More birds and heavy precipitation moved north into the Upper Midwest

National overview

More trans-Gulf migrants made landfall yesterday morning along the Texas and Louisiana coasts, while sunset triggered another night of moderate to heavy migration across the U.S. Migration was heaviest over the Northeast and New England as well as the Upper Midwest although heavy precipitation broke things up a bit across the latter region. Birds continued to push up the western half of the U.S. with the only exception being the Rockies where northerly flow precluded any major movement.

national composite nexrad from around 11:00pm on 5/20/13

National Composite NEXRAD from around 11:00pm on 5/20/13

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

As a rule birds will migrate whenever a tailwind is present, and so last night with light southerly flow over Minnesota the radar indicated such an event. Precipitation, also as a rule, tends to preclude migration when it’s widespread and especially when it’s heavy. As you can see from the radars last night’s precipitation was intense but not widespread. Given these conditions it makes sense that birds decided to migrate across the state for another consecutive night. Birds were heading on a SW->NE trajectory as they make their way into the North Woods, which would favor inland birding hotspots this morning.

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 in the northern part of Wisconsin last night as the latest wave of birds begins to reach the North Woods and birds across most of the state begin to disperse a bit. Less influx into the southern part of the state is expected this time of year as we move into the latter part of spring migration. Birds over Wisconsin were typically moving on a S->N trajectory with some continued migration up the Lake Michigan shoreline. In addition, some localized concentrations due to early morning storms are also expected. Choosing your birding location today is a bit like fishing in a barrel… with few exceptions most places will yield birds today. I’m very interested to see how places like Lake Park in Milwaukee compare to Bay Beach in Green Bay after this latest movement.

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

Storms were heaviest across IA and IL late last night and into this morning, and the radar indicated that this precipitation did preclude any heavy influx into the region. Southwest flow over Chicago appears to have pushed some birds to the lakeshore so despite the lack of major influx, birders in the region should head to the lake for grounded migrants. Otherwise expect good diversity with some reduction in density across most of northern IA and IL this morning.

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.

One Response to More birds and heavy precipitation moved north into the Upper Midwest

  1. Tom says:

    Hi Dave,
    Just thought I’d give some feedback on how the birds were at garret mtn this morn, I found a couple small pockets of warblers and an awful lot of thrushes, but over all it was pretty darn quiet.
    Tom Justesen