Friday and Monday nights will be the most extensive of the light to moderate movements that occur in the West this week featuring Cassin’s Vireo, Tree Swallow, Orange-crowned Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Black-throated Gray Warbler, White-crowned Sparrow, while several pulses of more extensive light to moderate movements grace the East from Saturday through Wednesday featuring Double-crested Cormorant, Osprey, Pectoral Sandpiper, Baird’s Sandpiper, Eastern Phoebe, Yellow-throated Vireo, Hooded Warbler, and Fox Sparrow.
Arrows show wind speed and direction (arrow points in the direction to which wind is blowing) 100 m above ground level. Areas with southerly winds are colored red; northerly winds colored blue. Accumulated precipitation (in 6 hour intervals) is green, outlined by white. Broadly speaking, areas of the map in red will experience conditions that are favorable for migration, and areas where red and green (and red and blue) intersect and overlap may experience migrant concentrations and fallouts as migrants interact with precipitation.
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What one can only hope is the final cold blast of the season keeps much of the region quieter for the weekend, with the exception of the upper Mississippi River valley and western Great Lakes where light to moderate movements occur in returning southerly winds. As the low pressure heralded by these winds moves through the region, more extensive light to moderate movements will occur in its path on Sunday night from Tennessee north and east into New England. A similar pattern begins anew for the work week, but light to moderate movements will be more southerly in their extents as less favorable conditions arrive in the region’s more northerly areas. Birders should watch for concentrations and local fallouts in areas where precipitation begins falling after dark and winds are southerly, southwesterly, or changing from these directions to more westerly and northerly during the night.
Light to moderate movements become more widespread over the weekend as favorable conditions build through the region. These movements will reach their greatest extents late in the weekend and early in the work week, becoming increasingly scattered but perhaps locally more intense as scattered and increasingly widespread precipitation arrives to unsettle the region. Of particular interest along the Gulf Coast this period will be the interactions between inbound migrants from the south and precipitation from Tuesday through the end of the period from Texas east through Florida. Although not terribly favorable for large numbers of birds to depart from northern Central America and eastern Mexico over water, forecast conditions include light winds that may be sufficient to allow for such an exodus to occur and to meet precipitation over water. Birders should watch more proximate and updated weather forecasts closely late in the weekend to see how the potential for migrant fallouts develops.
Light to moderate movements, primarily in the southerly winds and clearer skies of Saturday, Monday and Tuesday nights, will grace the Great Plains this week. Of particular interest are the highly favorable conditions in the northern Plains, which have yet to see such conditions this spring and as a result may experience more intense movements (especially on Saturday and Sunday). A strong low moving into the region on Wednesday and Thursday will shut down movements for the latter portion of the work week.
From the weekend through the beginning the work week, the West will experience its most favorable conditions and see corresponding light to moderate movements. The Pacific Northwest and Desert Southwest will be the areas with the most apparent movements, although early week arrivals are likely in the Great Basin as well. As more unsettled conditions that are markedly less favorable spread into the region (especially after Tuesday), migration will become increasingly more localized. By week’s end, only portions of the Desert Southwest and southern Rockies will see movements, and these will be locally light to moderate.