Forecast and Analysis

Regional Migration Analysis: 10-17 October 2014

Andrew Farnsworth The Cornell Lab Oct 17, 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.


Light to moderate movements were the norm this week across the region. Most of the heavier movements occurred in California and the Desert Southwest, whereas the lighter flights occurred across most of the northern part of the region. Presumably both the time of the season and the substantially less favorable conditions, particularly in the Pacific Northwest and portions of the northern Rockies, explain the contrast. Note that late in the week, after the passage of some of the disturbances affecting these northern reaches, more widespread movements occurred, including in area of Washington and Oregon that did not experience much movement earlier in the period. Species on the move this week included Western Grebe, Cackling Goose, Red-naped Sapsucker, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Painted Redstart, Hermit Thrush, and White-breasted Nuthatch.

Great Plains

Scattered light to moderate movements occurred over the weekend, as low pressure gradually built into and moved through the region. By Monday night more widespread moderate to heavy movements took hold, particularly in the eastern Plains. But following these movements, much of the remainder of the period was much quieter, with scattered light to moderate movements persisting as more marginal (wind) conditions. Species on the move this week included Townsend’s Solitaire, Fox Sparrow, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Common Grackle, Dark-eyed Junco, Horned Grebe, Song Sparrow, Franklin’s Gull, Herring Gull, Black-capped Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Common Merganser, Pine Siskin, Eastern Meadowlark, and White-throated Sparrow.

Upper Midwest and Northeast

The frontal boundary marching across the region brought moderate to heavy movements first in more northerly areas early in the weekend and then in coastal areas by the end of the weekend. But Monday night saw the next front approaching and in its path where southerly winds and warmer temperatures returned were few if any flights. As this low pressure system, which was not terribly robust, moved through the region, scattered moderate and locally heavy movements occurred rather than the typical larger movements that would have followed a stronger frontal passage. Species on the move this week included White-crowned Sparrow, Ruddy Duck, Bufflehead, Dark-eyed Junco, Brown Creeper, Ring-necked Duck, Red Phalarope, Lesser Scaup, Brant, Red-winged Blackbird, Horned Grebe, American Tree Sparrow, Gadwall, Vesper Sparrow, and Canvasback.

Gulf Coast and Southeast

A single night pulse of widespread moderate to heavy movements punctuated the weekend. But the movements that followed the early week frontal passage were much more extensive, including widespread moderate to heavy movements. Some of these persisted, particularly in areas east of the Mississippi River, for the entirety of the period as conditions generally remanded favorable for movements for the second half of the forecast period. Species on the move this week included White-throated Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Orange-crowned Warbler, Western Meadowlark, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Vesper Sparrow, House Wren, Blue-headed Vireo, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, White-crowned Sparrow, Eastern Meadowlark, and Marsh Wren.