Forecast and Analysis

Regional Migration Forecast: 10-17 October 2014

Andrew Farnsworth The Cornell Lab Oct 10, 2014

Continental Summary

Light to moderate movements occur early in the forecast period across the West before unfavorable conditions arrive for the remainder of the week, while two pulses of moderate to heavy movements follow passing frontal boundaries in the East. Species on the move this week will include Gadwall, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead, Ruddy Duck, Bonaparte’s Gull, Short-eared Owl, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Hermit Thrush, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped Warbler, American Tree Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, and Dark-eyed Junco.

Arrows show wind speed and direction (arrow points in the direction to which wind is blowing) 100 m above ground level. Areas with southerly winds are colored red; northerly winds colored blue. Accumulated precipitation (in 6 hour intervals) is green, outlined by white. Broadly speaking, areas of the map in red will experience conditions that are favorable for migration, and areas where red and green (and red and blue) intersect and overlap may experience migrant concentrations and fallouts as migrants interact with precipitation.


Scattered light to moderate flights kick off the weekend, reaching their greatest extent by Sunday night when most of the region will experience such flights. However, the days that follow will see increasingly marginal and unfavorable conditions arrive across the region, with simultaneous decreases in the extent and intensity of migration. By Wednesday and Thursday nights some scattered light to moderate movements will be apparent, particularly in the northern Rockies and portions of the Great Basin and Desert Southwest. Species on the move this week will include Bufflehead, Hermit Thrush, Ring-necked Duck, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Cackling Goose, Lesser Scaup, Dunlin, Dark-eyed Junco, Canvasback, Redhead, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruddy Duck, Snow Goose, American Wigeon, and American Tree Sparrow.

Great Plains

With southerly flow building into the region over the weekend, a certain duality will be apparent with moderate to locally heavy flights in the southern Plains contrasting with much lighted flights farther north. This pattern changes by Sunday and Monday nights, when widespread moderate to heavy flights occur after the passage of a well organized front. This pattern repeats during the remainder of the period, as southerly flow building in after the front gives way to more favorable conditions with an end of week change of air masses. Flights at the end of the period will also be moderate to heavy. Species on the move this week will include American Tree Sparrow, Gadwall, Short-eared Owl, Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Shrike, American Wigeon, Sandhill Crane, Hooded Merganser, Rough-legged Hawk, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruddy Duck, Greater White-fronted Goose, Fox Sparrow, Bufflehead, and Song Sparrow.

Upper Midwest and Northeast

Moderate to heavy flights will occur this weekend, first primarily in the Upper Midwest on Friday night and then in the Appalachians and coastal regions on Saturday night. Several days of less favorable conditions follow for much of the region before a strong frontal boundary moves across the region, beginning on Monday in the Upper Midwest and passing through the region by Thursday. In the wake of this frontal passage, moderate to heavy, and even locally very heavy flights will occur. Some of these flights will produce morning flights of migrants, notably in coastal portions of the region on Thursday morning. Species on the move this week will include Bufflehead, American Tree Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Ruddy Duck, Dark-eyed Junco, Snow Bunting, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Northern Shrike, Bonaparte’s Gull, American Coot, Rough-legged Hawk, Long-tailed Duck, Canvasback, and Hooded Merganser.

Gulf Coast and Southeast

Marginal conditions forecast for the early part of the period mean scattered light to moderate movements in most areas until Monday night, when a frontal boundary arrives in the region. Following the passage of this front, moderate to very heavy flights will occur, first on Tuesday mostly west of the Mississippi River then on Wednesday mostly east of the Mississippi River. By the end of the period, southerly flow will have built in over much of the region away from the Atlantic and Florida, where moderate to heavy flights will persist. Species on the move this week will include White-throated Sparrow, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Swamp Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Greater White-fronted Goose, American Wigeon, Gadwall, Winter Wren, Ruddy Duck, Eastern Meadowlark, and Ruby-crowned Kinglet.