Here’s the barstool version:
In the early 2000s the late Noel Wamer began to post on his website, Badbirdz.com, semi-regular reports of nocturnal migration asÂ illustrated by weather radar imagery. These were almost all from the Key West radar where birds could be seen coming and going from the Florida peninsula. These images were dramatic and captivating; and they are in part why I became a self-proclaimed ‘radar junkie’. Upon my arrival to New Jersey in 2004 Noel inspired me to start Woodcreeper.com, where I have tried to take the weather radar products to another level in terms of using them to predict birding conditions and develop a tool for birders to use when planning their birding excusions. I moved to a format where I updated the site nearly every morning during spring and fall migration and added multiple radar feeds to cover a greater area.
After Noel’s passing in 2007 a great void was left over Florida, and I set out to fill it with Badbirdz-Reloaded. I never intended to run both websites by myself, and always thought it would be best for some Floridian birder to take over the Florida-centric site. In October of 2008 Angel and Mariel Abreu, two young and extremely energetic birders, became the primary contributors to Badbirdz-Reloaded. They took over the responsibilities of not only posting the radar interpretations, but all of the behind-the-scenes work as well (downloading the radar each morning, making and posting the radar loops, managing the comments and site content, etc.). This takes lots of time and dedication, and Angel and Mariel have never looked back.
Although we have talked about it for years now, today Badbirdz-Reloaded becomes the full responsibility of Angel and Mariel. From now on they can take it wherever they see fit, and I have great hopes for them in moving things forward for the best of Florida birders and our collective understanding of migration across this most important flyway. I hope too that you’ll consider supporting them as they fledge. Since you are reading this on Woodcreeper.com, you know that we have just completed a fundraiser to keep this site going into the future. you also know that the turnout was exceptional and that the bills are paid (with some money left over for site development!). Angel and Mariel are now conducting their own fundraiser specifically for Badbirdz-Reloaded, and I hope you will help me spread the word to our birding friends in and out of Florida. If you know a birder in the Sunshine State ask them if they have heard of Badbirdz and tell them to visit the site and see what Angel and Mariel are up to.
Thank you for reading this far, and have a wonderful holiday season!
David La Puma (woodcreeper)
Words can’t describe the gratitude I feel towards you and your support for woodcreeper.com. I received some beautiful cards and letters along with your financial contributions and each of them inspired and motivated me for the upcoming spring season.
I know from the website statistics that we get approximately 500 visitors per day during peak migration, and this tapers off to only a couple dozen during the off season (who wants to visit when I’m not updating?!) which are mostly people checking out some of the historical data as well as the static pages such as the Frequently Asked Questions. Still, I only hear directly from a few regular contributors and a handful of emails throughout the year, so this outpouring of support and feedback was quite exciting. Most of the people who contacted me this time were “new-to-me” (although many commented that they had been checking out woodcreeper.com for multiple years), while I also heard from others whom I would consider our “sustainers”, those who come back year after year and contribute to paying the bills.
It takes a village.
So to everyone who contributed support whether moral, financial, or otherwise, Thank You.
Hey woodcreeper.com fans- we’re 10-days away from collection day when I either pay the internet service provider fees, or vacate the “property”. Right now we’re $270 short of paying the 2010/2011 fees so your help is greatly needed. Please consider giving whatever you can as every little bit helps. You can do so by either sending a check directly to me, or using PayPal.com via the link on this page.
Thanks for your support- and I look forward to seeing you again here in the spring!
Checks can be sent to:
David La Puma
500 Fern Rd
Villas, NJ 08251
High pressure over the Great Lakes is churning out more northwest winds over the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, which triggered another migration event last night. Here’s the radar from sunset last night through 5:00am this morning.
Frames are every 1/2 hour. Click on the thumbnail to view the full-sized animation.
Before I get started, I have to mention a few things. First of all, thanks to those of you who have supported woodcreeper.com throughout the years. Without your contributions to the site, and your financial support toward paying the bills, I would never have been able to keep this up. You are the backbone of woodcreeper.com. Second, thanks to those of you who reached out yesterday after the hacker took over the server where woodcreeper.com resides. Luckily I use a great independent internet service provider (AllenHost.com) who was able to quickly restore all content within 24 hours. That type of service comes at a price, though, and the rent will go up on November 20th since we’re running out of space! So, right now I need to raise $300 to pay the current bills, and to increase our space allotment to accommodate more radar imagery. I did a little math, and if 10% of the regular visitors to this site would donate $1/month ($12/year!) that would cover the ISP bills for 2 years (of course if EVERYONE donated $1/month, I could do some really awesome stuff with the site… but I’m not holding my breath 😉 So please click here and become a part of the contributing group.
Okay- back to the radar. So winds were northwest over the region last night and as you can see from the regional composite birds were moving down into New Jersey via New York and New England. Northwest winds continue this morning, which bodes well for coastal migrant traps from Sandy Hook down to Cape May this morning. Since migration is now lightening up considerably, choosing a tried-and-true migrant trap is paramount. Additionally, today’s weather should be good for a Golden Eagle / Goshawk flight which has been picking up over the last week or so.
Last night the winds turned northwesterly again, and although it paled in comparison to the big flights from only a few weeks ago, we did see another solid push into New Jersey last night. Here’s the radar from sunset last night through 5:00am this morning.
Frames are every 1/2 hour. Click on the thumbnail to view the full-sized animation.
A quick look at the regional composite reveals much about last night’s flight. On the radar, very little could be seen moving out of western and southern New York although during the night it appears that some birds did leave southern NY and enter into the airspace over New Jersey. Movement over New Jersey was moderate and picked up considerably in the later hours (after 11pm). The general trajectory was NW->SE for most of the night, suggesting that coastal migrant traps in the southern half of the state will be birdy this morning. The reason I stress “southern half” is because the migration out of eastern New York was pretty light, and therefore the source pool for places like Sandy Hook was considerably less than that for Cape May (the entire state of New Jersey AND southern New York). New York City should see some new birds today as well, as birds could be seen entering the NYC radar from the northwest throughout the night.
Flights these days are comprised mostly of short(er) distance migrants and winter residents so expect to see good numbers of kinglets, sparrows, robins, sapsuckers, etc. Since we’re winding down the fall season, I wanted again to thank everyone who has contributed to the site in one way or another. November is bill-paying time, so anything you can do to help offset the bills and keep us running for one more year would be most appreciated. All of the info for doing so can be accessed via the link on the right-hand sidebar, under my Twitter feed. One of the great things about this site is that it provides a historical record which anyone can return to and use to try and understand migration patterns over New Jersey. One of the side effects of that is every year it gets a little more expensive to maintain because of the space we’re taking up with archived data. So, if you find this service useful, please consider making a donation to sustain Woodcreeper.com into the future.
Thanks again for a great season, and most importantly: Good Birding!!
ps. White-tailed Kite back at Barnegat- see this post for details