Heavy migration continues through the Upper Midwest

National overview

No trans-Gulf migration was visible on the radar last night, while nocturnal migration proceeded at break-neck pace across the eastern half of the U.S. As a new set of low pressure cells approached from the Plains region, associated southerly winds triggered heavy migration up through the central region, including Wisconsin. Light migration was also evident up through interior California and into the Pacific Northwest.

national composite nexrad from around 11:00pm on 5/18/13

National Composite NEXRAD from around 11:00pm on 5/18/13

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

Radar interpretation for last night’s movement is fairly straightforward: birds were moving in high numbers across Minnesota and Wisconsin. All radars indicated some of the heaviest migration of the season last night and into the morning with the main heading at almost due north. With no weather to put birds down in any particular location, expect them to be well dispersed across the landscape today. Hit the known spring migrant traps for the best conditions today. Species diversity should begin to peak in the northern part of the state today as many more long-distance migrants make their way into the farthest reaches of the North Woods.

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

With all the great reports of birding conditions throughout Wisconsin over the last few days, it’s no wonder the radars lit up like Christmas last night. As with Minnesota, heavy migration was widespread last night and into the morning with a heading of due north. Expect birds to be dispersed throughout the landscape today with some potential concentrations along the south shore of Lake Superior and at known spring hotspots statewide. Migration density was higher in the northern half of the state so birders in the south may experience a net loss in density today, although diversity is expected to remain high.

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 moderate to heavy over northern IA and IL last night, and consistent with Wisconsin and Minnesota in that birds were heading due north with little to no obstruction. Expect birds to be dispersed across the landscape this morning with good birding at both inland and lakeshore migrant traps today.

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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