Forecasts

Birders on the move

As Christmas Bird Count (CBC) season arrives, more birders will be on the move than usual. Among the many possibilities for excitement are a few stories that we have been and are watching at BirdCast. Snowy Owl staged a major invasion last year, and this species is again on the move this fall. See this […]


Species on the move: Varied Thrush

This fall has seen some quite large movements of Varied Thrushes in California and across the West – birders around the region have been reporting larger (and larger than normal) flights of birds for a number of weeks. Some of these movements have been large, including this recent report of the species in morning flight at Point […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 10-14 November 2014

Continental Summary A few moderate movements in the East highlighted an otherwise quiet part for migration across the nation, as large scale and diverse movements for this season are long gone. Species on the move this week included Snow Goose, Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, Blue Jay, Cedar Waxwing, American Robin, Common Grackle, Rusty Blackbird, American […]


Alaskan Mega . . .

Storm! There has been much discussion of the remains of Super Typhoon Nuri as it rips up the Pacific. The remnants of the storm gathered some serious strength and bombed to an anomalously low central pressure in the low 920s. This is epic proportion for any extratropical storm, especially in the Pacific Ocean. And presently, […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 7-14 November 2014

Continental Summary Late season movements in the West will be sparse, but more widespread light to moderate movements occur in the East during an extended period of favorable conditions. Species on the move this week will include Tundra Swan, Snow Goose, Brant, Cackling Goose, Canvasback, Gadwall, Common Goldeneye, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser, Red-breasted Merganser, Common Merganser, American Pipit, and American Tree Sparrow. Arrows […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 31 October – 7 November 2014

Continental Summary Primarily light movements in the West highlighted the late date of the migration season, as two pulses of widespread moderate movements bookended the period in the East. Species on the move this week included numerous waterfowl, Herring Gull, Bonaparte’s Gull, and American Tree Sparrow. West Local light to moderate movements early in the […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 31 October – 7 November 2014

Continental Summary While the West will continue with scattered light to moderate movements, passing strong low pressure systems bring late season moderate and heavy pulses of migration to the East. Species on the move this week will include Snow Goose, Tundra Swan, Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Long-tailed Duck, Hooded Merganser, Red-breasted Merganser, Snow Bunting, American Tree Sparrow, and Dark-eyed Junco. Arrows […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 24-31 October 2014

Continental Summary Scattered light to moderate movements in the West stood in stark contrast to some massive movements in the East, particularly along the Atlantic Coast. Species on the move this week included Gadwall, Redhead, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Red-breasted Merganser, American Coot, Wilson’s Snipe, Bonaparte’s Gull, Hermit Thrush, Varied Thrush, Yellow-rumped Warbler, American Tree Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Dark-eyed […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 24-31 October 2014

Continental Summary Moderate to heavy movements occur in several pulses this week, though primarily at more local than regional scales, as storm systems exit the Northeast over the weekend and pass through the Great Plains and Upper Midwest over the course of the week. Species on the move this week will include Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 17-24 October 2014

Continental Summary A week of primarily light to moderate movements in the West and South were most certainly outdone by some very large and heavy movements in the Northeast. Species on the move this week included Brant, Black Scoter, Bonaparte’s Gull, Belted Kingfisher, Yellow-rumped Warbler, American Tree Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, and Dark-eyed Junco. West Scattered […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 17-24 October 2014

Continental Summary A week of scattered light movement in the West will stand in stark contrast to moderate to heavy flights for much of the week in the East. Species on the move this week will include Tundra Swan, Gadwall, Bufflehead, Canvasback, Hooded Merganser, Sandhill Crane, Hermit Thrush, Snow Bunting, American Tree Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, and White-crowned Sparrow. Arrows […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 10-17 October 2014

Continental Summary The Desert Southwest saw most of the light to moderate action this week in the West, while the East experienced two frontal passage-induced moderate to heavy flights. Species on the move this week included Cackling Goose, Ruddy Duck, Bufflehead, Western Grebe, Red-naped Sapsucker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Townsend’s Solitaire, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Fox Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, and Savannah Sparrow. West Light […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 10-17 October 2014

Continental Summary Light to moderate movements occur early in the forecast period across the West before unfavorable conditions arrive for the remainder of the week, while two pulses of moderate to heavy movements follow passing frontal boundaries in the East. Species on the move this week will include Gadwall, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead, Ruddy Duck, Bonaparte’s Gull, Short-eared Owl, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Hermit Thrush, […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 3-10 October 2014

Continental Summary Widespread light to moderate movements diminished gradually over the forecast period in the West, while several pulses of moderate to heavy movements graced the East. Species on the move this week included American Wigeon, Greater Scaup, Pied-billed Grebe, American Coot, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Hermit Thrush, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Sprague’s Pipit, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Le Conte’s […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 3-10 October 2014

Continental Summary Favorable conditions for light to moderate movements are pervasive in the West, while major movements in the East occur primarily over the weekend. Species on the move this week will include Brant, American Wigeon, Ring-necked Duck, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Hermit Thrush, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Le Conte’s Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Harris’s Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Golden-crowned […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 26 September – 3 October 2014

Continental Summary Widespread light to moderate movements occurred in both West and East, with some heavy and very heavy movements occurring more locally in space and time in the Plains to end the period. Species on the move this week included  Snow Goose, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Gray-cheeked Thrush, Varied Thrush, Gray Catbird,Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Palm […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 26 September – 3 October 2014

Continental Summary Favorable conditions at the end of the forecast period bring widespread light to moderate movements to the West and moderate to heavy movements to the Plains, while increasingly scattered moderate movements occur in the East in more summer-like conditions. Species on the move this week will include Cackling, Snow, and Great White-fronted Geese, American […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 19-26 September 2014

Continental Summary Moderate movements in the West that kicked off the weekend continued through the period in some areas, while a major pulse of heavy flights graced the East early in the period. Species on the move this week included Greater White-fronted and Cackling Geese, Northern Pintail, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Northern Flicker, Peregrine Falcon, Gray-cheeked, Swainson’s and Hermit […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 19-26 September 2014

Continental Summary Favorable conditions bring light to moderate movements for the West’s weekend and moderate to heavy movements for the East’s work week, with unsettled conditions bringing a halt to these movements in most areas to close the forecast period. Species on the move this week will include Greater White-fronted Goose, Northern Harrier, Northern Flicker, Eastern […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 12-19 September 2014

Continental Summary Light to moderate movements were the norm across the West, despite precipitation shutting down migrants in some areas, while moderate to locally heavy movements pulsed through the East. Species on the move this week included Greater White-fronted Goose, Dunlin, Northern Flicker, Gray-cheeked Thrush, Swainson’s Thrush, Hermit Thrush, Varied Thrush, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Winter Wren, […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 12-19 September 2014

Continental Summary Pulses of more provincial movements that begin the weekend contrast the widespread movements that will end the period in the West, while the opposite pattern of movements occurs in the East. Species on the move this week will include American Wigeon, Eared Grebe, Osprey, Sharp-shinned and Broad-winged Hawks, Say’s Phoebe, Swainson’s and Gray-cheeked Thrushes, […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 5-12 September 2014

Continental Summary Light to moderate movements were widespread across the West this week, while . Species on the move this week included American Wigeon, Broad-winged Hawk, Black-billed Cuckoo, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Red-eyed Vireo, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, American Redstart, Blackpoll, Tennessee, Chestnut-sided and Orange-crowned Warblers, White-crowned and Lincoln’s Sparrows, and Baltimore Oriole. West Light to moderate […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 5-12 September 2014

Continental Summary Mid to late week favorable conditions will bring light to moderate movements to many portions of the West, while frontal passages bring an early and late week pulse of moderate to heavy movements through the East. Species on the move this week will include Osprey, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Franklin’s and Ring-billed Gulls, Philadelphia and […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 29 August – 4 September 2014

Continental Summary Several nights of moderate movements highlighted migration in the West as did a pulse of moderate to locally heavy movements in the East this week. Species on the move this week included Green-winged and Blue-winged Teal, American Golden-Plover, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Franklin’s Gull, Common Nighthawk, Orange-crowned, Nashville, Wilson’s, Townsend’s, Black-throated Green, and Blackburnian Warblers, […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 29 August – 5 September 2014

Continental Summary An early period patchwork of favorable and unfavorable conditions sees light to moderate movements scattered across the continent, primarily in the West, until a more organized and substantial end of the week frontal passage sees moderate to heavy movements in the northerly flow that follows. Species on the move this week will include Green-winged […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 22-29 August 2014

Continental Summary Scattered movements in the West were mostly light to moderate in intensity, in contrast to more widespread moderate and isolated heavy movements in the East. Species on the move this week included Baird’s Sandpiper, Common Nighthawk, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Great Crested Flycatcher, Swainson’s Thrush, Warbling Vireo, Nashville, Wilson’s, Black-throated Blue, Yellow-throated, and Black-and-white Warblers, and […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 22-29 August 2014

Continental Summary Light to moderate movements, primarily in the Pacific Northwest, highlight the period in the West, while the first organized frontal boundary does not bring compelling and more regional scale movements in the East until the end of the week. Species on the move this week Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Blue-winged Teal, Osprey, American […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 15-22 August 2014

Continental Summary Scattered light to moderate movements across the West and pulses of moderate movements in the northern Plains and Northeast highlight migration across the continent this past week. Species on the move this week included Green-winged Teal, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Pintail. Northern Shoveler, Greater Yellowlegs, Baird’s Sandpiper, Franklin’s Gull, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Least Flycatcher, Olive-sided […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 15-22 August 2014

Continental Summary A patchwork of marginal and locally favorable conditions bring scattered light to moderate movements across the continent this week. Species on the move this week will include Green-winged Teal, Black-bellied Plover, Solitary Sandpiper, Upland Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Wilson’s Warbler, Canada Warbler, American Redstart, Black-and-white Warbler, Yellow Warbler, and Bobolink. […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 8-15 August 2014

Continental Summary Locally light to moderate movements in the West over the weekend and a pulse of more widespread light to moderate movements from the Great Plains through the Southeast to begin the work week were the primary migration highlights on radar for the week. Species on the move this week included Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, Blue-winged […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 8-15 August 2014

Continental Summary Late week changes in the West bring favorable conditions and extensive light to moderate movements for the Pacific Northwest through the Rockies, while a frontal boundary brings widespread moderate movements through the Great Plains into the east by mid to late week. Species on the move this week will include Blue-winged Teal, Black-bellied […]


“Fall migration” forecast and analysis begins

Although many species in the US and Canada have been on the move for the past month or more, BirdCast begins its seasonal regional migration forecast and analysis series. Please check visit us frequently to see updated weekly posts about species on the move in your area! The animation below shows the past week in […]


Species on the move: mid and late July 2014

Although most of the US is firmly in the midst of typical summer conditions, fall migration is already under way for many species. BirdCast will begin its weekly series of forecast and analysis and species on the move in early August, but there are changes a foot now to discuss! And migrants to see, so get […]


Storm Birding: Hurricane Arthur

With a month of the official hurricane season already in the books, Hurricane Arthur arrives on the scene. This Category Two storm is forecast to graze the Outer Banks of North Carolina before shooting off to the Northeast through the Canadian Maritimes toward Greenland. There is a precedent for what we might expect from this storm from an ornithological perspective. […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 30 May – 6 June 2014

Continental Summary The last movements of the spring, mostly light to moderate, occur across the continent as the season slips into more summer-like patterns. Species on the move this week will include Semipalmated Plover, Dunlin, Semipalmated and Least Sandpipers, and some of the last of the later songbird migrants like Alder and Yellow-bellied Flycatchers, Red-eyed […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 23-30 May 2014

Continental Summary Persistent light to moderate movements in the West and widespread moderate movements in the center of the continent highlighted the late season movements during this forecast period. Species on the move this week included White-rumped Sandpiper, Dunlin, Sanderling, Ruddy Turnstone, Wilson’s Phalarope, Black Tern, Common Nighthawk, Alder Flycatcher, Willow Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Gray-cheeked […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 23-30 May 2014

Continental Summary Complex patterns of moderate to heavy movements will reflect similarly complex patterns of unfavorable and favorable conditions in all the BirdCast regions for this period as the last of the spring season’s movements take place. Species on the move this week will include Spotted, Least, and White-rumped Sandpipers, Ruddy Turnstone, Dunlin, and Red […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 16-23 May 2014

Continental Summary Changeable conditions in the West and the East bring pulses and pockets of moderate to very heavy movements this week among numerous disturbances moving east across the country. Species on the move this week will include numerous shorebirds, Yellow-billed and Black-billed Cuckoos, Alder, Willow, and Yellow-bellied Flycatchers, numerous warblers such as Northern Waterthrush, […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 9-16 May 2014

Continental Summary Scattered moderate movements that began the weekend gave way to much more widespread moderate and even locally heavy movements in the West, while a pulse of moderate to heavy movements kicked off the first half of the week in the East before being muted somewhat by a strong frontal passage. Species on the […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 9-16 May 2014

Continental Summary A patchwork of conditions in the West brings mostly scattered light to moderate movements over the forecast period, while a wild week of moderate to heavy movements and the potential for fallouts scattered among precipitation and severe weather comes to the East. Species on the move this week will include Ruddy Turnstone, Stilt […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 2-9 May 2014

Continental Summary Moderate movements early in the period in the Desert Southwest and widespread moderate and heavy movements nearly throughout the period in some areas of the East highlighted an active week for migrants. Species on the move this week included Spotted Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Black Tern, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Common Nighthawk, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Western Wood-Pewee, Willow Flycatcher, […]


Species on the move: 2-4 May 2014 (with notes about 30 April and 1 May)

This weekend’s species on the move highlights movements in the West. Several species are right on time in the West, following the last decade’s patterns of reporting. These include Spotted Sandpiper, Swainson’s Thrush, Yellow Warbler, Western Tanager, and Black-headed Grosbeak. Also of note was a suite of major coastal movements in southern California associated with the […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 2 May – 9 May 2014

Continental Summary A busy early week of movements in the West shuts down by week’s end, while widespread favorable conditions arrive by mid to late week in the East and spawn moderate to heavy movements in many areas. Species on the move this week will include Swainson’s Thrush, Least Flycatcher, Yellow Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, American […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 25 April – 2 May 2014

Continental Summary Moderate to heavy movement from the Great Plains to the Gulf Coast in the early part of the period gave way to generally light movement across much of the country towards the end of the week. Species on the move included Spotted Sandpiper, Western Tanager, Yellow Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Baltimore Oriole, Bobolink, Mississippi […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 25 April – 2 May 2014

Continental Summary Widespread light to moderate movements early in the weekend are shut down by two consecutive disturbances in the West, while the arrival of these same disturbances in the East brings a patchwork of moderate to locally heavy movements to the latter portion of the week. Species on the move this week will include […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 18-25 April 2014

Continental Summary Widespread light to moderate movements occurred early in the period in the West, while a major pulse of moderate to heavy movements occurred late in the week in the Southeast. Species on the move this week included Semipalmated Plover, Spotted Sandpiper, Wilson’s Phalarope, Chimney Swift, Warbling Vireo, House Wren, a suite of warblers, […]


Species on the move: 18-20 April 2014

This week we highlight species on the move over the past weekend in the Southeastern US, including a number reported in frequencies substantially in advance of the 2004-2013 average (like Swainson’s and Wood Thrushes, Black-throated Blue and Cape May Warblers, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and Scarlet Tanagers). Of course, not all species are moving in advance of the average […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 18-25 April 2014

Continental Summary Pulses of movements will track the advance of several low pressure systems across the continent this week, with those system producing light to moderate movements in the West and moderate to heavy movements in the East. Species on the move this week will include Spotted Sandpiper, Wilson’s Phalarope, Great Crested Flycatcher, Warbling and […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 11-18 April 2014

Continental Summary Light to moderate movements in the West were most evident in the Desert Southwest and California, while strong low pressure passing through the East brought unseasonably cold and unfavorable conditions and kept most moderate movements sparse in space and time. Species on the move this week included White-faced Ibis, Chimney and Vaux’s Swifts, […]


Species on the move: 11-13 April 2014

This week’s species on the move discussion highlights some advanced arrivals gleaned from this past weekend’s eBird reports. Northern Parula is being reported with greater frequency than the 10-year average for this date in the Great Plains and Upper Midwest and Northeast. This is particularly true in the Great Plains, where a huge spike in […]


Migration Alert, Gulf Coast: 14 April 2014

As forecast last week, a frontal boundary is approaching the Texas and Louisiana coasts this morning. The map below shows the current conditions in Texas and along the Gulf Coast. Note that barbs and wind flags represent the direction from which winds are blowing, and the blue line with triangles is the boundary between warm and […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 11-18 April 2014

Continental Summary Scattered light to moderate movements that begin the weekend give way to much more widespread movements to end the period in the West, while moderate to heavy movements will occur in many areas of the East as low pressure organizes and moves off the coast (and begets more Gulf Coast fall outs). Species […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 4-11 April 2014

Continental Summary A nice pulse of moderate movements early to midweek in the West contrasted a pattern of late week moderate to locally heavy movements in the East. Species on the move this week included Hooded Merganser, Horned and Red-necked Grebes, Turkey Vulture, Broad-winged and Swainson’s Hawks, Ring-billed and California Gulls, Chimney Swift, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, […]


Species on the Move: 4-6 April 2014

Species on the move this week features birds that are catching up on their schedules, exploding on to the scene, and falling out. Eastern Phoebes finally began to arrive in large numbers in the Northeast, effectively erasing delays in arrivals experienced during previous weeks. Orchard Orioles are now appearing on checklists with frequencies more like […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 4-11 April 2014

Continental Summary Scattered light to moderate movements expand across the region by early week in the West, fallouts spread east from the Texas coast from the weekend through early week as a cold front stalls in the Gulf of Mexico, and the East sees a big pulse of migrants to end the forecast period. Species […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 28 March – 4 April 2014

Continental Summary A mostly quiet West experienced scattered light to moderate movements, primarily in California and the Desert Southwest, while several disturbances in the East scattered light to moderate movements across the few favorable periods of the week. Species on the move this week included Osprey, Swainson’s Hawk, Franklin’s Gull, Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern and […]


Migration Alert, Gulf Coast: 4 April 2014 Cold Front

BirdCast is updating the previous migration alert for the Gulf Coast. This update is as of 5pm EDT 3 April 2014. Conditions are favorable for a moderate exodus of birds from Mexico and portions of northern Central America later tonight (Thursday 3 April). Note that conditions are not favorable for South American departures (will this mean […]


Species on the move: 28-30 March 2014

Here’s a brief review of some species that showed substantial changes in reporting on eBird this past weekend. Hooded Orioles have been on the move in the last week, appearing in slightly more reports than the last decade’s average. Bullock’s Oriole, however, seems to be right on track with the last ten years of reports. […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 28 March – 4 April 2014

Continental Summary Several widespread light to moderate flights color this forecast period in the West, while a pulse of favorable conditions that produces weekend flights in the Plains and early week flights in the East eventually gives way to a strong cold front that spawns fallouts and shuts down the whole system to end the […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 21-28 March 2014

Continental Summary The West experienced scattered light to moderate movements as mostly unfavorable conditions for larger and more widespread flights did not materialize; the East saw pulses of light to moderate migration bracketing the forecast period. Species on the move this week included Blue-winged and Green-winged Teal, Greater Scaup, Hooded Merganser, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue […]


When seabirds go roaming: some (further) thoughts about sea surface temperatures and El Niño

2014 may be a year to remember for linking bird movements to patterns of sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies. Many along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts will certainly remember the winter of 2012-2013 for, among other reasons, the crazy Razorbill invasion in the southeastern US and Florida, and even into the Gulf of Mexico and its […]


Species on the Move: 21-23 March 2014

Here’s a brief recap of of some species that showed substantial changes in reporting on eBird this past weekend. From the Great Lakes and Northeast region, several species took advantage of favorable conditions, especially in the early part of the weekend. Tree Swallows, Eastern Phoebe, Blue-winged Teal, and Osprey all made moves during this time.   Interesting, […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 14-21 March 2014

Continental Summary Light to moderate movements were widely scattered across the southern portions of the West this week, while scattered light to moderate movements highlighted an otherwise uneventful week of migration pulses in the East. Species on the move this week included Blue-winged and Green-winged Teal, Northern Pintail, Ring-necked Duck, Great Egret, Turkey Vulture, Broad-winged and […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 21 – 28 March 2014

Continental Summary A widespread movement in the West on Tuesday night will be followed by a similarly large-scale movement in the East on Thursday night. Species on the move this week will include Blue-winged Teal, Northern Pintail, Common Goldeneye, Common Loon, Double-crested Cormorant, Turkey Vulture, Swainson’s and Broad-winged Hawks, Ring-billed Gull, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Tree, Northern Rough-winged, Cliff, and Barn […]


Species on the move: 14-16 March 2014

Once again, we’ll highlight some species that took advantage of the weekend to move. First, let’s check in with Red-necked Grebe again. Recall that at this time last week, this species was on the increase in the Upper Midwest and Northeast. We interpreted this peak as “numerous displaced and confused winter birds still finding many areas […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 7-14 March 2014

Continental Summary Widely scattered light to locally moderate movements occurred in the West, while the East experienced widespread light to moderate and locally heavy movements early in the week.  Species on the move this week included Canada Goose, Gadwall, Ring-necked Duck, Hooded Merganser, Double-crested Cormorant, Sandhill Crane, Killdeer, American Woodcock, Eastern Phoebe, Black-and-white and Lucy’s […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 14 – 21 March 2014

Continental Summary Marginal conditions that begin the period in the West become more favorable for increasingly widespread light to moderate movements over the course of the forecast period, while the East experiences several bouts of favorable winds and warming temperatures the kickstart movements to begin the weekend and the week. Species on the move this […]


Migration Highlight: Florida Peninsula and Keys, 11-12 March 2014

In our first weekly forecast for spring 2014, BirdCast highlighted the potential for fallouts and concentration of migrants in the Florida peninsula: “By midweek conditions favorable for migrant arrivals and departures are limited to Florida North to the Carolinas; and birders in these areas should watch carefully for fallouts of early migrants where precipitation and […]


Species on the move

In this new weekly (or almost weekly) feature Team BirdCast will be highlighting particular species that are departing, arriving, or just plain moving in very obvious (or not!) ways. Warbling Vireo: the eBird map below shows the most recent reports of this species, highlighting the first migrants appearing in southern California and Arizona. Red-necked Grebe: […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 7-14 March 2014

Continental Summary Light to moderate movements begin across the country this week, punctuated with some heavier movements in the Great Plains, in particular, as large numbers of waterbirds depart their winter haunts. Species on the move this week will include Turkey Vulture, Killdeer, Barn Swallow, American Robin, Red-winged Blackbird, and Song Sparrow. West Marginal to […]


Species on the move: early and on-time late February movers

In the past decades birders have become increasingly aware of rapid changes in the phenology of bird movements in parts of the United States, noting what species are early, when birds are late. The power of eBird for highlighting these patterns has increased dramatically, and for the first time we can start to quantify and […]


Purple Gallinule Vagrancy in the North Atlantic, November 2013 – February 2014

Purple Gallinules are well known as champions of long-distance vagrancy, with records from as far north as Iceland, as far south as South Georgia Island, as far west as the Galapagos Islands, and as far east as Italy and South Africa (West and Hess 2002). This species, and many other rails, are habitat-based dispersalists, adapted […]


Species on the move: White-winged Scoter and Red-necked Grebe

Late last week Teams BirdCast and eBird posted a story about some recent winter movements. Here, we decided to look a bit more closely at what seemed to be some rather drastic departures this winter in the patterns of distributions of two species: White-winged Scoter and Red-necked Grebe. We focused our efforts on eBird data […]


Fodder for discussion: brief notes on some late 2013 and early 2014 movements

Winter is not necessarily a season of the year that we associate with bird migration. This is for good reason, as the epic movements of spring and fall are not usually underway and nowhere do we find the diversity in northern hemisphere temperate latitudes of migrants passing that we expect and experience during those seasons. […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 1-8 November 2013

This is the final forecast and analysis report for the Fall 2013 season. Please continue to visit BirdCast.info for updates and commentary on noteworthy movements of birds during the coming months, and look for weekly forecasts to resume on 1 March 2014. Continental Summary: Diminishing returns aside (no pun intended), the West saw local light […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 1-8 November 2013

Continental Summary: Scattered light movements will occur in portions of the West, as the East sees a substantial movement to begin and end the period. Birds on the move this week will include Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Gray Catbird, Yellow-rumped Warbler, and American Tree Sparrow. West As we near the end of […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 25 October to 1 November 2013

Continental Summary: Scattered light movements were the norm in the West, with only a few areas of more intense movements, as the East experienced some substantially heavier migration than expected, particularly along the East Coast. Birds on the move this week included Gadwall, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, Gray Catbird, Common Yellowthroat, Indigo Bunting, and Dark-eyed Junco. […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 26 October – 1 November 2013

Continental Summary: Light to moderate movements are the norm across the country this week as species diversity and numbers pass peak in many areas, although some locally heavy movements begin the period in the Southeast. Birds on the move this week include Bufflehead, Hooded and Red-breasted Mergansers, Ruddy Duck, Common Loon, Horned Grebe, Bonaparte’s Gull, […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 19-25 October 2013

Continental Summary: The West experienced one of the last of the extensive light to moderate movements of the fall along the Pacific Coast and in the Desert Southwest, as the East experienced some widespread pulses of moderate movements and a few locally heavy movements in the Southeast. Birds on the move this week included Gadwall, […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 19-25 October 2013

Continental Summary: Extensive moderate to heavy movements occur over many portions of the East during this period, representing a serious change of guard from the last later season Neotropical migrants and the growing waves of intracontinental migrants, while the West experiences a primarily dry week with widespread light and moderate movements. Birds on the move […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 11-18 October 2013

Continental Summary: Two pulses of movements rushed through the East, as continuing light to moderate movements were steady in the West. Birds on the move this week included Hermit Thrush, Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets, Yellow-rumped Warbler, White-throated Sparrows, and Dark-eyed Junco. West Most of the region experienced light to moderate movements to begin the weekend, […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 11-18 October 2013

Continental Summary: Widespread light and moderate movements across the West are still apparent, as a major pulse of northerly flow brings a large flight to the East by midweek. Birds on the move this week will include Northern Harrier, Chimney and Vaux’s Swifts, Orange-crowned Warbler, Eastern and Western Meadowlarks, Song, White-crowned, and White-throated Sparrows, and […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 4-11 October 2013

Continental Summary: Pulses of light to moderate movements continued in the West, as a large movement in the East saw large numbers of birds moving across the region and transiting through and to the Southeast. Birds on the move this week included Canada Goose, Hermit Thrush, Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Yellow-rumped and Palm Warblers, Song, […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 4-11 October 2013

Continental Summary: Both West and East experience periods of moderate to locally heavy movements this week, as the large but increasingly less diverse movements of October are in full swing. Birds on the move this week will include Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Hermit Thrush, Yellow-rumped Warbler, White-throated Sparrow, and Dark-eyed Junco. A brief note about […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 28 September – 4 October 2013

Continental Summary: Widespread light and moderate movements occurred across the West during the period, including some coastal flights allied with Santa Ana winds in southern California, while two strong pulses of moderate movements occurred during the middle of the period in the East. Birds on the move this week included Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Hermit Thrush, Golden-crowned […]


Special Forecast Update, Bering Sea: 3-6 October 2013

A strong low pressure system is forecast to move across northeastern Asia and the northern Bering Sea late on Thursday 3 October and early on Friday 4 October. Forecasts call for strong westerly winds with this system, which is quite large, across a broad area of the Bering Sea and Alaska. Given the size of […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 28 September – 4 October 2013

Continental Summary: The West continues to show a patchwork of locally moderate movements in airspace free of precipitation, and the East gets another pulse of moderate to heavy flights, including in the Southeast and Florida, followed by another strong high pressure center continuing the flights in New England and its immediate vicinity. Birds on the […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 21-27 September 2013

Continental Summary: Changeable conditions across the West spawned scattered and sometimes moderate movements in a patchwork across the region, as strong high pressure dominated the eastern US and spawned extensive and continuing moderate to heavy movements. Birds on the move this week included Eastern Phoebe, Blue-headed and Warbling Vireos, Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets, Wilson’s, Palm […]


Special Northeast Update: The return of eastern promises in early October?

In the wake of much discussion about atmospheric blocking in Fall 2012, Team BirdCast returns to the scene of the crime, so to speak. The Climate Prediction Center, among others, is forecasting a period of negative North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) indices in the coming weeks. These negative values correspond to building high pressure over Greenland […]


Special Topic, Pacific Coast Seabirds and Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies: 23 September 2013

Birders along the Pacific Coast of the US, along with The Weather Channel and the Los Angeles Times, have certainly noticed the recent invasion of Blue-footed Boobies in California, whether you’ve read about it on eBird or seen it in person. Similar large-scale movements are occurring for other species along the Pacific Coast (for example, […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 21-27 September 2013

Continental Summary: A pulse of moderate movements occurs midweek in the West, as the East experiences a major frontal passage followed by a building high pressure ridge that facilitate major movements over land and over water. Birds on the move this week will include Yellow-bellied and Red-naped Sapsuckers, Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Swamp, […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 14-20 September 2013

Continental Summary As the East pulsed with a major frontal passage and moderate to heavy movements in its wake, the West continued previous weeks’ pattern of many moderate movements. Birds on the move this week included Broad-winged Hawk, Northern Flicker, Warbling Vireo, Northern Parula, Palm Warbler,  Common Yellowthroat, and Lincoln’s Sparrow. West Moderate movements in […]


Special Forecast, Bering Sea: 18-23 September 2013

Team BirdCast continues to try to provide some insights on the comings and goings of vagrants in the Bering Sea! The coming days have some great potential for Asian strays to appear in the Alaskan island chains, particularly given pervasive high pressure over the central eastern Pacific that is driving low pressure systems toward and […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 14-20 September 2013

Continental Summary: Major movements begin the period in the East and West, followed by periods of less favorable conditions until another pulse of movements end the forecast period. Birds on the move this week will include Broad-winged and Sharp-shinned Hawk, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Palm and Yellow-rumped Warblers, White-throated and White-crowned Sparrows. West Light to moderate movements […]


Special Forecast, Nocturnal listening in the Northeastern US: 13-14 September 2013

A strong cold front has moved off the Atlantic coast after a week of more summer-like conditions. Friday night will see temperatures drop in many areas, with winds from the North and Northwest, perfect for moderate to heavy movements in many areas (and some locally very heavy movements). These large movements of birds will be […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 7-13 September 2013

Continental Summary: Moderate movements took hold in many areas of the West, while a strong front produced excellent end of the period flights in the East after a pervasive summer-like air mass departed. Birds on the move included Barn Swallow, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Swainson’s Thrush, Palm Warbler, Baltimore Oriole, and Lincoln’s and White-crowned Sparrows. West Light […]


Special Analysis, Tribute in Light: 11-12 September 2013

With forecast conditions looking rather gloomy for observers watching at the Tribute in Light but rosy for avoiding any potential for hazardous conditions for migrating birds, Team BirdCast predicted local, light movements and perhaps tens of birds in the beams of light during the memorial during the night of 11-12 September 2013. The first migrating […]


Special Update, Tribute in Light: 11-12 September 2013

Last night’s flight is the Northeastern US was as underwhelming as previously forecast, and the hopes for slightly more favorable though still marginal conditions for birds to move during the night bore no fruit. Widely scattered light movements occurred in most areas of the Northeast, though many of these were probably dominated or masked by […]


Tropical Storm Gabrielle: storm birding in Newfoundland on 14-15 September 2013

Despite a reasonably quiet season for tropical systems in the western North Atlantic, a lingering area of low pressure and associated storms that was once Tropical Storm Gabrielle has reorganized and started to move to the North and Northeast. The most current update from the National Hurricane Center suggests a western Newfoundland landfall for the […]


Special Update, Tribute in Light: 10-11 September 2013

For those in the greater New York City metropolitan area, the coming nights bring the return of the Tribute in Light Memorial. The powerful, side-by-side beams of light aimed skyward are first and foremost a somber tribute to the lives lost on September 11th 2001; but they also provide a rare opportunity to see nocturnal […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 7-13 September 2013

Continental Summary: A divided West sees light to moderate movements, as a complex East sees several primarily northern pulses of moderate to heavy movements. Birds on the move this week will include Sharp-shinned Hawk, Eastern Kingbird, Barn Swallow, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Swainson’s Thrush, Palm and Blackpoll Warblers, and White-throated and Lincoln’s Sparrows. West The weekend sees […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 30 August – 6 September 2013

Continental Summary: Movements across the West continued at light to moderate intensities characteristic of the last weeks, perhaps now past peak levels in portions of the Interior West, while the East experienced several pulses of moderate to heavy movements with the passage of two frontal boundaries, harbingers of things to come. Birds on the move […]


Special Bering Sea Forecast: 2-6 September 2013

From time to time Team BirdCast likes to wander a bit farther afield than usual, and this post is no exception. Several of our colleagues finds themselves on St. Paul and St. Lawrence, Alaskan islands in the middle of the Bering Sea. Fall can be an exciting time in such locations, with the potential of […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 30 August – 6 September 2013

Continental Summary: The West continues to experience light to moderate movements, as the East gets a pulse of moderate to heavy movements with the passage of high pressure through the region. Birds on the move this week will include Eastern Kingbird, Barn Swallow, Swainson’s Thrush, numerous warblers and Baltimore Oriole. West Scattered precipitation across the […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 24-30 August 2013

Continental Summary Light to moderate movements were widespread across the country this past week, with each of the BirdCast regions experiencing some nice pulses of birds. Of particular note was the higher than anticipated magnitude and intensity of movements early in the period in the Southeast. Birds on the move this week included Green-winged and […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 24-30 August 2013

Continental Summary: Scattered precipitation in many areas mutes otherwise light to locally moderate movements in the West, as much of the East, particularly the Northeast, sees an early weekend movement before waiting for its first big migration pulse at the end of the forecast period. Birds on the move this week will include Green-winged Teal, […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 17-23 August 2013

Continental Summary Light to moderate movements across the West were apparent on most nights of the period, as the East experienced a major pulse of moderate migration at the end of the week. Birds on the move this week included Green-winged and Blue-winged Teal, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Black-and-white and Wilson’s Warblers, American Redstart, and […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 17-23 August 2013

Continental Summary The West will experience light to moderate movements early and late in the forecast period, and locally midweek where scattered precipitation is not falling, as the East experiences a mostly marginal and unfavorable weather week that will allow mostly light and locally moderate movements interspersed among increasingly prevalent showers and precipitation as the […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 9-16 August 2013

Continental Summary Light to moderate movements were the norm for the West and the East this week, as fall migration gradually becomes more apparent with each week. Birds on the move this week included Great Egret, Baird’s, White-rumped, Solitary, and Pectoral Sandpipers, Barn Swallow, Purple Martin, Yellow and Wilson’s Warblers. West Light to locally moderate […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 9-16 August 2013

Continental Summary Scattered light and locally moderate movements will occur across the West, while two primarily northeastern pulses of light to moderate and locally heavy movements occur among storm systems in the East. West To begin the weekend, scattered precipitation will keep most birds on the ground from northern California East through the Great Basin […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 2-8 August 2013

Continental Summary The West experienced primarily light movements, particularly toward the Pacific Coast and over the Desert Southwest, while the East experience light to moderate movements, primarily along a corridor from the northern Great Plains South and East toward the Gulf Coast. Please note, we have posted two animated maps in this analysis because the […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 2-8 August 2013

Continental Summary The West sees light movements away from scattered precipitation over the next week, particularly along the Pacific Coast, as light to locally moderate movements associated with the passage of high pressure in the East occur primarily the northern Great Plains and portions of the Northeast. Birders should pay  attention to precipitation as it […]


Them Changes

Welcome back to the Fall 2013 edition of BirdCast! Many with an eye toward monitoring migration have been watching the slow transition from the breeding season into the earliest of the autumn’s movements since the beginning of July. Those with an eye to the coast (and wetlands in general) probably saw the first southbound shorebirds […]


Andrea redux (barely) and New England coastal storm: 13 June 2013

Thankfully, Tropical and Post Tropical Storm Andrea was neither an epic nor devastating storm. It moved rapidly from the Gulf Coast off the coast of New England, bringing heavy rains primarily, and its speed and eventual path made it mostly an ornithological bust. Some species may have been displaced, but probably the only noticeable appearances […]


Hurricane Season 2013: Tropical Storm Andrea

The official start of the 2013 hurricane season in the Atlantic was 1 June. The current forecasts suggest an active season, as evidenced by the AccuWeather summary of NOAA data below: Team BirdCast will be monitoring hurricanes and discussing the birds that they entrain and displace throughout the 2013 hurricane season. With each discussion, we […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 24-31 May 2013

Continental Summary: Some light to moderate movements continued in the West, as the last of the moderate and locally heavy movements occurred in the East. Species on the move this week included Ruddy Turnstone, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Yellow-bellied and Alder Flycatchers, and Gray-cheeked Thrush. Note that our colleagues at University of Wyoming experienced some problems with […]


Regional Migration Forecast 24-31 May 2013

Continental: With peak migration of many species past, this week will see diminish but still evident light movements in the West, while the East continues to see increasingly scattered late season moderate to isolated heavy movements. Birds on the move this week will include late season shorebirds including Red Knot and White-rumped Sandpiper, Alder and […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 18-24 May 2013

Continental Summary: Primarily light movements occurred in the West as the clock on this season’s migration continued to wind down, while moderate to locally heavy movements continued in a number of areas East of the Rockies. Birds on the move this week included Ruddy Turnstone, Olive-sided, Willow and Alder Flycatchers, Cedar Waxwing, and Mourning and […]


Regional Migration Forecast 18-24 May 2013

Continental: Light to moderate movements continue in many portions of the West, as moderate to heavy movements shift increasingly farther North in the East in areas away from precipitation. Heavy movements in the southern US will begin to wane over the course of this week and next as we near the end of another migration […]


Regional Migration Analysis 12-17 May 2013

Continental: Generally favorable conditions across much of the West brought continuing light to moderate movements, but the parade of fronts across the East brought widely varying size and distribution of movements in conditions changing rapidly from day to day. Species on the move this week included Veery, Gray Catbird, Magnolia, Black-throated Blue, Chestnut-sided and Blackpoll […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 12-18 May 2013

Continental: Continued light to moderate movements are again the norm for the West away from areas of precipitation, as the East waits to experience moderate to heavy movements in many areas until the middle of the week. Birds on the move this week will include Willow Flycatcher, Swainson’s Thrush, Magnolia, Canada, Wilson’s, Blackpoll, and Bay-breasted […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 4-11 May 2013

Continental: Light to moderate movements across much of the West exemplified more of the steady push of birds into the region, while the East received a jolt of birds midweek, including some movements into the Northeast after many days with a trickle. Birds on the move this week included Least Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, Gray Catbird, […]


Regional Migration Forecast 4-11 May 2013

Continental: Unsettled weather across the West and the East complicates the migration scene this week, with light to moderate movements apparent in the West and moderate to heavy movements in the East away from rain. Numerous species are on the move this week, including Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Least Flycatcher, Wood Thrush, American Redstart, Yellow, Magnolia, Blackburnian, […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 26 April – 3 May 2013

Continental Summary: Light to moderate movements were widespread in the West, while the movements in the East continued to run the gamut from nonexistent to heavy in a wide range of weather conditions. Birds on the move this week included Warbling Vireo, House Wren, Gray Catbird, Yellow Warbler, and Baltimore Oriole. West Light to moderate […]


Focus on Texas: April 2013, Migration, and the Big Day

Team Sapsucker made North American birding history on 25 April 2013, recording 294 species in a single, midnight-to-midnight day. More details are available here, but, briefly, the Sapsuckers pulled off a near perfect big day run because of a unique combination of the team’s skills, excellent scouting from Tom Johnson, Andy Guthrie, and Matt Hafner, assistance […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 26 April – 2 May 2013

Continental Summary: The West will experience light to moderate movements for the entire period in generally favorable conditions for migration, whereas conditions in the East are forecast to be complex but favorable for moderate to heavy movements in many areas and fallouts along the Gulf Coast. Birds on the move this week include Least Flycatcher, […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 19-26 April 2013

Continental Summary: Increasingly widespread light to moderate movements occurred across the West this past week, as the East experienced two pulses of light to moderate and locally heavy movements between strong frontal systems. Birds on the move included Warbling Vireo, Gray Catbird, and Yellow Warbler. West Light to moderate movements were in evidence in many […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 19 – 26 April 2013

Continental Summary: Light to moderate movements continue in the West amidst some scattered mountain precipitation, while the East has moderate to heavy movements and fallout potential interspersed between strong spring storm systems and the marginal to unfavorable conditions that trail them. Birds on the move this week include Warbling Vireo, Gray Catbird, Yellow Warbler, Rose-breasted […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 11 – 18 April 2013

Continental Summary: Light to moderate movements occurred across the West, particularly early in the forecast period in California and the Desert Southwest, while a complex stalled front brought light to moderate and even locally heavy movements to many different areas of the East. Species on the move this week included numerous shorebirds, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, numerous […]


Migration Alert: 18 April 2013

As forecast last week on the BirdCast site, a strong frontal boundary is moving East across the US. The high resolution image below, which is very large (!), shows light to moderate movements of inbound trans-Gulf migrants off the Texas coast (uniform and stippled pattern of blues) and an approaching cold front with strong storms […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 12-18 April 2013

Continental Summary: The West sees continued light to moderate movements and new arrivals in the deserts and California, while pulses of moderate and heavy movements of new trans-Gulf and circum-Gulf arrivals appear among strong passing storms. On the move this week will be Spotted Sandpiper, Chimney Swift, Wood Thrush, House Wren, Yellow Warbler, Indigo Bunting, […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 5 – 12 April 2013

Continental Summary: Migration arrivals continued across portion of the West, while the floodgates began to open in many areas of the East. The 5-12 April 2013 animation shows the week’s movements relative to synoptic weather conditions. West Light to moderate movements began the period and continued into the early week in the Desert Southwest, Four Corners, […]


10 April 2013 Migration Alert: Frontal Boundary Approaches Gulf Coast

As of 1130AM CDT a pair of cold fronts is approaching the Gulf Coast. Most precipitation is presently North and West of the coast, but in the coming hours it will advance to the Gulf of Mexico. Trans-Gulf migrants are already coming ashore, primarily as light to moderate movements, along the Central Texas coast, above […]


Understanding Radar and Birds

Back by semi-popular demand from Spring 2012, a basic primer on birding by radar . . . Since the first units were placed along the Gulf Coast in the 1950s, ornithologists and birders have become increasingly aware of the power of using radar as a tool for understanding bird migration. In addition to detecting and […]


A spring overshoot discussion, continued, again . . .

Last week, Team BirdCast forecast that conditions looked favorable for spring overshoot migrants to occur in areas far to the north of their expected seasonal range. Here, we provide some additional discussion and speculation for what actually transpired. After a frontal boundary swept across the Florida Peninsula, many birds were clearly grounded by unfavorable conditions. The […]


Amended 14 April 2013 – Upper Midwest and Northeast – Swallow-tailed Kite Alert: 8 April 2013

With warm air prevailing across the region, sky watchers should plan to spend a little time looking for Swallow-tailed Kites. April is traditionally a good month to find a wandering individual or two of this southern species in locations far to the north of typical present-day breeding locations. This map shows April observations of the […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 5 April – 12 April 2013

Continental Summary: A warm up forecast for the East brings a flood of new arrivals during the week and a chance for more fallouts along the Gulf Coast, as much of the West continues to experience typical spring arrivals. See this animation of forecast winds and precipitation for 5-12 April 2013 or below. West Light to […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 30 March – 5 April 2013

Continental Summary: Numerous species were on the move in the West this week where light and moderate movements occurred in many areas, whereas hints of the opening of the flood gates to come appeared in several fallouts and some locally moderate and even heavy movements in the East. Please click here for an animation of […]


A spring overshoot discussion . . . continued.

Several weeks ago, Team BirdCast highlighted a set of conditions for spring overshoot migrants, or “slingshot” migrants, to occur substantially farther north of their intended and seasonally appropriate destinations. We see potential for such conditions over the coming 24-48 hours, as a cold front moves across the Florida Peninsula during a period when early southern […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 30 March – 5 April 2013

Continental Summary: This week’s migration forecast features an opening of some flood gates for migrant arrivals in the Eastern and Central US, while new arrivals continue to move across many areas of the West. West Mostly favorable conditions bring a forecast for light to moderate movements and continuing spring arrivals for most areas of the […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 22-30 March 2013

Wilson’s Warbler was on the move in portions of the West and Gulf Coast and Southeast this past week. This bird was photographed by Brian Sullivan. West Scattered light movements began the period, particularly in the California and portions of the Desert Southwest. By the end of the weekend and beginning of the week, migration […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 22-30 March 2013

Continental Summary: This week’s migration forecast features the arrival of a strong high pressure center over the US, which will shut down migration as it approaches and builds, several disturbances that may spawn fallouts, and the potential for some European vagrants to the North and East. An animation of the forecast 925mb winds and precipitation is […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 15-22 March 2013

Spring migration continues to ramp up slowly, and early migrants such as Western Kingbird began appearing in numbers during the past week. This individual was photographed on 16 April 2007 by Brian Sullivan. West Scattered light migration occurred in several areas over the course of the week from southern California east through the Desert Southwest. […]


Eastern Promises: Update 18 March 2013

We continue to track the Eastern promises that we highlighted in December, as this past weekend provided yet another tantalizing example of the potential fruits of such promises. A Fieldfare was discovered in Carlisle, MA and seen and photographed by many. This is no doubt one of the prizes of any year of Eastern Promises! […]


Regional Migration Forecast: 15-22 March 2013

Continental Summary This week’s migration forecast highlights favorable conditions for migrant arrivals in the Gulf Coast region and unfavorable conditions for migrants to advance into much of the West, Great Plains and Upper Midwest and Northeast because of late winter-early spring storms moving east during the forecast period. West Several storms systems will keep migrants […]


Regional Migration Analysis: 8-14 March 2013

West Scattered light migration was apparent in some areas of the West, particularly on Wednesday and Thursday nights. The image below, from Thursday evening 14 March 2013, shows light movements in California and portions of the Desert Southwest. Some of this week’s species on the move, as detected in eBird, include some diurnal migrants like […]


Regional Migration Forecasts: 8-14 March 2013

Continental Summary This week’s migration forecast highlights the effects of a strong frontal boundary crossing the country, facilitating light and scattered moderate movements with its approach to a region and shutting down migration in its wake. West Generally unfavorable conditions ground most migrants, although scattered light migration will occur in isolated areas with more favorable […]


A spring overshoot discussion (but not necessarily a forecast!)

Although we are still quite early in the season to discuss the potential for a “slingshot” event that might cause typically southern spring migrants to overshoot their intended destinations along the Atlantic Coast, and although these events are relatively rare each season, team BirdCast would like to highlight some of the conditions along the Atlantic […]


Regional Migration Forecasts: 4-11 March 2013 (Abridged)

Although some portions of the Western US will see light and scattered migration by the middle or end of this week (e.g. the Desert Southwest), this week’s weather is dominated by the passage of Winter Storm Saturn across the Central and Eastern US and mostly unfavorable migration conditions. The animation below shows a morning and […]


Saturn rising?

Enter the lion! A potentially substantial winter storm is brewing, Saturn, and forecasts suggest it will leave its mark across a wide swath of the northern US. We focus on the NE US in this post, because of the continuing thread of Eastern Promises and the potential effects for birds from any Nor’easter. The animation […]


Late February Notes: Migration (or lack thereof) Discussion

As hinted in last week’s post, there was some potential for scattered light migration across portions of the South-Central and Southeastern US. On 19 February 2013, as a substantial frontal boundary approached the Mississippi River valley, conditions for nocturnal bird migration were favorable in many areas of the eastern Gulf Coast east through the Carolinas. […]


One the move . . . continued

In our last post, we highlighted an area of southerly flow that is forecast for Sunday – Tuesday, 17-19 February 2013, from portions of Texas to the western Appalachians. Below, we provide a short animated clips to show the forecast wind and precipitation for the coming week, highlighting the early week period in the South […]


On the move . . .

Two interesting patterns may spice up the mid-February birding scene next week. High pressure building into the Southeastern US should bring a period of warmer, southerly flow to many areas of the Gulf Coast by Monday. These conditions may facilitate some typically early migrant songbirds and waterfowl to move on Monday night. Radar reflectivity values […]


Strong winter storms: Nemo and Jolle

If the groundhog were a birder, perhaps he would have predicted six more weeks of a winter like this . . . We know that Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow. Many in the US probably rejoice at his early spring prediction, but, with a winter like this, many birders may not be so thrilled […]


Early spring migrants in the middle of winter

January in the temperate Northern Hemisphere is not typically a time that most consider as falling within “spring migration.” Rather, local and facultative movements of  wintering birds and irruptive movements tend to dominate birding discussions, observations, and field trips. However, here we are on 1 February talking about the arrivals of the earliest migrants in the […]


Eastern Promises Update: 22 January 2012

So far, the negative NAO index that team BirdCast pondered late last year has yet to materialize with the strength of the October-November period. However, recent weather in Europe and some forecasts for the short term suggest the potential for facultative bird movements to occur. The Meteoalarm website paints a picture of cold temperatures and […]


Eastern Promises Update: 28 December 2012

Well, the Fieldfare you so desired for the holidays certainly may have been beneath whatever vegetation is part of your holiday celebrations, but not if you live in North America. Although a number of Black-headed Gulls and Tufted Ducks are present, along with a suite of Barnacle Geese, presumably little action occurred in what turned […]


Snow Cover and Winter Bird Movements

The National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center produces national snow analysis graphics. As of 28 December, as seen in the graphic below, approximately 64% of the United States is covered in snow! This is a dramatic change from the previous week, when 20% less of the country was covered in snow. Such extensive cover may translate into […]


Gulf of Maine, meet Gulf of Mexico: Razorbills (and others) invade Florida and the Gulf of Mexico

As if this year did not already have enough displacement, entrainment, diversion, and irruption, along comes the Razorbill flight of 2012. Early December saw an unprecedented invasion of this species, which normally winters almost exclusively north of the mid-Atlantic states, into the waters off of Florida, with some individuals rounding Cape Sable and appearing in […]


Eastern Promises: Update 10 December 2012

Following last week’s post about the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the promise of European vagrants in North America, we thought it useful to note the current forecast from NWS Climate Prediction Center for the NAO index. The graphic below shows the forecast for the NAO index for the coming two weeks. Note, that there is a […]


Eastern Promises?

Hurricane Sandy’s epic, devastating, and predicted jog to the Northwest just prior to her New Jersey landfall was driven, largely, by a “rex block” or “Greenland block” – serious high pressure over the North Atlantic that, in effect, blocked the passage of the gigantic circulation of Sandy and forced her inland over New Jersey and Pennsylvania as she worked […]


Southern Great Plains Goose Flight: 11-12 November 2012

“Hindcasting” is something of great interest to team BirdCast, particularly as a means of improving (eventually) our modeling and thinking about where, when, and how birds appear when and where they do. In this case, let’s look at what happened in the southern Great Plains on Sunday night and Monday morning, 11 and 12 November, […]


Et tu, Brute? More western species east . . .

The Weather Channel has taken to naming winter storms for the 2012-2013 winter season, and Brutus is at bat. This powerful storm is dumping heavy snow in parts of the Rockies, and the associated frontal boundary strongly demarcates much colder from very warm air. As the low tracks east, strong southerly and southwesterly flow prevails […]


Lingering Sandy Effects: Neotropical Migrants and a European Visitor

Hurricane/Post-tropical Cyclone Sandy and all of her fury are firmly ensconced in the record books, and this storm will remain forever in the lexicon of Northeastern US weather lore (probably foremost ahead of the 1938 Long Island Express). This is certainly true from an ornithological perspective, with some avian effects from Sandy still apparent 11 days […]


A (new) NE Canada – Northeast US connection to end the week?

Today through Friday has potential to see winds transport waterfowl, gulls, and other late migrants and irruptives into the Northeast and Great Lakes. Additionally, snow cover may force sparrows and open-area species like pipits, longspurs, Snow Buntings, and larks to move from areas where more than 1-2 inches covers the ground. Please make sure to […]


Your Mission Now, Find Landbirds! Eastern Forecast Update for 2 – 4 November 2012

To follow yesterday’s post, get out a look for landbirds!!!! Something extremely interesting is occurring in the wake of the epic passage of Sandy. Recent reports from Maryland to Maine of a bizarre mix of Neotropical migrants, including Connecticut Warbler (MD), Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Scarlet Tanager (NY), and Eastern Wood-Pewee (MA), suggest that the effects […]


Abridged Regional Migration Forecast: Eastern US 31 October – 4 November 2012

With the departure to the Northeast of Hurricane and Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy, westerly flow prevails outside the Northeastern US across a huge portion of the Eastern US from the western Great Lakes through peninsular Florida. In many areas, despite the late date, later season migrants including waterfowl and passerines will take flight. Widespread light to […]


Post Tropical Cyclone Sandy: Brief Update for 30 October 930PM EDT

For those out birding from the mid-Atlantic through New England and west to the Appalachians and the eastern Great Lakes, today was a wild day of birding. Several blogs have captured the ornithological events spawned by Sandy’s arrival onshore, and numerous meteorological sites have detailed the extreme devastation of the storm. As a final component […]


Post Tropical Cyclone Sandy Update: 11PM EDT 29 October 2012

The remnants of Sandy, huge as they are, have a circulation that has just passed Philadelphia, PA. All of the meteorological forecasters involved in predicting the path of this system did quite an amazing job – now, team eBird and BirdCast will get to see how we did at predicting the ornithological outcome. Tuesday morning […]


Post Tropical Cyclone Sandy: 8PM EDT, 29 October 2012

The center of the circulation is mostly ashore near Atlantic City, NJ as of 8PM EDT, the system is now behaving more like a Nor’easter though still with some tropical characteristics, and the effects of Sandy are widespread and dangerous. Record-setting storm surges are occurring, winds of Category 1 hurricane force and gusting to 90-100 […]


Hurricane Sandy Update: 230PM EDT 29 October 2012

Team eBird has posted an update on Sandy birding strategies here, including species that might be possible. Additionally, please follow live updates posted by our friend Drew Weber here. After many days of speculation, Hurricane Sandy is making landfall in southern NJ later this evening, slated to progress west over Delaware Bay and into western Maryland and […]


Hurricane Sandy Update: 11AM EDT 29 October 2012

Hurricane Sandy is coming ashore later today, with many areas of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast feeling its widespread and intense effects for some time. Given the present track, similar to previous forecasts, the most likely place for entrained pelagic and Tropical species will be from Delaware Bay north and west into the Delaware River into […]


Hurricane Sandy Update: 11PM EDT 28 October 2012

The most recent forecast has not changed terribly – this massive storm’s circulation looks to be coming ashore on Monday night along the southern or central New Jersey shore, moving inland to central Pennsylvania by Tuesday night, into Lake Ontario on Wednesday night, and then north and east into the St Lawrence by Thursday night. […]


Hurricane Sandy Update: 8PM EDT 28 October 2012

8PM EDT updates to Hurricane Sandy’s forecast track suggest that a late Monday and early Tuesday landfall in central or southern New Jersey is still likely. However, as hinted (and written) in previous forecasts, this storm is huge, and regardless of the exact landfall, many area of the mid-Atlantic and New England will feel the […]


Hurricane Sandy Update: 1PM EDT 28 October 2012

As Hurricane Sandy approaches, the magnitude of this unprecedented storm is becoming apparent. As stated previously, be extremely careful and cautious if you are in, near, or around this storm, as conditions will be extremely dangerous. Safety first! The present track has changed little from this morning’s update, and presumably a central New Jersey landfall is […]


Hurricane Sandy Update: 8AM EDT 28 October 2012

Forecasts are likely converging by this point, and a central New Jersey coast strike seems likely. Please see eBird for a discussion of possible species composition of the storm. Landfall is slated to occur very early Tuesday morning on 30 October, and at first light the eye is likely to be somewhere inland in central […]


Hurricane Sandy Update 11PM 27 October 2012

The forecast track for Hurricane Sandy has changed, again. Now, the eye is forecast to move farther north, coming ashore at first landfall somewhere north of Cape May, NJ and moving rapidly across the state into central Pennsylvania by Tuesday night, Lake Ontario by Wednesday night, then into Canada by Thursday night. It appears that […]


Hurricane Sandy: 27 October 8AM Update

As expected, the forecast track for Sandy has changed since the last update. For more details about the potential “windfall” from Sandy’s arrival and strategies for birding , please visit the eBird site. As of 8AM EDT on 27 October, NHC plots first landfall in the Lewes, DE and Cape May, NJ area in the […]


Hurricane Sandy: 26 October 12PM Update

Hurricane Sandy is now forecast to make landfall around 7AM on Tuesday morning in the northern DelMarVa peninsula. The storm’s track takes it North and West toward central Pennsylvania and eventually Lake Erie. Birders in Cape May may be extremely well positioned for birds and for dangerous conditions – the northeast quadrant of the storm […]


Hurricane Sandy: 25 October 8PM Update

Hurricane Sandy is forecast to make landfall along the central New Jersey coast some time during the morning of Tuesday 30 October. This storm is not forecast to maintain consistent, hurricane force winds, but may have intense gusts, will have heavy rain, and may bring large storm surges. The low intensity and track of the […]


New York and Philadelphia Migration Forecast: 25 October – 2 November 2012

The coming week will have an interesting array of weather complemented by an interesting array of birds. The forecast will change many times, presumably, so please check for regular updates to this portion of the forecast page. Light winds may continue to facilitate locally moderate to heavy movements of birds, despite easterly flow and the […]


Regional Migration Forecasts: 25 October – 2 November 2012

As the fall migration continues past its peak, the big story of the forecast period is the passage of Hurricane Sandy, the havoc it may wreck, and the intense northerly and westerly flows that will spawn large movements before and after its passage. Additionally updates will be posted here as forecasts change for Sandy. West […]


New York and Philadelphia Migration Forecast: 18-25 October 2012

Southerly winds and precipitation end this week and begin the weekend, with little or no migration occurring across the metropolitan areas. By Saturday night 20 October, winds shift to the west and a pulse of moderate to heavy nocturnal migration will follow. With this shift to the west, so begins several days of westerly to […]


Regional Migration Forecasts: 18-25 October 2012

The West will experience light migration in areas away from the immediate Pacific Coast and elsewhere that precipitation is forecast, whereas strong high pressure in the Southeast creates favorable conditions for moderate to heavy movements in the Northeast and generally unfavorable conditions in the country’s midsection. A brief note – birders in the Upper Midwest, […]


New York and Philadelphia Bird Migration Forecast: 12-19 October 2012

High pressure over the eastern Great Lakes creates favorable conditions for moderate to heavy movements on Friday night. Clear skies and cooler temperatures should bring another large wave of later fall migrants, including a diversity of sparrows, kinglets, increasing numbers of Hermit Thrushes, and the last waves of Neotropical migrant warblers. As the high tracks […]


Regional Migration Forecasts: 12-19 October 2012

As some unsettled conditions in parts of the West disrupt and inhibit otherwise light to moderate movements across the region during the coming week, an early week frontal passage through the Eastern US spawns moderate to heavy movements in its wake on Sunday and Monday nights in advance of a strong system arriving by the […]


New York and Philadelphia Bird Migration Forecast: 5 – 12 October 2012

Low pressure North and then East of the Great Lakes spawns moderate to heavy movements across the area on Friday 5 October and Saturday 6 October. Those in quieter areas should hear Gray-cheeked and Swainson’s Thrushes dominating the acoustic scene, with the first more substantial numbers of Hermit Thrushes, as well as Yellow-rumped and Palm […]


Regional Migration Forecasts: 5 – 12 October 2012

The West continues to see conditions that favor light to moderate migration, whereas continued pulses of heavy movements occur over much of the rest of the East. Birders should watch carefully in the East for conditions that spawn fallouts and heavy nocturnal calling, as several low pressure centers moving east may produce the northerly winds, […]


New York and Philadelphia Bird Migration Forecast: 28 September – 5 October 2012

The coming week will see rapid changes as several systems alternately shut down and spawn substantial passages of birds through the region. These movements, when they occur, should include the first substantial, primarily sparrow movements, including White-throated, White-crowned, Savannah, and Chipping Sparrows, as warbler numbers diminish. Rain shuts down migration to end the week, but […]


Regional Migration Forecasts: 28 September – 5 October

Light to moderate movements continue to be widespread in the West this forecast period, whereas periods of moderate to heavy movements in clear, fall skies are punctuated by periods of widespread rain and southerly flow. West Light to moderate migration is the norm for the region to begin the weekend. Primarily light winds and clear […]


New York and Philadelphia Bird Migration Forecast: 21-28 September 2012

Southerly winds will make for pleasant but perhaps uneventful birding through Saturday, but rain arrives by Saturday night. No new major movements of birds will occur in the area until Sunday night. Migrants that arrived in the heavy movement of Wednesday night and Thursday morning will stay mostly where they are until the next frontal […]


Regional Migration Forecasts: 21-28 September 2012

The West is mostly tranquil, experiencing light to moderate movements over many areas in mostly light and variables. Two high pressure systems tracking East and South from Canada pass through the Central and Eastern US over the coming week and spawn heavy movements as they approach, whereas the Southeast also experiences some movements, albeit tempered by […]


UPDATE New York City/Philadelphia Metropolitan Migration Forecast – 19 September 2012

Winds shifted to the Northwest earlier today (Wednesday 19 September), bringing clearing skies, cooler temperatures, and anticipation of an excellent opportunity for seeing migrants in the greater New York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas! Broad-winged Hawks, Sharp-shinned Hawks, American Kestrels, and even the occasional Bald Eagle are already passing through our area, and hawk movements will […]


New York City/Philadelphia Metropolitan Migration Forecast – 14-21 September 2012

Continued warm, southerly winds do not bring many new birds to the region on Friday and Saturday. However, a passing cold front brings a wind shift on Saturday, and as northwesterly winds blow through the night and into early Monday morning, migrants will respond. Heavy migration will occur Saturday night, with some continued flight of […]


Regional Migration Forecasts: 14-21 September 2012

Several nights of heavy movements are likely in the central and eastern US over the coming week, whereas the West will experience primarily moderate movements in light winds and generally dry conditions. This week’s regional forecasts follow: West Widespread light to moderate migration is likely in many areas of the West for the coming week. […]


NYC Area Analysis – 11-12 September

Migration was generally light across much of the great New York City metropolitan area on the night of 11-12 September. High pressure off the Atlantic coast brought warmer evening conditions than either of the previous two nights, as well as calm and even light southerly winds; after such favorable conditions during previous nights, migration was […]


NYC Area Forecast Update – 10 September

Heavy nocturnal migration on the night of 10 September will produce another nice day for birding in the greater New York City metropolitan area. Following Monday’s hawk flight in Manhattan, featuring hundreds of Broad-winged Hawks, Tuesday will see a continuation of the small streams of Broad-winged Hawks, Ospreys, American Kestrels, and Sharp-shinned Hawks passing over […]


Regional Migration Forecasts: 7 September – 13 September

West Light and variable winds will facilitate scattered, light migration in many areas through the weekend, with some coastal areas experiencing slightly larger movements. By Sunday night, more favorable winds spread across coastal areas and into the Great Basin, and moderate movements will become more widespread. The Desert Southwest and Four Corners has rain forecast […]


New York City Area Migration Forecast – 6 September

Southwesterly winds, warm temperatures, and scattered rain will keep most birds on the ground for the end of the week through Sunday. However, a substantial change in weather is forecast late on Sunday, and there is a good chance that a passing cold front, followed by cooler temperatures and northwesterly winds, will facilitate a large […]


NYC Area Forecast Update – 4 September

Southerly and southwesterly winds and rain will keep most birds grounded through Wednesday. However, a wind shift to the Northwest and clearing skies on Wednesday evening should open floodgates for migration – expect moderate to heavy movements across the area. If this wind shift occurs before sunset, Wednesday night would be an excellent opportunity to […]


30 August – 6 September, 2012

West Birders in coastal areas of the West, particularly in the Pacific Northwest, should watch coastal migrant traps, as light but incrasingly northeasterly winds aloft should bring some migrant songbird concentrations to these areas. The remainder of the region will see primarily scattered light movements in precipitation free areas, as light winds aloft are mostly […]


Migration Report: 25 – 31 May 2012

This forecast period (view last week’s forecast) saw what were likely the last major movements of this spring’s migration, though some birds will continue migrating through the 1st and 2nd weeks of June. The West experienced several nights of light to moderate movements, particularly along the Pacific coast. Storms and a frontal passage in the […]


Migration Forecast: 25 – 31 May 2012

Most of the last big pushes of spring migration will occur this week. Light to moderate movements will occur in many precipitation-free areas of the West. The Great Plains will experience moderate to heavy movements in many areas early in the period, but a substantial low pressure system will shut down migrants with rain later […]


Migration Report: 18 – 24 May 2012

Migration across much of the West was largely light in marginal winds aloft and scattered precipitation, although some coastal and desert areas experienced locally heavier movements. Despite a significant frontal passage that shut down movements in its wake, many areas of the Great Plains saw moderate to heavy movements. Similarly, the Upper Midwest and Northeast […]


Migration Forecast: 18 – 24 May 2012

While team eBird is in Alaska, our April eBirder of the month, Benjamin Van Doren, is our guest BirdCaster. Benjamin has a talent for understanding migration, developing an ambitious project to gather morning flight data from dozens birdwatchers in the Northeast that was recognized with a 5th place in the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search. […]


Migration Report: 11 – 17 May 2012

Diversity and abundance of migrants remained high across much of the US during this forecast period. (See last week’s forecast.) Presumably, this period and the next will be the last to have such diversity and abundance during this spring season, as many migrants have arrived or will soon arrive at their breeding destinations. Moderate to […]


Migration Forecast: 11 – 17 May 2012

High pressure will dominate much of the country during this forecast period. The West will experience widespread light to moderate migration this week, as high pressure and warmer temperatures build in across most of the region. Moderate to heavy movements will occur in the Great Plains, despite scattered precipitation that may inhibit movements locally. Despite […]


Migration Report: 4 – 10 May 2012

As one might expect near the peak of spring migration diversity and abundance, this week saw nights with moderate to heavy migration across many areas of the continental US. In fact, higher than expected migration amounts occurred on several nights during the forecast period in multiple different portions of the region. Although we could easily […]


Migration Forecast: 4 – 10 May 2012

As several low pressure centers and their associated precipitation progress across the country, migration levels will vary more than usual. Primarily light to moderate movements will occur across more southerly portions of the West, whereas precipitation and generally unfavorable winds aloft will keep most migrants in more northerly portions grounded. Although a few areas of […]


Migration Report: 27 April – 3 May 2012

Late April and early May is peak migration for many of the more southerly sections of the United States, with the northern states and southern Canadian provinces seeing peak movements during the second and third weeks of May. By late April, the latest-arriving migrants in Texas and Florida should be making their first appearances, and […]


Migration Forecast: 27 Apr – 3 May 2012

While most of Team eBird is down in Texas making Big Day history, I,David La Puma, have been charged with filling in for them in writing this week’s migration forecast. In doing so, I have also called upon a team of migration experts from across the country to weigh in on the regional components of […]


Migration Report: 20 – 26 April 2012

This was an exciting week in spring migration as things really began to ramp up on a continental scale. The West saw significant movement throughout the region with a consistent flow of birds from the south, and some of the heaviest migration to date for the Pacific Northwest. After a slow start during the weekend, […]


Migration Forecast: 20 – 26 April 2012

Areas of the western US lacking precipitation should experience widespread light to moderate migration early in the forecast period, but an increasing threat of precipitation later in the week may shut down movements in many places. The Great Plains begin the period with largely unfavorable conditions for bird movement, but by midweek southerly flow returns […]


Migration Report: 13 – 19 April 2012

This week saw widespread arrivals of a diversity of species in many areas–far too many to mention in full. In general, most Neotropical migrants have now reached the southern U.S. A few very late species such as Willow Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, and western Yellow-billed Cuckoos and Common Nighthawks, are still well to the south of […]


Migration Forecast: 13 – 19 April 2012

Expect the best migration so far this year for at least portions of this week throughout North America. Many areas of the country will see fallout potential this week for passerines and waterbirds. The Desert Southwest and scattered areas of the West should see at least light to moderate movements, and the potential for precipitation […]


Migration Report: 6 – 12 April 2012

We will step through last week’s BirdCast forecast to see how it did with predicting the bird movements and species arrivals. The overall pattern has been of continued decent conditions for movement through the mid-continent, but northerly winds and cooler temperatures have essentially put a cork in the migration in the eastern third of the country. As […]


Migration Forecast: 6 – 12 April 2012

After an amazingly early start to spring migration across much of the eastern two-thirds of North America, we expect migration to return to a more typical schedule this week. Arrival dates should be only slightly ahead of average through the remainder of this week. The period will start with high pressure across much of the U.S.. This […]


Migration Report: 31 March – 5 April 2012

Last week’s BirdCast forecast made a couple predictions about fallouts that we focus on this week. These include a widespread waterfowl fallout in the Northeast, which we discuss in some depth to help eBirders prepare for similar events in the future. Along the same lines, last week’s mention of possible passerine fallouts on the Gulf Coast also […]


Migration Forecast: 30 March – 6 April 2012

Conditions across much of the West look favorable for light migration to occur during the course of the forecast period, particularly toward the end of the week. The distinct exception is the Pacific Northwest, which is again forecast to receive more precipitation that will hinder significant landbird movements. The Great Plains will experience a distinct […]


Migration Report: 23 – 30 March 2012

Last week’s BirdCast forecast predicted a slower week of migration, as weather in the East and Midwest turned cooler with northerly and westerly flow that would be less conducive to migration. Despite a record-early spring for many species to date, we predicted that the surge of early migrants would slow to a trickle during this week across […]


Migration Forecast: 24 – 30 March 2012

We expect the pace of record-early spring arrivals from throughout the eastern two-thirds of the country to slow significantly this week. While a few birds may continue to push north, don’t expect the massive movements of birds from the last two weeks as unsettled conditions will likely predominate across much of the continent. Temperatures are […]


Migration Report: 16 – 22 March 2012

Check out last week’s forecast, then read on to see how we did! Last week’s BirdCast predicted another week of widespread migration and record early arrivals across the continent. The unsettled weather predicted to reach the mid-continent in mid-week prompted a mid-week alert about a coastal fallout on the Gulf of Mexico. In addition to […]


Migration Alert, Gulf Coast: 20 March 2012 (5:30 PM EDT)

A strong frontal boundary is currently moving east toward the Mississippi valley, having passed over the Texas coast and portions of Louisiana. This boundary is spawning strong storms and areas of precipitation (some of which is intense). Its passage coincided with a light migration of trans-Gulf migrants coming ashore (indicated by radar), at least along parts […]


Migration Forecast: 17 – 23 March 2012

Expect another week of record early arrivals and large numbers of migrants across much of the continent. Mild conditions will dominate away from the far west where unsettled weather will continue. A large high pressure system will once again become the dominant weather system through almost the entire forecast period with a prolonged period of […]


Understanding Radar and Birds: Part 1

Since the first units were placed along the Gulf Coast in the 1950s, ornithologists and birders have become increasingly aware of the power of using radar as a tool for understanding bird migration. In addition to detecting and depicting meteorological phenomena, this radar network can be used to watch and to track the movements of […]


Migration Report: 9 – 15 March 2012

Refresh your memory with last week’s BirdCast, then read on to see how we did. There was light migration in the mid-continent over the weekend, but building high pressure caused some very large nights of migration by mid-week on 13-14 March and 14-15 March. The radar imagery displayed here corroborated the arrivals of birds seen […]


Migration Forecast: 9 – 15 March 2012

Expect a progression of good migration conditions very similar to last week’s. Conditions for bird migration will be favorable east of the Rockies and on the Great Plains over the weekend. By Monday and Tuesday these conditions make for good migration in the Midwest and by the middle and latter half of next week, warm […]


Migration Forecast: 5 – 9 March 2012

Watch for favorable migration conditions progressing eastward this week, affecting the Great Plains Monday and Tuesday and the Midwest and possibly East Coast on Wednesday and Thursday. A cold front approaching the West Coast will bring strong winds to the region on Tuesday. See animated wind maps for the week. This week’s weather will feature a […]


Migration Report: 25 – 26 Feburary 2012

Check out last week’s forecast, then read on to see how we did! Although it is still February, when bird migration can be expected to be minimal overall, the predictions for 25-26 Feb 2012 were borne out by observations on the ground. Thanks to all those who report regularly to eBird from the Great Plains […]


Migration Forecast: 25 – 26 February 2012

Watch for a good migration of birds up through the Great Plains on Saturday night (25 Feb 2012) and Sunday (26 Feb 2012). As the weakening storm moves eastward, we can probably expect some bird movement through the Great Lakes and maybe even the Northeast on Monday and Monday night, but it is not likely to […]


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