Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | April 19, 2015 @ 4:33 pm

Spring Mix

Well the spring cycle continues to be working for the birds because we aren’t seeing them :) Some birds are trickling in here and there, but nothing huge.

Unstable conditions persist over the Gulf, as a result we are seeing large thunderstorms making their way towards the coast. This could be making it hard for birds to travel where they want to go, and may put them down along the first stretch of land they find. Currently a strong squall line is moving east of Tallahassee, check out the radar image.

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This system is forecast to continue to move across FL and may affect folks all the way south to Miami or even the FL Keys. Keep an eye out for localized concentration of migrants, these pockets of great birding can be just around the corner. Enjoy another Sunday of birding :)

Frames are every 1/2 hour. Click on the thumbnail to view the full-sized animation.

Base Reflectivity image from Miami, FL Base Velocity image from Miami, FL Base Reflectivity image from Key West, FL Base Velocity image from Key West, FL

Nature is Awesome
Angel & Mariel

Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | April 18, 2015 @ 3:56 pm

Gulf Bound Migration

Looks like another Gulf bound migration for the birds. Winds aloft likely carried birds out over the Gulf of Mexico(GOM), if this is the case, birds have it hard. Storms have been brewing in the GOM and coastal locations along their arrival points, essentially blocking their passage. If migrants did indeed fly last night, they will be looking for a landing spot pronto. Check out these satellite images of the GOM, here you can see stormy weather which is moving W->E along the coast. One image is the visible sat the other is a water vapor sat image.

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This system will continue its move to the east where it becomes a serious threat to birds migrating. If timing works out right, tomorrow may be a really good to go birding. Depends on how long this system takes to clear out. All we can do is wait and see what happens.

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Radar loops from last night into midday today were rather slow. Key West radar showed some migration, birds moving SSE->NNW. Miami radar had some more action, but that action flew right over :/ Velocity radar shows us that birds were moving S->N over this radar location. This should have out migrants out north of Lake O’ by morning which bodes well for inland spots in the Central FL. Hope to hear from readers in that area, post your findings :)

Frames are every 1/2 hour. Click on the thumbnail to view the full-sized animation.

Base Reflectivity image from Miami, FL Base Velocity image from Miami, FL Base Reflectivity image from Key West, FL Base Velocity image from Key West, FL

Nature is Awesome
Angel & Mariel

Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | April 17, 2015 @ 8:34 am

Moderate Movement SE–>NW

Migrants continue to have great travel weather. What works for the birds doesn’t necessarily work for the birders. The spring weather pattern in Florida usually keeps southeast winds on tap, just what a migrant coming from the West Indies wants. This weather pattern bodes well for long distance travel assisted by tailwinds and clear skies. As migrants continue to take the SE->NW path they will continue to shoot over the SW portions of the state and out over the Gulf of Mexico, nearly cutting their trip north in half. What that means for the birders is simple, go birding and take what you can get while you wait for better birding conditions. So if you are out birding and have not seen many migrants, this is why! Have patience for the weather pattern is changing up.

A look at the Key West radar paints the picture of a classic spring migratory movement. Birds depart from Cuba and points farther south or east and ride the super highway to the Gulf coast. Birds want to get there quick, and southeast winds are getting them there.

There is a silver lining to the cloud…there seems to be a temporary break in the forcefield, upper level winds are forecast to switch overnight. Looks like winds will be shifting out of the SW and eventually out of the west in the coming day. If birds depart from the Yucatan Pennisula and the West Indies tonight, they should be vectored towards the Sunshine State! These winds may only affect the northern half of the state, but could bring in some birds to Fort DeSoto and other west coast migrant traps. Get out birding tomorrow morning and let us know what you find. We would love to get some reports from our “boots on the ground”, simply leave a comment here or comment on Facebook. Shoot us a tweet with the info if you’re into Twitter…tweet tweet! Enjoy the weekend :)

Frames are every 1/2 hour. Click on the thumbnail to view the full-sized animation.

Base Reflectivity image from Miami, FL Base Velocity image from Miami, FL Base Reflectivity image from Key West, FL Base Velocity image from Key West, FL

Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | April 15, 2015 @ 12:36 pm

Same Ol’ SE Wind Pattern

Winds continue to be a birds best friend and not so much a friend to Florida birders. That is a good thing though, birds are making it farther north in short timespans. Southeast winds continue to give birds a push to the NW, vectoring them towards AL,MS,LA & Texas. Even if birds were headed for the western panhandle, they would have had a clear passage. Rain lifted and moved away from the FL panhandle which eliminated the chance of weather driven fallout overnight.

Winds at 3,000ft

Winds at 3,000ft

Another moderate movement of migrants were recorded on the Miami and Key West radars. Most of these birds undoubtedly flew inland as they were arriving early. Birds that were entering through the east (Miami) could have flown into the natural areas south of Lake O, but there isn’t a whole lot of suitable habitat for migrants in that region. This may mean birds decided to continue on with their journey and may have opted for a long flight that would take them over the SW Florida coast and out over water again. The wonders of bird migration! Where did they go, what were they thinking?!

Current Weather Map

Current Weather Map

Looks like clear skies and an OK tailwind convinced the birds to go north, leaving us Florida birders high and dry. There is always that chance, that a percent of birds involved with a migratory flight will come in for a drink and a meal, so always be ready for the unexpected during migration. For now we wait for better birding conditions. Forecast models are making the weekend through mid-week look better for birders as a cold front moves in to the NE FL region. If this forecast holds true, we are looking at much better birding conditions for the beginning of next week.

*Sometimes birds arrive late in the day too! Lookout for for exhausted birds that have flown long distances. Migrant traps are usually your best bet for finding these birds. Let us know what you find out there if you give this a try*

Hope you all are having a wonderful week so far, enjoy the clear skies while they last. Good birding is on the horizon :)

Frames are every 1/2 hour. Click on the thumbnail to view the full-sized animation.

Base Reflectivity image from Miami, FL Base Velocity image from Miami, FL Base Reflectivity image from Key West, FL Base Velocity image from Key West, FL

Nature is Awesome
Angel & Mariel

Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | April 14, 2015 @ 1:23 pm

More SE Winds = Flyover Weather

Hey all,

The birds are back at it again, migrating from their wintering grounds to their breeding grounds, a mad dash to be the first male on territory. It’s no coincidence that weather phenomenons and bird migration coincide. Every spring, high pressure systems dominate the forecast at many of Florida’s birding destinations. Southeasterly winds persist, helping birds with a serious tailwind that allows them to fly farther, faster and in a northwesterly direction; out and over the Gulf instead of Florida. This route is a risky one for migrants, but remember, it’s a mad dash to be the first male on territory! These neotropical migrants are choosing a route which puts them on a much longer and riskier flight, only one thing can be on their mind, get back home. Only the best survive such a trip!

Last night was a great night for migrants once again. Birds had a decent tailwind and southeasterly winds which vectored birds NW. You can see this by looking at the velocity radar loop for Key West. Looks like the Key West radar recorded a moderate movement of migrants out over the FL Straits. Miami radar shows a small movement out of the Bahamas, but nothing much in the way of bird migration. We await a change in winds to improve birding conditions on the ground for birders, for now, look for those birds that trickle in. There are always some birds that will come in to refuel and rest before they take off again.

Winds at 3,000ft

Winds at 3,000ft

Frames are every 1/2 hour. Click on the thumbnail to view the full-sized animation.

Base Reflectivity image from Miami, FL Base Velocity image from Miami, FL Base Reflectivity image from Key West, FL Base Velocity image from Key West, FL

Nature is Awesome
Angel & Mariel

Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | April 14, 2015 @ 1:22 pm

Moderate Movement Last Night

Hi all,

Southeast winds are killing us :) The weather is great for migrants, but not so great for the birders. That’s OK though, we should want the birds to make it up to their territories sooner than later. Migrants were aloft overnight, many birds were flying in a NW direction, this puts birds heading out over the Gulf and away from Florida’s west coast. If a cold front were to be pushing its way south into the Gulf of Mexico, then we would have a chance at these migrants putting down in the state. For now we wait for better birding conditions, right now southeasterly winds dominate the forecast, a wind forecast that does not bode well for the birder.

Radar loops below are for Miami and Key West. You’ll find two radar products for each radar site. A reflectivity product and a velocity radar product. Reflective radar picks up objects in the atmosphere and displays it for us. The velocity product provides us with valuable data that makes this product very useful to the radar-birder. A study of the velocity radar will provide trajectory and velocity. You can learn more about this radar product in our Radar FAQ page.

Frames are every 1/2 hour. Click on the thumbnail to view the full-sized animation.

Base Reflectivity image from Miami, FL Base Velocity image from Miami, FL Base Reflectivity image from Key West, FL Base Velocity image from Key West, FL

Nature is Awesome
Angel & Mariel

Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | April 7, 2015 @ 11:28 am

Spring has Sprung

Badbirdz is back up and running with a little help from our friend and Birdar mentor, Director of the Cape May Bird Observatory, David LaPuma. New scripts, new program; same great radar interpretations and migration predictions :) In the coming days we will be adding new Florida radar stations to the script which will allow us to post more radar animations from around Florida. Thanks again David :) Last night marked a change in winds which have not been optimal for birds departing from the West Indies, Cuba and northern Mexico as of late. Winds whipping around from the ESE triggered some migration out of the islands and north out of Cuba.

Winds @ 3,000ft

Since we only have the Key West and Miami radars working on the site at the moment, we will only cover the lower half of the state. Bear with us as we get the other radars up and running on the site :) Key West radar shows a definite lift-off from Cuba overnight. We can see radar signals showing up on the animation over the Florida Straits, presumably migrants due to time of year, direction of travel and speed at which said signals are moving. A look at the reflectivity radar shows us what is in the air. The velocity radar product clues us in on speed and direction. With the use of these two radar products we will know if birds are actually flying and in which direction they are headed and at what speed.

Last night birds were departing Cuba as shown in the KW reflectivity radar animation. As birds climbed to optimal elevation, winds carried them towards the NW and out towards the SW habitats of Florida. Many undoubtedly headed out over the Gulf of Mexico on a long and dangerous flight, these migrants would likely end up catching some help from the winds that should carry them to the western Panhandle of Florida and points west into Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. With clear skies and no precipitation over the Keys, expect a flyover of these migrants with only a trickle of migrants at tried-and-true migrant hot spots such as Fort Zachary, Big Pine Key (Pinelands, Blue Hole and Bahia Honda), Long Key State Park and other great birding locations along the Keys archipelago.

With migrants flying NW we urge birders along the SW coast of Florida to keep an eye out for new arrivals. Migrants may have trickled out over Naples, Sanibel, Ft. Myers and north to Port Charlotte. Fort DeSoto has a chance of late day arrivals as migrants caught out over the Gulf during mid-day may choose to head for land. If this scenario occurs, migrant traps such as Fort D, Ceday Key and St. Marks may see some of these late day arrivals.

Miami radar did not paint much of a migration picture last night, but this morning it did pick up some incoming signals out of the south and southeast. No major influx or anything, but a bit of a sprinkle. Migrants hitting the coast late in the morning may drop in for a fuel-up at spots with suitable habitat. Southern birding locations may have your only signs of migration in Miami today. Everglades National park always bodes well in the spring, migrants flying over the Florida Straits in the spring almost always head west, which puts them over the glades. Look for migrants at upland habitats such as Old Ingraham Hwy, Royal Palm, Mahogany Hammock and further west towards the subtropical portion of the park, Flamingo.

Frames are every 1/2 hour. Click on the thumbnail to view the full-sized animation. Base Reflectivity image from Miami, FL Base Velocity image from Miami, FL Base Reflectivity image from Key West, FL Base Velocity image from Key West, FL

Happy to be back online and providing the Florida Birding community with migration predictions and radar interpretations. If you enjoy the site, please help us spread the word and share our posts on Facebook, retweet on Twitter and other social media outlets that you may use. You can find the share buttons below every post. Look out for us on our Facebook page Badbirdz-Reloaded as well as on @Badbirdz2 Twitter. Thanks for taking your time to read our migration updates! We hope to see many sightings posted to the site and/or social media, you are our “boots on the ground” sort to say, you all help us make these predictions and interpretations more accurate. Please help us by sharing your migration bird checklists or simply by posting a list of what you are seeing and a snapshot of what the weather conditions were like.

Thanks again,
Nature is Awesome
Angel & Mariel Abreu

Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | October 22, 2014 @ 8:15 pm

TD #9 & Southbound Bird Migration

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We’ve been paying close attention to an area of low pressure that has been gaining steam in the Bay of Campeche and threatens to block migrants way to Mexico via the Caribbean. This disturbance has continued organize and is now TD #9. As we continue to monitor the movement of this storm we realize that birds should be headed south along the Appalachians and the eastern seaboard given current winds.

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Tailwinds are a birds best friend and currently cool northerly winds are in effect. If migrants do indeed take flight, we feel birds will attempt to make long distance flights in hopes of making up for lost time. After the last semi-strong cold front passage, subpar migration conditions have loomed over much of eastern migratory flyway. This has caused many migrants to be stranded, awaiting optimal winds to continue with migration. As conditions gradually improve, birds should be taking to the skies. This could spark long flights from birds that are farther north than they would like to be by now.

Migrants leaving southern GA and northern FL could take a cue from winds and try that long flight, if so they will run into a large area of unfavorable migration conditions over South FL. TD #9 may fall apart, but the heavy precipitation is still forecast to move north into South FL. If this scenario takes place, we feel that a stack up of sorts could take place. Migrants will be forced to land and wait for better conditions which could take some time to clear according to weather forecast models.

So long story short: Birds should be on the wing. With the aid of a tailwind and clear skies, birds may attempt longer flights. Once over South FL, migrants will likely be met with harsh conditions which should cause them to suspend migration. Northerly winds will continue to give migrants to the north a push down the state, only adding to the number of migrants down on the ground awaiting better conditions. We call this a “Stack-up”, it usually involves waves of migrants headed south while waves of precipitation move north into the path of migration causing great concentrations of migrants at migrant traps.

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Take a look at the following forecast maps. Notice the increasing amount precipitation moving in from the south while winds continue to be optimal for migration to our north. We expect some good birding days for the last days of October and beginning of November. Get out there and enjoy these migrants as they try head south for the winter.

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Nature is Awesome
Angel & Mariel

Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | October 15, 2014 @ 8:10 pm

Big Flight Tonight!

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Current Weather Map

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Southeast Mosaic Radar Loop

The moment we’ve all been waiting for, the floodgates are open and birds are taking to the skies. Winds behind the most recent cold front passage are optimal for migration. North and northwesterly winds will give migrants a tailwind allowing for longer flights tonight. On average, migrants will travel approximately 200-300 miles a night, but favorable winds may help them stretch that distance.

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Winds at Surface Level

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Winds at 3,000ft

Winds are the biggest key factor as to when and where birds will migrate. Tonight winds offer an influx of migrants that have been held up by unfavorable conditions north of the state. A new batch of migrants should be expected at migrant traps around the state. Both coastal and inland locations should fare well tomorrow and through the weekend.

Get out there and enjoy the migration!

Nature is Awesome
Angel & Mariel

Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | October 3, 2014 @ 4:13 pm

New Batch of Migrants on Tap Tonight!

The first strong cold front of this fall migration season is forecast to slide through northern FL tonight. Traditionally big flights of migratory birds occur on the first night after a fronts passage. Tonight should be no different! Winds will be optimal for migration to the south, this should give migrants a tail wind which could carry them all the way to the Caribbean, Mexico and beyond.

Check out the wind forecast maps (notice the wide array of northwesterly winds pictured, a migrants dream).

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Current forecast

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Weather forecast for the next 36 hrs.

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As long as winds are coming out of the west, we can expect some trans-gulf migrants to be pushed east into the state instead of flying over the Gulf. This also puts more birds on the east coast of the state that wouldn’t usually visit, birds such as Golden-winged & Blue-winged Warblers or maybe some grosbeaks, tanagers, orioles…you never know what’s going to pop up with westerly winds. Caribbean based migrants traveling down the east coast and over the Atlantic usually drop in with threats of bad weather over the western Atlantic. If the frontal boundary brings in storms with it, we could expect a few of these migrant’s to land for a refuel.

We will be at the Wings & Wildflowers Festival in Leesburg, FL this weekend. We are giving a workshop on Radar Birding and a Kids Birding Workshop. Come out and say hi if you will be in town!

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