Heavy migration finally reaches the Upper Midwest

National overview

With a few exceptions, migration was hot and heavy or most of the US last night. Birds continued to stream across the Gulf of Mexico and Florida Straits and make landfall throughout the US Gulf Coast. Birds also poured up through all four major flyways- the Pacific, Central, Mississippi and Eastern. High pressure over the Northeastern US as well as in the Four Corners region of the west, represented the only areas where migration was not evident on the radar last night.

national composite nexrad from around 11:00pm on 4/29/13

National Composite NEXRAD from around 11:00pm on 4/29/13

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

Upper Midwest

Minnesota

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

A big flight over Minnesota last night means new birds on the ground today. Movement across the entire region was SSE->NNW so expect birds to be dispersed across the landscape this morning. Hit the tried and true spring migration hotspots in your area today.

Wisconsin

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

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

Migration was heaviest along the Mississippi River (over the La Crosse, WI and Davenport, IA radars) but still quite heavy across the entire state. The velocity images indicate that the trajectory of birds for most of the night and this morning was S->N across the region suggesting that birds will be dispersed across the landscape this morning. UPDATE: Early this morning, as storms popped up along the front passing over Wisconsin, birds could be seen being driven to the coast from Sheboygan to Milwaukee. Birders along this stretch of coast should consider lakeshore hotspots this morning as well. 

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

Last night saw a big influx of new birds into the region! Expect good diversity and densities at inland hotspots such as Palos Woods outside of Chicago. Some concentration along the Chicago Lakeshore should be apparent, but the bulk of migration occurred on an inland trajectory so hotspots between the Mississippi River and Chicago should be best today.

We’re nearing peak migration when ‘good days’ become much more common and birds begin to saturate available habitat. The weather will help dictate where birds land (inland vs. along the lake shores) but over time following a migration event birds will find their way into optimal foraging habitat. Knowing where these high-use stopover sites are in your area will help you predict the birding conditions in your neck of the woods based on the weather and radar can tell us. Today is a get-out-and-bird day, so go hit a spot near you and let us know how it turned out!

As always, woodcreeper.com 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,

David

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, Migration, Migration Radar, NEXRAD Migration Study, Spring Migration 2013. Bookmark the permalink.

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