Posted by: badbirdz2 | April 6, 2007 @ 10:07 am

Another small push into Southeastern Florida

Man, the learning curve for South Florida is steep…
Okay, so it’s evident from the radar that only a small push of birds made its way across the Florida Straits last night. The frontal boundary (line of thunderstorms) that pushed through South Florida overnight seems to have had a small but noticeable effect on migrants as birds appear to have landed in both the Keys and southeast Florida as they crossed paths with the storms. On the Miami radar from 3:00am – 5:30am (not pictured here) I could see that birds had pushed through the first band of storms, but then put down before the second band made it through, possibly due to a wind shift associated with the passing of the first front, and also possibly due to the time of morning. Anyway, since the movement is small, detectability on the ground will likely be low. Coastal locations in the extreme southeastern peninsula would be good bets if you’re going to pick up any new arrivals, since the birds did encounter unfavorable conditions and strong westerly winds upon making landfall. Migrant traps along the keys, from Key West to Key Largo will have new birds- but again- because of such a small movement it may be difficult to discern on the ground.

Frames are every 1/2 hour for reflectivity and velocity, and 1 hour for the regional composite:
Base Reflectivity image from Fort Dix Base Velocity image from Fort Dix Regional Base Reflectivity for the Southeast

So this begs the question, “why such a small movement on southerly winds?”. One possible answer comes from my observations in last night’s post. First, conditions were only ideal directly over Cuba; and we noticed only a small movement out of Cuba two nights ago which I attributed to the lack of “migration-ready” birds. Since no birds were leaving the Yucatan last night, and Cuba had already been drained of birds ready to migrate, last night’s results do seem a little more predictable. We’ll have to watch the radar over the next few nights and see what happens. Until then, go birding!



  1. Well, you said it, the learning curve is steep! My observations from my roof this morning are a flight of warblers the likes of which I haven’t seen since my best days at Cape May. Rough estimation would put it about 100 birds/5 min, but whatever the number it was impressive. Flock after flock of warblers (and a handful of Eastern Kingbirds) heading up Key Largo. The bulk of the birds appeared to be Palm Warbler, with Prairie being the next most numerous. After that it is hard to say, but I did detect at least one Blackpoll calling as it went by.

    Now I gotta get out there and see if I can find any of these guys on the ground before I have to get to work!


  2. It was stormy in Key West this morning, which brought about a nice
    little fallout, the first full-on pulse of the season.

    At Indigenous Park it was mostly waves of Palm Warblers (that weren’t
    there last week) and a Hooded Warlber.

    At Fort Zach:

    Eastern Kingbird (It wouldn’t go LOKI, no matter how hard I tried.)
    Green Heron (10 or so, upland in the hammocks.)
    Hooded Warbler
    Worm-eating Warbler (6 or 7)
    Prothonotary Warbler (many many)
    American Redstart
    Palm Warbler
    Prairie Warbler
    Northern Parula
    Black-and-white Warbler
    Summer Tanager
    Black-whiskered Vireo
    Blue Grosbeak
    Indigo Bunting
    Red-shouldered Hawk (juvenile, in the bird bath)

    Carl Goodrich said he had an Orchard Oriole and a Swainson’s Warbler,
    neither of which I saw.

  3. We had nice numbers at Cape Florida, also, with 89 birds captured between 7AM and 1 PM. Highlights were: 29 Prairies, 20 Western Palms, 9 Northern Parulas, 6 Gray catbirds, 4 painted buntings(3 adult males), 3 each Ovenbird, Swainson’s warbler, Worm-eating warbler, B&W warbler, 2 Indigo Buntings, Common Yellowthroats & American redstarts, one Northern Waterthrush. Most birds were in pretty decent condition with solid flight muscles and a little bit to quite a bit of fat to continue their journey north.

    Seen but not captured: Cape May, Yellow-throated, maybe Blackpoll warblers; Eastern Kingbird, Chimney Swift, Common Nighthawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk.

    PS. David, thanks for keeping this going!


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