The West will see a mix of marginal migration conditions spawning scattered light to moderate movements featuring Caspian Tern, Cassin’s Vireo, Barn Swallow, American Pipit, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Savannah Sparrow, and Golden-crowned Sparrow, while light to locally heavy flights in the first half of the period and to end the period in the East will feature Sharp-shinned Hawk, Franklin’s Gull, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Great Crested Flycatcher, Pine Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Orchard Oriole, and Field Sparrow. The forecast for late in this period also suggests the first significant chance for fallouts and concentrations of migrants along the Gulf Coast.
The West experienced light to moderate movements early in the period, primarily in the southern reaches of the region, featuring Osprey, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Western Kingbird, Barn Swallow, Warbling Vireo, and Grace’s Warbler, while the central and southern portions of the East experienced light to moderate flights featuring Great Blue Heron, Osprey, American Golden-Plover, Lesser Yellowlegs, Pectoral Sandpiper, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, and Louisiana Waterthrush. The greatest extent of these movements occurred in the West on 17-18 March and in the East on 23-24 March.
This spring, we’ll be tracking migration from many angles. New interactive maps made with eBird data will give us a bird’s-eye view of migration in progress. We’ll also make use of line graphs showing the percent of eBird checklists reporting species through time. And follow us on Twitter!
A week of often favorable migration conditions punctuated with scattered precipitation will see light to moderate flights in many areas of the West that will feature American White Pelican, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Orange-crowned Warbler, White-crowned Sparrow, and Hooded Oriole, while cooler temperatures in the East alternate with some pulses of marginally favorable migration conditions that feature light to moderate movements of Common Loon, Double-crested Cormorant, Broad-winged Hawk, Northern Flicker, Purple Martin, Golden-crowned Kinglet, and Prairie Warbler.
Light to moderate flights in the West, primarily in California and the Desert Southwest, featured Black-chinned Hummingbird, Western Kingbird, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, Wilson’s Warbler, and Hooded Oriole, while a mostly quiet and cooler East saw locally moderate movements featuring Swainson’s Hawk, Lesser Yellowlegs, Pectoral Sandpiper, Hooded Warbler, Fox Sparrow, and Chipping Sparrow.
A pulse of widespread light to moderate movements in favorable migration conditions comes to the West on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday with species on the move including Rufous Hummingbird, Western Kingbird, Orange-crowned Warbler, Lucy’s Warbler, Hooded Oriole, and Scott’s Oriole, while highly variable, and in some cases extreme wintry, weather halts and starts mostly light to moderate flights that will include Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, Osprey, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Baird’s Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Yellow-throated Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Louisiana Waterthrush, and Field Sparrow.
Scattered light to moderate movements, primarily in California and the Desert Southwest, punctuated the early migration scene in the West and featured Swainson’s Hawk, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Bell’s Vireo, Sage Thrasher, and Hooded Oriole, while light to moderate flights in the southern states featured Blue-winged Teal, Osprey, Chuck-will’s-widow, Eastern Phoebe, Tree Swallow, Marsh Wren, and Summer Tanager.
A favorable weekend forecast will see light to locally moderate flights of numerous species of waterfowl, Tree Swallow, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, and Ruby-crowned Kinglet in the West, while a weekend blast of winter cold precedes a serious of much more favorable spring like days with moderate to locally heavy flights of waterfowl, Killdeer, Eastern Phoebe, and Red-winged Blackbird in the East.
Did Team BirdCast say spring 2017 and it’s only February? Are we incorrect in saying this on two conflicting fronts, first because of the record winter warmth in many parts of the US that already seems like spring (or summer!) and second because of the date on the calendar? Well, we may be incorrect because of the date on the calendar, but birds have been on the move for many weeks now. And the warm temperatures in many areas of the country have no doubt played a large role in some of the magnitude of these movements. Here’s just a sample of what’s on the move in the last week, to whet your appetite for our upcoming weekly migration forecast and analysis features.
A general quiet late season period in the West will see scattered light flights in the middle of the work week that feature Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Tundra Swan, Northern Harrier, Sandhill Crane, Mew Gull, and Say’s Phoebe, while two strong frontal passages will bring light to moderate late season flights of Canada Goose, Tundra Swan, Bufflehead, Long-tailed Duck, Red-throated Loon, American Pipit, White-throated Sparrow, and Dark-eyed Junco to the East.
Scattered light movements will be the norm for this late season period with higher intensities and extents to end the week that will feature Tundra Swan, Green-winged Teal, Gadwall, Lesser Scaup, Pied-billed Grebe, Eared Grebe, Say’s Phoebe, and American Pipit, while the East sees a significant early and late period push of moderate to locally heavy movements featuring Redhead, Lesser Scaup, Common Loon, Horned Grebe, Bonaparte’s Gull, Hermit Thrush, and Field Sparrow.
Movements in the West were local and light, primarily along the Pacific Coast, featuring Tundra Swan, Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Bonaparte’s Gull, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Bohemian Waxwing, and Purple Finch, while in the East pulses of sub-regional movements were moderate to locally heavy and featured Greater Scaup, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, Red-throated Loon, Horned Grebe, American Robin, American Tree Sparrow, Pine Siskin, and Purple Finch.
The West will experience some conditions favorable for locally light to moderate flights during the middle and latter parts of the period that will feature White-winged Scoter, Surf Scoter, Common Loon, Clark’s Grebe, California Gull, Merlin, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and Dark-eyed Junco, while the East will experience several pulses of such favorable conditions with light to locally heavy movements that features Greater White-fronted Goose, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Canvasback, Red-necked Grebe, Ring-billed Gull, Caspian Tern, Red-winged Blackbird, Fox Sparrow, and Dark-eyed Junco.
A quiet week in the West for migration saw a few, mostly coastal pulses of light to moderate movements featuring Tundra Swan, Red Phalarope, Bonaparte’s Gull, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, American Pipit, Cedar Waxwing, and Dark-eyed Junco, while moderate to locally heavy flights associated with frontal passages featured Northern Pintail, Common Goldeneye, Long-tailed Duck, Long-billed Curlew, Northern Shrike, Sedge Wren, and American Tree Sparrow in the East.
Scattered and local light to moderate flights begin and end the period in the West and feature White-winged Scoter, Common Loon, Western Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Dunlin, Marsh Wren, and White-throated Sparrow, moderate to heavy flights begin and end the period in the East and feature American Wigeon, Surf Scoter, Pied-billed Grebe, Northern Harrier, Sandhill Crane, Dunlin, Sedge Wren, Lincoln’s Sparrow, and Pine Siskin.
Scattered light to moderate flights were the later period highlights in the West, while moderate to very heavy flights graced the later period in the East.
Favorable migration conditions in the West will be localized and mostly occur at the end of the forecast period, when light to moderate movements, mostly in the northern reaches of the region, will feature Green-winged Teal, Northern Pintail, American Wigeon, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Eared Grebe, Western Grebe, Red-tailed Hawk, Hermit Thrush, Varied Thrush and American Pipit; meanwhile, the East will see a major frontal passage and arrival of cooler air that will usher moderate to very heavy movements to the region that feature Ruddy Duck, Common Loon, Double-crested Cormorant, Northern Harrier, Sandhill Crane, Belted Kingfisher, American Kestrel, House Wren, Fox Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Pine Siskin, and Purple Finch.
Favorable migration conditions do not arrive in the West until mid period, bringing light to moderate flights of Redhead, Ruddy Duck, Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Flicker, Hermit Thrush, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Western Meadowlark, Fox Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, and Dark-eyed Junco, while a warming trend in the East yields to more typical fall conditions featuring moderate to heavy movements of Pied-billed Grebe, Franklin’s Gull, Northern Flicker, American Kestrel, Eastern Bluebird, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Red-winged Blackbird, White-throated Sparrow, and Dark-eyed Junco.
Locally light and moderate flights featuring Cackling Goose, Common Loon, Pacific Loon, White-winged Scoter, Ferruginous Hawk, Dunlin, Merlin, White-throated Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, and Fox Sparrow punctuated the migration scene in the West during this period, while an early and late pulse of moderate and heavy movements featuring Pied-billed Grebe, Black Vulture, Northern Harrier, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, American Pipit, Marsh Wren, Orange-crowned Warbler, White-crowned Sparrow, Nelson’s Sparrow, Le Conte’s Sparrow, and Dark-eyed Junco graced the East.
Favorable conditions for migration come to the West from Sunday to Thursday bringing light to moderate flights of Eared Grebe, Cooper’s Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Say’s Phoebe, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Western Meadowlark, Golden-crowned Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, and Fox Sparrow, while a patchwork of favorable and unfavorable conditions for migration including the arrival of a tropical system bring similarly patchy moderate to heavy movements featuring Pied-billed Grebe, Franklin’s Gull, Northern Flicker, Eastern Phoebe, Gray Catbird, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Nashville Warbler, and Lincoln’s Sparrow to the East.