More birds push north from Texas to New Jersey as the latest front marches east

National overview

The latest frontal boundary extends from Texas to New Jersey as of last night, bringing southerly flow from Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula all the way through the Mid-Atlantic region. Trans-Gulf migration was evident late yesterday afternoon across the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast, and birds could also be seen making landfall in Florida this morning as they left Cuba after sunset last night. Heavy precipitation associated with the northeastern edge of the front may have caused some localized fallout conditions in the Washington D.C. area this morning as well. The Upper Midwest was again too far north of the frontal boundary to receive the bulk of the migrants heading towards the region, although the light and variable winds over the area did allow some birds already here to push farther to the northwest into the forecast zone.

national composite nexrad from around 11:00pm on 4/16/13

National Composite NEXRAD from around 11:00pm on 4/16/13

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

Upper Midwest

Minnesota & Wisconsin

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

base reflectivity image from Duluth base velocity image from Duluth

base reflectivity image from Minnesota base velocity image from Minnesota

Migration was light over Duluth last night, while over the Twin Cities it was a bit heavier. Birds definitely moved farther north into Minnesota this morning, though, and a light movement was still apparent over Duluth at the time of posting. Expect new birds throughout northern MN with no major concentrations due to the lack of weather and the lightness of the flight. Check the tried-and-true spring hotspots in your area for increases in short-distance migrants such as Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.

base reflectivity image from green bay, wi base velocity image from green bay, wi

base reflectivity image from milwaukee base velocity image from milwaukee

base reflectivity image from la crosse, wi base velocity image from la crosse, wi

Easterly winds across the region allowed for some moderate migration across the state last night, with many birds apparently leaving the Michigan lakeshore and heading to the northwest. The pattern was consistent across all Wisconsin radars so expect concentrations to shift from the southeast (especially along the lake) to the northwest. This bodes well for those birders in the northern part of the state for whom spring has barely shown itself.

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
base reflectivity image from davenport, ia base velocity image from davenport, ia

Migration was lighter over IA and IL last night as conditions worsened closer to the frontal boundary. Little migration was apparent over either of the two radars and what was moving headed NW towards southern Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Given that the forecast area experienced a shift from south to north, expect less birds in the southern half of the region while the northern half (especially the northwest portion) should see some new arrivals today.

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.

Good Birding,


For migration updates in other regions check-

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula - The Northwoods BIRDAR by Max Henschell
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
Pac NW - Birds Over Portland by Greg Haworth
Continental US - eBird BirdCast Forecast & Report by Team eBird

This entry was posted in Birds, Forecast, General, Migration, Migration Radar, NEXRAD Migration Study, Spring Migration 2013. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to More birds push north from Texas to New Jersey as the latest front marches east

  1. Pingback: NE spring migration

  2. Tony Bonfiglio says:

    There is a Black bird with and orange golden head here in Greenwich, New Jersey that I have never seen before making a loud crow like call.