Semipalmated Sandpiper 5/5 5/13 5/24 6/4
Black-billed Cuckoo 5/1 5/11 5/25 6/4
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 5/8 5/15 5/25 6/4
White-rumped Sandpiper 5/6 5/15 5/26 6/7
Red-eyed Vireo 4/27 5/9 5/26 -

Ending Departures

Species Migrants Begin Arriving Rapid Migrant Influx Peak Rapid Migrant Departure
Sora 4/12 4/24 5/7 5/20
Black-throated Green Warbler 4/22 4/30 5/10 5/20
Northern Waterthrush 4/22 4/30 5/10 5/21
Northern Parula 4/22 4/30 5/10 5/21
Black-throated Blue Warbler 4/25 5/1 5/11 5/21
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 4/23 5/1 5/12 5/21
Prothonotary Warbler 4/9 4/21 5/8 5/22
Lincoln's Sparrow 4/24 5/1 5/11 5/22
Golden-winged Warbler 4/25 5/2 5/12 5/22
Cape May Warbler 4/26 5/2 5/12 5/22
Pectoral Sandpiper 3/16 3/29 4/17 5/24
Forster's Tern 3/28 4/29 5/10 5/24
Baltimore Oriole 4/24 5/2 5/15 5/24
Merlin 3/29 4/9 4/24 5/25
Blackburnian Warbler 4/26 5/4 5/15 5/25
Tennessee Warbler 4/27 5/5 5/15 5/26
Swainson's Thrush 4/27 5/5 5/15 5/26
Gray-cheeked Thrush 4/28 5/5 5/15 5/26
Bay-breasted Warbler 4/28 5/6 5/15 5/26
Least Flycatcher 4/26 5/4 5/16 5/26
Brant - - 3/1 5/27
Bald Eagle - 3/2 3/9 5/27
Spotted Sandpiper 4/17 4/30 5/14 5/27
Least Sandpiper 4/26 5/4 5/15 5/27
Chestnut-sided Warbler 4/27 5/5 5/16 5/27
Magnolia Warbler 4/28 5/5 5/16 5/27

Gulf Coast and Southeast

Unsettled conditions deliver a mixed bag of migration events to the region for the weekend. The combination of precipitation in coastal areas, marginal conditions for exodus from migrant origins to the south of the Gulf, and the late season date make extensive concentrations and fallouts unlikely; however, birders in coastal zones should watch carefully in stopover habitats along the entirety of the Gulf Coast for such events. As low pressure responsible for these conditions moves east, slowly, more favorable conditions for late season flights arrive. Monday night sees moderate to very heavy flights west of the Mississippi River, with similar conditions and similar migration intensities expanding east through the remainder of the period. This window of time will see some of the last of the big nocturnal flights of the period, as late May and early June begins a new period of greatly diminished numbers of migrant birds aloft and greatly increased numbers of bats and insects.

Mourning Warbler. Carl Winstead/Macaulay Library. 19 May 2016. eBird S29775850

Mourning Warbler. Carl Winstead/Macaulay Library. 19 May 2016. eBird S29775850

Beginning Arrivals What is this?

Species Migrants Begin Arriving Rapid Migrant Influx Peak Rapid Migrant Departure

Peaking Arrivals

Species Migrants Begin Arriving Rapid Migrant Influx Peak Rapid Migrant Departure
Ash-throated Flycatcher 3/14 4/13 5/23 -

Beginning Departures

Species Migrants Begin Arriving Rapid Migrant Influx Peak Rapid Migrant Departure

Ending Departures

Species Migrants Begin Arriving Rapid Migrant Influx Peak Rapid Migrant Departure
Ruddy Turnstone - - 4/23 5/20
Spotted Sandpiper 4/10 4/22 5/5 5/20
Least Flycatcher 4/21 4/29 5/9 5/20
Wilson's Warbler 4/22 4/30 5/9 5/20
Stilt Sandpiper 4/6 4/21 5/4 5/21
Eastern Wood-Pewee 4/13 4/26 5/10 5/22
Canada Warbler 4/23 5/1 5/11 5/22
Lark Sparrow 3/14 4/12 5/2 5/23
Mourning Warbler 4/24 5/1 5/12 5/23
Olive-sided Flycatcher 4/22 5/1 5/12 5/24
Willow Flycatcher 4/26 5/4 5/15 5/26
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 4/27 5/5 5/15 5/26
White-rumped Sandpiper 4/22 5/1 5/14 5/27

Great Plains

Moderate to very heavy flights are likely across the region for the weekend, as favorable winds and localized rather than regional precipitation make for generally favorable flying conditions. The beginning of the work week sees a slight change to this pattern of movements, as disturbances in the northern and central Plains dampen (literally) movements; however, moderate to heavy flights will continue in the southern Plains. As the disturbance becomes slightly more organized and extensive toward the end of the week, conditions for migration will become significantly less favorable across more of the region, restricting movements and their intensities.

Grasshopper Sparrow. John Mackin/Macaulay Library. 18 May 2016. eBird S29767203

Grasshopper Sparrow. John Mackin/Macaulay Library. 18 May 2016. eBird S29767203

Species on the Move

Beginning Arrivals What is this?

Species Migrants Begin Arriving Rapid Migrant Influx Peak Rapid Migrant Departure
Nelson's Sparrow 5/23 6/2 6/14 -

Peaking Arrivals

Species Migrants Begin Arriving Rapid Migrant Influx Peak Rapid Migrant Departure
Blue Grosbeak 4/25 5/20 - -
Violet-green Swallow 5/1 5/22 6/13 -
Western Wood-Pewee 5/15 5/24 6/6 -
Grasshopper Sparrow 4/6 5/26 - -

Beginning Departures

Species Migrants Begin Arriving Rapid Migrant Influx Peak Rapid Migrant Departure
Ruddy Turnstone 5/4 5/11 5/20 5/30
Mourning Warbler 5/4 5/11 5/20 5/30
Olive-sided Flycatcher 5/3 5/10 5/20 5/31
Eastern Wood-Pewee 4/28 5/7 5/20 -
Canada Warbler 5/5 5/12 5/21 5/30
Red-necked Phalarope 5/4 5/11 5/21 5/31
Scarlet Tanager 4/25 5/7 5/21 6/4
Red-eyed Vireo 4/21 5/3 5/21 -
Black Tern 5/2 5/10 5/21 -
Alder Flycatcher 5/6 5/13 5/22 6/1
Acadian Flycatcher 4/29 5/10 5/22 6/2
Common Grackle - 3/2 5/22 -
White-eyed Vireo 3/19 4/3 5/22 -
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 5/7 5/14 5/23 6/2
Barn Swallow 4/2 4/20 5/23 -
Orchard Oriole 4/26 5/5 5/27 -

Ending Departures

Species Migrants Begin Arriving Rapid Migrant Influx Peak Rapid Migrant Departure
Wilson's Phalarope 4/11 4/19 5/4 5/20
Black-and-white Warbler 4/23 4/30 5/10 5/20
Prothonotary Warbler 4/6 4/21 5/7 5/21
Northern Waterthrush 4/24 5/1 5/11 5/22
Golden-winged Warbler 4/26 5/2 5/12 5/22
Least Sandpiper 4/17 4/28 5/9 5/23
Black-throated Green Warbler 4/23 5/1 5/12 5/23
Baird's Sandpiper 3/12 3/22 4/23 5/24
Spotted Sandpiper 4/17 4/28 5/11 5/24
Wood Thrush 4/24 5/2 5/13 5/24
Swainson's Thrush 4/24 5/2 5/13 5/24
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 4/25 5/2 5/13 5/24
Gray-cheeked Thrush 4/26 5/3 5/13 5/24
Baltimore Oriole 4/22 5/1 5/14 5/24
Least Flycatcher 4/26 5/3 5/14 5/25
Wilson's Warbler 4/27 5/4 5/14 5/26
Blackpoll Warbler 4/28 5/5 5/15 5/26
Ovenbird 4/28 5/6 5/16 5/26
Tennessee Warbler 4/27 5/5 5/15 5/27
Philadelphia Vireo 4/29 5/6 5/16 5/27

West

Favorable migration conditions will prevail across much of the Desert Southwest and the Rockies for the weekend and into the early part of the work week. Light to moderate flights are likely, with some locally heavy flights occurring east of the Rockies. Much less favorable conditions are in place for the Pacific Northwest during this time, where migration will be local and light if it occurs at all when precipitation is not falling. Such unfavorable conditions are associated with the significant change currently in place and forecast for this part of the region. This west-east contrast in favorable and unfavorable conditions intensifies by Wednesday, when favorable conditions and the light to moderate nocturnal movements taking place will be restricted primarily to the Desert Southwest and southern Rockies, and continues through the remainder of the period.

Willow Flycatcher. Curtis Marantz/Macaulay Library. 6 May 2016. eBird S29545941

Willow Flycatcher. Curtis Marantz/Macaulay Library. 6 May 2016. eBird S29545941

Species on the Move

Beginning Arrivals What is this?

Species Migrants Begin Arriving Rapid Migrant Influx Peak Rapid Migrant Departure
Common Nighthawk 5/22 6/1 6/16 -

Peaking Arrivals

Species Migrants Begin Arriving Rapid Migrant Influx Peak Rapid Migrant Departure
Grasshopper Sparrow 4/9 5/21 6/3 -
Cordilleran Flycatcher 5/6 5/22 - -
Willow Flycatcher 5/12 5/23 6/7 -

Beginning Departures

Species Migrants Begin Arriving Rapid Migrant Influx Peak Rapid Migrant Departure
Common Yellowthroat 3/20 4/3 5/20 -
Broad-tailed Hummingbird 4/11 4/28 5/20 -
Western Tanager 4/22 5/4 5/20 -
Black-headed Grosbeak 4/20 5/3 5/21 -
Yellow Warbler 4/20 5/7 5/21 -
House Wren 3/5 4/30 5/22 -
Yellow-breasted Chat 4/17 5/1 5/24 -
MacGillivray's Warbler 4/22 5/6 5/24 -
Black Tern 4/25 5/7 5/24 -
Brewer's Blackbird 4/4 4/15 5/26 -
Blue Grosbeak 4/17 5/12 5/26 -

Ending Departures

Species Migrants Begin Arriving Rapid Migrant Influx Peak Rapid Migrant Departure
Gadwall - - 4/13 5/20
Townsend's Warbler 4/20 4/28 5/8 5/21
Sanderling - - - 5/21
Wilson's Phalarope 4/18 4/28 5/11 5/22
Blue-winged Teal 3/26 4/10 5/4 5/23
Sora 4/18 4/28 5/10 5/23
Clay-colored Sparrow 4/27 5/4 5/14 5/25
Spotted Sandpiper 4/21 4/30 5/14 5/26
Wilson's Warbler 4/11 4/24 5/11 5/27
Red-necked Phalarope 4/15 4/28 5/12 5/27

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Farnsworth and Van Doren

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