Forecast and Analysis

Regional Migration Analysis: 23-30 May 2014

Andrew Farnsworth The Cornell Lab May 30, 2014

Continental Summary

Persistent light to moderate movements in the West and widespread moderate movements in the center of the continent highlighted the late season movements during this forecast period. Species on the move this week included White-rumped Sandpiper, Dunlin, Sanderling, Ruddy Turnstone, Wilson’s Phalarope, Black Tern, Common Nighthawk, Alder Flycatcher, Willow Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Gray-cheeked Thrush, the last pushes of warblers, White-crowned Sparrow, and Nelson’s Sparrow.


Although scattered precipitation fell at times during the forecast period, primarily east of the coastal ranges and in the northern Rockies, light to moderate movements persisted in many areas throughout the forecast period. This was particularly true along the Pacific Coast, but also true for many areas farther inland.  Species on the move this week included Red-necked Phalarope, Wilson’s Pharalope, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Willow Flycatcher, Swainson’s Thrush, Nashville Warbler, Wilson’s Warbler, Townsend’s Warbler, Yellow Warbler, White-crowned Sparrow, and Western Tanager.

Great Plains

Moderate movements were widespread, though scattered at times, across the region during the forecast period. Some intense areas of precipitation shut down movements, but these areas of unfavorable conditions were often local, with birds navigating around these and continuing movements. This was particularly apparent on Sunday and Monday evenings in the Central Plains. Species on the move this week included Baird’s Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Wilson’s Phalarope, Black Tern, Alder Flycatcher, Least Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Red-eyed Vireo, Swainson’s Thrush, Tennessee Warbler, Wilson’s Warbler, and Yellow Warbler.

Upper Midwest and Northeast

Moderate and locally heavy movements began the weekend east of the Appalachians, while the coastal portions of the region were mostly quiet. These moderate and locally heavy movements expanded to include most of the region over the course of the weekend and early work week, until more changeable and cooler conditions with precipitation returned to dampen the intensity of most of these movements, though primarily east of the Appalachians. Light to locally moderate movements returned through the end of the period, though these were scattered across the region mostly west of the Appalachians and away from the immediate coast south of New England. Species on the move this week included Brant, Sooty Shearwater, Semipalmated Plover, Spotted Sandpiper, Dunlin, Sanderling, Ruddy Turnstone, Red Knot, Roseate Tern, Black Tern, Common Nighthawk, Alder Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Acadian Flycatcher, Gray-cheeked Thrush, Marsh Wren, Wilson’s Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Northern Parula, American Redstart, Saltmarsh Sparrow, and Nelson’s Sparrow.

Gulf Coast and Southeast

Moderate movements to the west of the Mississippi River and light to locally moderate movements to the east of the Mississippi River were the norm this period, when precipitation, some of which was intense in severe storms, was not keeping birds grounded. This contrast between the two “sub-regions” and their movements was noticeable for nearly the entirety of the period. Species on the move this week included Spotted Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, Dunlin, Sanderling, Wilson’s Phalarope, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Wilson’s Warbler, American Redstart, and Yellow Warbler.