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

Andrew Farnsworth The Cornell Lab Mar 12, 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 migrants interact.”

Below is an animation of radar imagery for the evening of 11 March and the morning of 12 March.

_20140311_FL_animation.gif_everyotherAt 745pm EDT 11 March, intense precipitation was falling south of the Florida Panhandle in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. Approximately 30 minutes later, birds take flight from the Florida Peninsula. Over the next two hours moderate and even heavy migration occurred over the Florida Peninsula. By local midnight intense precipitation begins to interact with these movements and starts to shut down migration in its wake.

A particularly striking aspect of this movement, one that is often visible on Florida radars, began approximately 1015pm EDT 12 March as some of the first migrants started to arrive over the Florida Keys from Cuba. This movement of birds reaches moderate to heavy levels before winding down in the early hours of the morning as scattered precipitation associated with the end of the strong frontal boundary pushes its way across the southern portion of the peninsula.

We will update this post with additional information as we receive it, particularly if any reports of fallouts or concentrations come to our attention!