Blue Grosbeak. Paul Jacyk/Macaulay Library. 3 May 2016. eBird S29391931
Migration conditions will be generally more favorable across southern half of the West this week where moderate flights will feature Wilson’s Phalarope, Red-necked Phalarope, Black Tern, Willow Flycatcher, Yellow Warbler, MacGillivray’s Warbler, and Green-tailed Towhee, while midweek in the East will see the most extensive moderate to heavy flights of Black-crowned Night-Heron, Semipalmated Plover, Short-billed Dowitcher, Black Skimmer, Common Nighthawk, Black-billed Cuckoo, Acadian Flycatcher, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Canada Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, and American Redstart in a pulse of significantly warmer air.
Wondering what species are migrating through right now? Check out our analysis for the past 7 days.
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.
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Patches of favorable migration conditions finally arrive in the region to begin the weekend, and where these conditions are will occur moderate to heavy flights. In particular, note the favorable conditions forecast for Saturday night to the east of the northern Appalachians and Finger Lakes Region. More widespread movements of moderate to heavy intensity continue on Sunday and Monday nights, away from New England. These continue into Tuesday night, but become increasingly likely to be shut down by precipitation and, by Wednesday night, unfavorable winds. This several day period will provide some intriguing opportunities for more concentrations of birds as birds move in favorable conditions and quickly reach unfavorable conditions (e.g. opposing winds or rain). Birders should watch the distribution of precipitation, in particular, for such concentrations on the ground with its passing. A warmer air mass arrives to end the week, though its greatest effects will be in the next period – where favorable conditions do occur, expect moderate to heavy flights.
Dunlin. Andrew Sturgess/Macaulay Library. 3 May 2016. eBird S29396670
After the passage of a substantial cold front, the region is noticeably quiet east of the Mississippi River to begin the period. Gradually warmer conditions with more favorable southerly winds build, and with them come moderate to very heavy flights. By Sunday night, these flights will be widespread across the region. The extent and intensity of flights continues through Wednesday, but increasing threat of precipitation in many areas will shut down movements if and where it were to occur. To end the period, moderate to heavy flights will occur west of the Mississippi River and in the Florida Peninsula; but flights will be minimal elsewhere with the passage of a frontal boundary. Note, Sunday evening to Thursday morning is the best window of the period for inbound trans-Gulf migration, so any precipitation at the coast or near the coast during this window could create local fallouts and concentrations.
Canada Warbler. Mary Coker/Macaulay Library. 4 May 2016. eBird S29402004
Largely favorable conditions for moderate to heavy flights on Friday night in the central and southern Plains spread north for the remainder of the weekend. Similar conditions occur, albeit with increasingly patchy distribution, through Monday night, with moderate to heavy flights continuing where conditions are favorable. Low pressure moving into and across the region will shut down most movements on Tuesday and Wednesday, but its passage by Thursday night usher another wave of moderate to heavy flights to end the period. However, the northern plains will likely not participate in these end of the work week flights, as northerly and easterly flow keeps birds on the ground.
Red-necked Phalarope. Rob O’Donnell/Macaulay Library. 2 May 2016.eBird S29361480
Light to moderate flights will occur across the southern half of the region to begin the weekend. Favorable conditions for more widespread flights build by Saturday night, but then become increasingly patchy for the first half of the work week through Wednesday. During this window flights will be scattered and light to moderate, localized primarily to the Desert Southwest and portions of the Great Basin and Rockies. Wednesday night sees favorable conditions in the Desert Southwest and Rockies, primarily, with slightly more extensive movements on Thursday night in a more diverse array of locations including the Great Basin and Central Valley of California.
Yellow Warbler. Robert McNab/Macaulay Library. 1 May 2016. eBird S29341431