Birds pouring into the south with some movement up through the Plains and Midwest

National Overview

The big story for last night lies along the Gulf Coast, so I’m just sum that up in a few words before moving on: GET READY. With this latest trans-Gulf and circum-Gulf flight we should expect many new Neotropical migrants to be making their way into the continental U.S. which will eventually mean many more of them up in our neck of the woods soon! Otherwise migration was moderate through the middle of the U.S. with some heavy storm activity mixed in, and relatively quiet elsewhere. Activity along the east coast could produce some nice coastal concentrations this morning and I’ll talk about that in more detail below.

National Composite NEXRAD from around midnight on 4/27/12

National Composite NEXRAD from around midnight on 4/27/12

Below are the radar loops from sunset last night through 5:00am (central time) this morning

Since I will be publishing “as I go” each morning you may see some incomplete posts throughout the early morning hours. Don’t worry- it’s coming!

Mid Atlantic

Delaware & New Jersey

Frames are every 1/2 hour. Click on the thumbnail to view the full-sized animation.

Base Reflectivity image from Fort Dix Base Velocity image from Fort Dix Base Reflectivity image from Dover AFB Base Velocity image from Dover AFB

Things were quiet for the Mid Atlantic last night except for the extreme coast, where the front had not yet passed over by sunset. Strong SW->NE flow over coastal Delmarva and NJ clearly pushed birds to the coast and offshore this morning, and birders in Cape May and Sandy Hook should be on the lookout for coastal concentrations. Birds should be seen coming back from offshore at the Locust Grove (Sandy Hook) and potentially even the Davey’s Lake area (Cape May). Either way, hit the coast today if you’re in NJ… the numbers shouldn’t be too high, but the chance for something interesting is definitely elevated. Good Birding!

Upper Midwest

Iowa & Illinois

Frames are every 1/2 hour. Click on the thumbnail to view the full-sized animation.

Base Reflectivity image from Chicago, IL Base Velocity image from Chicago, IL

Dum dum dum. Another one bites the dust. Well, now it looks like Davenport is down for upgrades too, which leaves us only with Chicago for insight into new arrivals. Light migration was apparent over the Chicago area with birds heading out from the SE to the NW, putting them over central Wisconsin this morning. Little influx apparent on that radar suggesting also that conditions to the east are less favorable (which they are, being that the high pressure system there is resulting in more ENE winds). Expect a net loss of birds across the Windy City and some gain in Southern Wisconsin.


Frames are every 1/2 hour. Click on the thumbnail to view the full-sized animation.

Base Reflectivity image from Milwaukee Base Velocity image from Milwaukee Base Reflectivity image from La Crosse, WI Base Velocity image from La Crosse, WI

Just a hop skip and a jump for birds in Wisconsin last night as light migration was apparent across both the La Crosse and Milwaukee radars. As with Chicago birds were headed in a general SE->NW direction and should be relatively dispersed throughout the region today. Expect some shuffling of the deck, but otherwise conditions should be similar to previous days (which, actually, have been pretty good!). Birds may have vacated the lake shore, though, moving to stopover habitat farther inland. Any observations which can support or refute these claims would be greatly appreciated! Good Birding!

As always, depends on YOU to report your sightings and be our ‘eyes on the ground’, so please come back and give us an idea of how we’re doing predicting birding conditions in your neck of the woods.

For migration updates in other regions check-

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula – The Northwoods BIRDAR by Max Henschell <- NEW!
New England – Tom Auer’s blog
Florida/SE – Badbirdz Reloaded by Angel and Mariel Abreu
PA/Ohio Valley – Nemesis Bird by Drew Weber
NW Ohio – Birding the Crane Creek by Kenn Kaufman
Arizona – Words About Birds by Tim Schreckengost <- NEW!
Pac NW – Birds Over Portland by Greg Haworth
Continental US – eBird BirdCast Forecast & Report by Team eBird

This entry was posted in Birds, Forecast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Migration, Migration Radar, NEXRAD Migration Study, Spring Migration 2012. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Birds pouring into the south with some movement up through the Plains and Midwest

  1. Sandra Keller says:

    1 PARULA

    That actually wasn’t bad for a morning at work!I was surprised that there was anything actually. Barrington, NJ – Camden County.

  2. Carolyn H says:

    Is it just me, or does it seem like all the migration action this spring is bypassing the mid-Atlantic and northeastern states? It seems as though the central part of the country is going gangbusters with migration, with not very much happening in the inland mid-Atlantic.

    • Carolyn- I would say that the central region typically has more volume moving through it in a given spring, so I’m not seeing anything unexpected with regards to previous years. There are less SW winds across the Mid Atlantic/ East Coast in the spring anyway, whereas in the fall the NW winds funnel so many more birds into the region. That said, we’re looking at a highly probable big influx of birds in the mid to latter half of the week- so be ready for the Neotropical push to hit you soon! Thanks for stopping by- and please keep letting us know what you’re seeing in the field.

      • Carolyn H. says:

        The first wood thrush are singing around my cabin this weekend. That’s not unusual. What is odd is that I have as yet not heard any ovenbirds, and for the past 20 years they have arrived 24-36 hours before the wood thrush.