Posted by: woodcreeper | September 29, 2007 @ 6:05 am

Birds over Florida


Well, the radar suggests it was another good night of migration across the Sunshine State.
Here’s it is from sunset last night through sunrise this morning.

Frames are every 1/2 hour for reflectivity and velocity, and every hour for the regional composite. Click on the thumbnail to view the full-sized animation.

Base Reflectivity image from Key West, FL Base Velocity image from Key West, FL
Base Reflectivity image from Miami, FL Base Velocity image from Miami, FL Composite base reflectivity for the Southeastern USA
The Southeast (as well as the entire Eastern and Mississippi flyways) experienced very high levels of migration last night. The cause of this was the favorable northerly winds which built in behind the strong cold front that cleared the coast over the last two days. Migration over Florida was heaviest in the northern part of the state, and decreased as one moves south. Surface winds over the state were out of the northeast, with the winds at 3,000 feet out of the east-northeast. This will effectively push birds inland and to the west coast today, although migration across the radar did show a strong N–>S direction, suggesting that some strong flying birds may have compensated for the wind direction. It will be interesting to hear what people are seeing and where! I can remember some really good birding experiences around this date several years ago…following a long night on Duval street

Good Birding! 🙂


  1. September 29 2001 in key West to this day remains one of my favorite birding memories.

    September 29 2007: not crazy but interesting. New birds on the move at Cape Florida. Lots of accipiters today overhead, and we banded 2 sharpies and one Coopers. We captured 45 new birds, all in excellent condition to continue their flight south. Black-throated blues, ovenbirds, redstarts, common yellowthroats and red-eyed vireos continue to make up the bulk of the migrants, with chestnut-sided and magnolia warblers adding interest. No thrushes today.

  2. The numbers weren’t high but I was able to find fourteen species of warblers in eastern Broward today including Blue-winged, Magnolias, and a FOTS Black-throated Green Warbler. Other FOTS birds were Sharp-shinned Hawk, Yellow-throated Vireo, and Painted Bunting. The majority of the warblers were Redstarts and Black-throated Blues and I had season high numbers for White-eyed Vireos and Eastern Wood-Pewees. A few hawks were moving south along the coast, most were sharpies but there were also a couple of Merlins and Kestrels and a single Peregrine Falcon. The only buteo I saw today was a light morph Short-tailed Hawk soaring over I-95 at Broward Boulevard.

  3. There seem to be plenty of birds in Jacksonville and Pensacola, based on postings to the listservs, but Saturday and Sunday were pretty dead in Gainesville, with few migrants of any sort. I heard from a Lake City birder that Saturday was very dull up there as well. For inland sites the radar doesn’t seem to be much of a predictor, at least so far this fall.

  4. SW Florida (Ft Myers/Sanibel area) seemed slow migration wise as well. A few of the common warbler species, a steady Barn Swallow flight with a Cliff Swallow mixed in, and a light raptor movement (mostly Kestrels, but also a sharpie, Merlin, and Peregrine for good measure on Sunday) over the weekend.


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