Forecast and Analysis

Regional Migration Analysis: 19-25 October 2013

Andrew Farnsworth The Cornell Lab Oct 25, 2013

Continental Summary:

The West experienced one of the last of the extensive light to moderate movements of the fall along the Pacific Coast and in the Desert Southwest, as the East experienced some widespread pulses of moderate movements and a few locally heavy movements in the Southeast. Birds on the move this week included Gadwall, Bufflehead, Ruddy Duck, Hermit Thrush, Gray Catbird, and Dark-eyed Junco.


The region was framed by light to moderate movements from the Pacific Northwest South along the coast and East into the Desert Southwest to begin the weekend. This pattern continued through the week, particularly in southern California and the Desert Southwest where more moderate movements occurred. The remainder of the West was quiet, with minimal to scattered light movements in and among the mountains. To end the period, scattered light movements were apparent mostly along the Pacific Coast, as most of the Desert Southwest saw migration shutdown in scattered precipitation. Birds on the move this week included American Wigeon, Cinnamon Teal, Bufflehead, Canvasback, Common Loon, Turkey Vulture, Vaux’s Swift, Barn Swallow, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creeper, and Wilson’s Warbler.

Great Plains

Scattered light to moderate movements were the norm across the region during this forecast period. The mostly light movements that began the weekend eventually gave way to more extensive moderate movements, particularly in the central Plains, by Sunday night. Passing precipitation to start the week slowly moved out of the region, allowing light to moderate movements to spread from the central to the southern Plains on Tuesday night. A pulse of light to moderate movements followed farther North on Wednesday before this pattern shifted East and South to end the forecast period. Birds on the move this week included Cackling Goose, American Wigeon, Gadwall, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Common Goldeneye, Rough-legged Hawk, Golden Eagle, Sandhill Crane, Northern Shrike, Rusty Blackbird, Chesnut-collared Longspur, Snow Bunting, and Dark-eyed Junco.

Upper Midwest and Northeast

The Upper Mississippi River valley and mid-Atlantic and southern New England saw nice, primarily moderate, movements to kick off the weekend, as other portions of the region experienced rain and some scattered light movements. This pattern of isolated and scattered light to moderate movements continued in a patchwork across the region through the weekend and into the work week as disturbances quickly passed through the region. By Monday night moderate to locally heavy movements occurred in the Mississippi River valley behind a passing front, and by Tuesday night moderate movements were substantially more widespread in many areas. Wednesday night saw widespread movement across the region, ranging from mostly light movements farther West to moderate to locally heavy movements in portions of New England and the coastal mid-Atlantic. Thursday night saw a nearly opposite pattern, with more extensive moderate movements farther West and light movements scattered across the coastal mid-Atlantic, New York, and New England. Birds on the move this week included Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, Ruddy Duck, Eastern Phoebe, Gray Catbird, Palm, Yellow-rumped, and Black-throated Green Warblers, Common Yellowthroat, American Tree and Fox Sparrows, and Dark-eyed Junco.

Gulf Coast and Southeast

Scattered light to moderate movements West of the Mississippi and more widespread moderate to heavy movements East of the Mississippi managed to kick off the weekend despite frontal precipitation, some of which was intense, in both areas. As this frontal boundary passed, widespread moderate to heavy movements occurred on Saturday night in many areas. These movements shifted East to end the weekend, but moderate and some locally heavy movements continued in many areas where precipitation did not fall for the coming nights into the middle of the week. The period ended with mostly moderate movements West of the Mississippi, and more scattered light to moderate movements to the East. Birds on the move this week included Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, Ruddy Duck, Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets, Hermit Thrush, Savannah, Swamp, White-throated and White-crowned Sparrows, and Dark-eyed Juncos.