Migration in full swing

Migration in full swing

National overview

Conditions across the U.S. continue to favor nocturnal migration in all but a few locales. A frontal system draped across the Atlantic did cut off Peninsular Florida from the bulk of incoming migrants, but otherwise birds were moving in moderate to high densities from New England to Texas, and from Arizona to the Pacific Northwest. The Upper Midwest and Appalachian regions appeared to have the highest densities of migrants moving last night.

national composite nexrad from around 11:00pm on 9/3/13
National Composite NEXRAD from around 11:00pm on 9/3/13

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

Upper Midwest


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

Winds over Minnesota were light to moderate northwesterly at altitude above Duluth, fading to light and variable over the Twin Cities. On the surface winds were even less significant (< 5 kt) and north/northwest. This triggered another big night of migration into the Duluth/Superior region while migration over the Twin Cities was only light to moderate and very diffuse. It appears that the next big wave of migrants (most likely the most diverse in terms of Neotropical warblers) made it into the northern reaches but not all the way down into the central part of the state. It will be interesting to see whether this is reflected on the ground this morning.


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

As above, migration into Wisconsin was higher to the north and got more and more diffuse as birds moved south through the state. Expect birds to be dispersed across the state this morning with higher concentrations at the more consistent fall hotspot locations (such as Pheasant Branch in Middleton, or some of the lakeside patches around Milwaukee).

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

Again, migration was lighter last night than in previous nights suggesting that keeping the migration doors open has thinned out the population of migration-ready birds across the region. Northwest winds do appear to have pushed birds into the Chicago area suggesting that birding conditions at inland and coastal hotspots should be decent 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,


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


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