Forecast and Analysis

Regional Migration Analysis: 17-24 October 2014

Andrew Farnsworth The Cornell Lab Oct 24, 2014

Continental Summary

A week of primarily light to moderate movements in the West and South were most certainly outdone by some very large and heavy movements in the Northeast. Species on the move this week included Brant, Black Scoter, Bonaparte’s Gull, Belted Kingfisher, Yellow-rumped Warbler, American Tree Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, and Dark-eyed Junco.


Scattered light to moderate movements were the norm for the period. Precipitation and unfavorable winds kept migrants grounded in the Pacific Northwest and portions of the mountainous west for more days than not. But the Desert Southwest and portions of the California saw flights on most nights. Species on the move this week included Red Phalarope, Phainopepla, Pomarine Jaeger, Bufflehead, American Tree Sparrow Rhinoceros Auklet, and Green-tailed Towhee.

Great Plains

Generally marginal conditions begat scattered light to moderate movements across the region for this forecast period. These movements were mostly in the first half of the week, with increasingly light movements by the period’s end. Species on the move this week included American Tree Sparrow, Belted Kingfisher, White-crowned Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Pileated Woodpecker, Fox Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Sedge Wren, Eastern Bluebird, Blue Jay, Red Crossbill, and Dark-eyed Junco.

Upper Midwest and Northeast

Moderate to heavy flights, including a few scattered movements that were very heavy, occurred across the region this week. Although the most widespread movements occurred over the past weekend, the heaviest movements were distributed a bit more broadly in time but along the Atlantic Coast.  Some of these movements included birds moving en masse in poor visibility conditions, and spawned some amazing visible and audible nocturnal spectacles. Species on the move this week included American Tree Sparrow, Black Scoter, Dark-eyed Junco, Bonaparte’s Gull, Long-tailed Duck, Bufflehead, Surf Scoter, Red-breasted Merganser, Brant, Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser, Hooded Merganser, Common Loon, Snow Bunting, Fox Sparrow, and Horned Grebe.

Gulf Coast and Southeast

Moderate movements were widespread over the course of the week across the region. Some heavier movements occurred, particularly early in the period in the southeastern US. Note, however, that by the end of the week, mostly light to moderate movements were in evidence, and primarily in the northeastern and southwestern corners of the region. Species on the move this week included White-throated Sparrow, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Swamp Sparrow, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, White-crowned Sparrow, Dunlin, Dark-eyed Junco, Chipping Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Winter Wren, and Orange-crowned Warbler.