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

Andrew Farnsworth The Cornell Lab Oct 11, 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 east off the mid-Atlantic coast and the next low moves into the Great Lakes, noticeable changes occur for birds aloft. New England continues to experience moderate and locally heavy movements on Saturday night, so some more easterly areas of Long Island may see a new influx of birds. However, areas west of Nassau and Suffolk Counties in New York will experience increasingly lighter migration. Although these marginal conditions for movements continue to spread into the Philadelphia and New York areas, another pulse of northerly flow is forecast for Monday and Tuesday nights. Influxes of birds should be apparent to those birding on Tuesday and Wednesday morning, with continued increases to the sparrow diversity and abundance. Additionally, birders should continue to watch the unfolding finch and irruptive migrant story of the fall, as more Pine Siskins, Purple Finches, Red-breasted Nuthatches and other irregularly moving species pass through our region. The end of the coming week, 17-18 October, looks to be increasingly framed in southerly winds and the threat of rain, suggesting that most migrants that arrive in the coming days through Wednesday will stay around through 18-19 October. For those of you that watch the sky, Saturday and Tuesday look to be your days to visit local hawkwatches and watch early morning blackbird flocks. Keep scanning for passing Sharp-shinned and Cooper’s Hawks, increasing numbers of Red-tailed and Red-shouldered Hawks, and larger numbers of Turkey Vultures.