Note: Our regular way of posting radar images is currently under construction. To view a loop of last nights radar please click here.
Last night marked the first real move by Neotropical migrants to the north. We watched the radar in anticipation knowing that winds were optimal over Cuba and the Caribbean. The first few frames at sunset were slow at first, but then it happened; BOOM birds! NEXRAD radar began picking up targets moving north over the Florida Straits, more and more birds were being sampled every minute. A tailwind is what birds were looking for, what they couldn’t predict was the impending frontal boundary moving west to east, many miles ahead. Precipitation was setting up shop over Central Florida, building in from the west. Winds ushered precipitation into the Lake O’ region with intense action north as well as south of the lake. Birds reached the mainland between 1:00-2:00 a.m., flying northward towards an imminent confrontation with rain and winds that would certainly change the course of plan. By the looks of radar images, targets that we have identified as birds met up with conditions that should have brought down migrants and shut down the nocturnal flight, causing a large group of birds to put down over the Greater Everglades region. Others decided that they could fly farther by changing course of direction and met up with birds that were following the islands of the FL Keys and Biscayne Bay. Pay attention to the signals showing up along coastal Miami-Dade County, these birds had more time to fly farther before weather cut off the path north. The harsh weather eventually beat them to the coast and seems to have caused these birds to drop out of the skies and into northern Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River Counties. Coastal locations from Miami to Indian River County should be your best bet today as birds were traveling along the coast when the rain put them down. If any of our readers did any birding along the coast we would be interested in hearing from you.
Farther north along the west coast, migration was a bit slow, mostly due to the frontal boundary shutting down much of the flight south of this region. After 1 a.m. some birds were picked up by the Tampa radar flying low, these birds could have flown around the rain and have departed from the Everglades Region as the sun set. These signals came in from the SSE but as they flew over the Tampa region it seems as if winds began to push the flight a bit to the east. Most birds picked up by the Tampa radar were moving away from the radar with a general NNE flight path thus making inland locations north of the Tampa area your best bet for finding new arrivals today.
We are in the process of revamping Badbirdz2 and obtaining a new platform that will help us process more radars, faster and more efficiently. Please continue to visit our site for updates on the spring’s migration; we hope to have all the wrinkles ironed out soon. As always Badbirdz depends on its readers to help us understand the magic of bird migration. We ask our readers to take a minute to email us at
firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment, share what you are seeing, weather patterns in your area and how your sightings differ from day to day. As a whole the Florida birding community is large and enthusiastic about bird migration, lets join together this year to make Badbirdz an integral part of every birders toolbox. Together we can track and monitor bird migration and learn more about this phenomenon called MIGRATION!
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