Forecast and Analysis

Regional Migration Analysis: 25 October to 1 November 2013

Andrew Farnsworth The Cornell Lab Nov 01, 2013

Continental Summary:

Scattered light movements were the norm in the West, with only a few areas of more intense movements, as the East experienced some substantially heavier migration than expected, particularly along the East Coast. Birds on the move this week included Gadwall, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, Gray Catbird, Common Yellowthroat, Indigo Bunting, and Dark-eyed Junco.


Widely scattered light migration was apparent across much of the region this week. The weekend saw only scattered areas with moderate movements in the Central Valley of California and in portions of the Desert Southwest on Saturday night. Furthermore, scattered precipitation put a stop to most movements in northern and central locales on Sunday through Tuesday nights. By Wednesday and Thursday nights scattered light movements were again apparent, if that term is appropriate, in many areas, with some isolated moderate movements continuing in California. Birds on the move this week included Bufflehead, Greater Scaup, Barn Swallow, and Orange-crowned, Yellow, Black-throated Gray, and Wilson’s Warblers.

Great Plains

The northern Plains experienced light and locally moderate movements to begin the weekend, with these movements increasing in intensity farther South and East as the weekend continued. By Sunday night, however, movements were locally light and moderate and primarily in the central Plains. The remainder of the week was mostly quiet, as a frontal boundary slowly worked its way through the region. By Thursday night this disturbance had passed, and substantially more widespread light to moderate movements over the eastern Plains in advance of the next instability bring precipitation farther West. Birds on the move this week included Snow and Greater White-fronted Geese, Tundra Swan, Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Duck, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser, Common Loon, Horned Grebe, Turkey Vulture, Rough-legged Hawk, Bonaparte’s Gull, Barn Swallow, Brown Creeper, American Tree and Fox Sparrows, and Dark-eyed Junco.

Upper Midwest and Northeast

The light to moderate movements that began the weekend were almost exclusively coastal, from Cape Cod to the South, or South of the Ohio River valley; precipitation over portions of the rest of the region shut down movements, particularly over the Great Lakes. As precipitation and unfavorable conditions moved East on Saturday night, and favorable conditions spread over the Mississippi River valley, many moderate movements ensured in those areas. By Sunday night, light to moderate movements were scattered across the region, including some locally heavy movements in the mid-Atlantic states. These movements were substantially heavier than expected. Monday night’s movements were even heavier than the previous night, with widespread moderate movements across much and the region and heavy migration at numerous coastal locations from southeastern Massachusetts South to DelMarVa. However, Tuesday brought major changes to almost the entire region, with only coastal areas continuing to experience moderate movements as unfavorable conditions began to spread into many other areas. These conditions overspread the entire region on Wednesday and Thursday nights, as extensive precipitation shut down movements first in the Mississippi River valley than eventually from the Appalachians East. Scattered light movements occurred where precipitation did not fall, and once unfavorable conditions moved East, light to moderate movements did end the period in portions of the Mississippi River valley. Birds on the move this week included Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, Ruddy Duck, Common Loon, Great Egret, Turkey Vulture, Eastern Phoebe, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Palm and Yellow-rumped Warblers, Snow Bunting, and American Tree and Fox Sparrows.

Gulf Coast and Southeast

Widespread light and moderate movements began the weekend, although these quickly dissipated to scattered light and locally moderate movements by Saturday night as precipitation and unfavorable conditions began to move into the region. Marginal conditions on Sunday night allowed some light to moderate movements to continue where precipitation was not falling, these movements intensifying gradually on Monday night and expanding across the region. A pulse of coastal movements, including some heavy flights, occurred on Tuesday night and persisted, though less intense, on Wednesday night, but approaching frontal precipitation shut down movements to the West. However, as this front moved East into the Appalachians to end the period, moderate movements followed West of the Mississippi, including some locally heavy movements in portions of Texas. Birds on the move this week included Gadwall, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Dunlin, Tree Swallow, Hermit Thrush, Brown Thrasher, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Indigo Bunting, and Savannah and White-throated Sparrows.