Forecast and Analysis

Regional Migration Analysis: 31 October – 7 November 2014

Andrew Farnsworth The Cornell Lab Nov 07, 2014

Continental Summary

Primarily light movements in the West highlighted the late date of the migration season, as two pulses of widespread moderate movements bookended the period in the East. Species on the move this week included numerous waterfowl, Herring Gull, Bonaparte’s Gull, and American Tree Sparrow.


Local light to moderate movements early in the period occurred in the Pacific Northwest, Central Valley, and Desert Southwest. But given the later season date, it was not surprising that these movements became increasingly light and continued at primarily localized extents around the region. Species on the move this week included Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Lesser Scaup, Canvasback, Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hooded Merganser, Gadwall, Tundra Swan, Ruddy Duck, White-throated Swift, American Wigeon, American Tree Sparrow, and Redhead.

Great Plains

The local light movements that began the weekend increased in extent and intensity behind Monday’s frontal passage. Whereas these movements were primarily distributed across the central and northern Plains, movements that followed, primarily on Wednesday and to a lesser extent Thursday nights, were over the central and southern Plains. Species on the move this week included Snow Goose, Common Loon, Hooded Merganser, Herring Gull, Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Duck, Ross’s Goose, Common Goldeneye, Bonaparte’s Gull, American Wigeon, and Northern Pintail.

Upper Midwest and Northeast

Widespread light to moderate movements kicked off the weekend. Nocturnal movements became much more local and less intense in the days that followed. But numerous waterfowl were clearly on the move (including Black and White-winged Scoters), and grounded by precipitation after flying in more favorable conditions farther to the north. With low pressure moving into and across the region, birds again took flight. Most movements were light to moderate, and through the Upper Midwest primarily, beginning on Tuesday night and reach their greatest intensities and extents on Thursday night. Note also that some local movements in and around passing frontal precipitation occurred in the coastal Northeastern US. Species on the move this week included Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser, Horned Grebe, Lesser Scaup, American Tree Sparrow, Gadwall, Long-tailed Duck, Greater White-fronted Goose, Red-breasted Merganser, Ruddy Duck, Harlequin Duck, and Common Eider. Additionally, a few interesting and expected vagrants appeared in and near the region, including Ash-throated Flycatcher and Varied Thrush. Also, a deposit of Neotropical migrants occurred after the passage of the strong low pressure system through the Canadian Maritimes, including Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Baltimore Oriole, Indigo Bunting.

Gulf Coast and Southeast

A pulse of light to moderate movements that kicked off the weekend across the region was followed by nights of decreasing extents and intensities of movements. By midweek, a strong frontal boundary had shut down movements in many areas. But with the passage of this system, widespread moderate movements, some of which were locally heavy, returned for what was presumably one of the last large scale movements of the fall season. Species on the move this week included Hooded Merganser, Cave Swallow, Northern Pintail, Canvasback, Northern Shoveler, Lesser Scaup, and Gadwall.