Spring 2012 Early Wrapup

Here we are in late May and birds continue to push north to the breeding grounds while the earliest arrivals sit on eggs or even feed the recently hatched. We should still see migration on the NEXRAD radar network into early June, but expect things to slow down over the next week. On that note, I’m getting to a few deadlines that require my undivided attention and so after today I’m going to suspend my daily posts to www.woodcreeper.com in an effort to complete these projects. If I see any major flights going on over the Mid Atlantic or the Upper Midwest I’ll be sure to ‘tweet’ it out on Twitter (@woodcreeper) and possibly get it out to www.woodcreeper.com if time allows- so be sure to follow me on Twitter to keep updated! I will also work on summarizing this spring for a later post this summer so stay tuned.
If you found www.woodcreeper.com useful this spring, I urge you to consider becoming a supporter of the site (click here for the details). Currently the online archive stands at roughly 9 Gigabytes which is pretty huge considering how many people access it (almost 10 years of archived radar, my interpretations, and your ground-truthing, accessed by 500 – 1000 visitors per day). Each year this translates to $220 in hosting fees, plus several hundred dollars in software and hardware upgrades. Anything you send to www.woodcreeper.com goes right back into the site making it better in future iterations.

Thanks for your interest, feedback, and support throughout the years. I look forward to experiencing migration with you again this fall. If you regularly tune-in to any of the other BIRDAR websites, please consider supporting them as well (contact them individually for details), and if you’re interested in joining the growing number of sites yourself drop me a line and I can help you get set up.

Good Birding,


Little migration into the Garden State

A weak cold front dipped into the Garden State last night, and prevented much of anything from entering from the south. 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.

Base Reflectivity image from Fort Dix Base Velocity image from Fort Dix Base Reflectivity image from Dover AFB Base Velocity image from Dover AFB Base Reflectivity image from Upton NY Base Velocity image from Upton NY Composite Base Reflectivity image from the Northeastern USA

You can see the cold front in the radar images, represented by a line of precipitation extending across Central NJ and the Delmarva Peninsula. The regional composite shows a moderate level of migration occurred in the southern Mid-Atlantic region, but cut off north of the Delmarva by the frontal boundary (which moved south through the night). A push of birds was apparent across the northern Chesapeake Bay, so new birds should be expected around the natural areas in that region. While I’m unfamiliar with any birding locations there, on Google Maps, Elk Neck State Park looks like a good choice. I’d love to hear from some Delmarva birders as to where in that region can be good for spring birding.

Further north in New Jersey, conditions were less conducive to migration. An early and small push of birds was evident into the southern half of the state, but quickly faded out as conditions deteriorated. Northwest winds will make things a little more interesting around Cape May, where we have the chance of some new birds making their way back down the peninsula… but don’t expect any major numbers given the light flight. To the north there was little in the way of movement, with only a small number of birds seen heading NW toward NY.

Of course, any day afield is a good day, so until next time…

Good Birding!


Thank You!

Thanks to everyone who sent a contribution either via PayPal, or physical check- you are awesome! Tonight I paid the bill, and we’re good for another year. Any more money that comes in will be split between myself and Mariel and Angel Abreu to put toward running our two radar/migration websites into the future. So the plan now is to have Angel and Mariel permanently take over Badbirdz-Reloaded, and for me to focus solely on Woodcreeper.com, so that we can each do the best work possible without spreading ourselves too thin. Eventually I hope to collaborate with some other like-minded individuals so we can establish a network of radar/migration websites across the country. If you think you fit the bill, send me an email and we can discuss it further.

After receiving my PhD this January, I’ll be heading south to start my new job at New Jersey Audubon Society, where I’ll be (amongst other things) writing up the results from a long-term radar analysis used to quantify stopover habitat of nocturnal migrants. I can’t wait to dive into some real radar data, as opposed to simply looking at the post-processed data available from weather websites. This has been a long-term goal for me up until now, and being able to realize it down in Cape May will be an excellent experience. I plan to use this experience as a jumping-off point for developing a more sophisticated radar-based migration forecasting tool.

At the very least, though, I’ll be able to ground-truth some of my forecasts in one of the hottest migrant traps on the east coast… and that alone is very exciting!

Thank you again for your support, and I hope to see you in the field sometime soon!

Good Birding,


Aint too proud to beg…

The bill from my internet host came today. Here it is:

This is a notice that an invoice has been generated on 11/12/2009.

Your payment method is: PayPal

Invoice #2014
Amount Due: $200.00 USD
Due Date: 11/20/2009

Invoice Items

WC Custom – woodcreeper.com (11/20/2009 – 11/19/2010) $200.00 USD
Sub Total: $200.00 USD
Credit: $0.00 USD
Total: $200.00 USD

See, I wasn’t kidding. At the bare minimum, It really costs $200 per year to keep woodcreeper.com and badbirdz-reloaded running. Thanks to two lovely donors, one of which doesn’t even use the site to track migration, we are up to $60. For that I am grateful, but if everyone who does use these two sites would pitch in a couple of dollars, we’d have this AND next year covered. So I guess it comes down to whether you value the service enough to support it financially.

If you find either woodcreeper.com or badbirdz-reloaded to be a useful service to you, then consider pitching in a buck or two to keep the archives archived, and the radar flowing.

I hate to ask for money, but it’s either all out of my pocket (which is pretty empty right now) or spread across all of our collective pockets (which means very little from each of us). As always, I am grateful.

Thanks for your consideration.

Good Birding!


You can use the Paypal button below to join the Woodcreeper/Badbirdz Flock:

Or, if you’d rather not use Paypal, you may send a check or money order to the following address:

David La Puma
2150 Amwell Rd
Somerset, NJ 08873

It’s that time of the year again!

This last year saw a whole lot of changes here at woodcreeper.com and Badbirdz-Reloaded. Most notable was Angel and Mariel Abreu taking the reins at Badbirdz and really running with it to the point that I have done nothing but keep the download scripts chugging along, and archiving the data for them. While my vision is to eventually have sites like these running across the country, the fact that someone (or some-two!) has gotten hooked enough to devote the time necessary to make it happen has been quite rewarding to witness. On another note, the economy has obviously impacted all of us in one way or another, and the lack of funding necessary to keep my migration forecast going at BirdCapeMay.org definitely made it difficult to fund my pet projects (namely Woodcreeper.com and Badbirdz-Reloaded). Despite this, I still upgraded my hosting in order to maintain the added gigabytes of radar imagery that has accrued since 2004.

In the past, many of you supported both of these sites by making donations, or purchasing bumper stickers, or whatever I was hocking on any given day. For that I have always been grateful, and your support has kept the sites going for the last five years.  As we near the end of fall migration, and head into winter, we also approach the time when my website hosting fees are due. As much as I hate to ‘pass the hat’, keeping woodcreeper.com and Badbirdz-Reloaded running does cost about $20/ month. Additional costs include hiring a programmer to write and update the download scripts, and developing a means for automating the process so that we can spend less time making the image loops, and more time analyzing them. Any donation you can make will be greatly appreciated, and all of the money will go directly into supporting the two websites.

You can find more information, on supporting the web site, on the following page:


Thank you, as always, for your support.

David La Puma

Angel & Mariel Abreu