Posted by: woodcreeper | October 11, 2007 @ 5:50 am

Mega-migration last night


You knew it had to happen EVENTUALLY, did you not?

Here’s the radar from sunset last night through 5:00am 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
Finally the east winds subsided enough to direct the eastern flyway through the state of Florida. Massive densities of birds made their way into and out of the state last night, with some of the largest single-night movements of birds I’ve ever seen leaving the panhandle coast for the Gulf of Mexico, and a heavy push off the south coast for Cuba and the Caribbean. Plenty of birds were heading due south over land by 5:00am, so there will be no “my coast is better than your coast” bickering this morning. Since no weather was present to concentrate birds, the tried and true migration hotspots will be your best bet for birding today. A good guess, though, would be coastal locations along the southern part of the state, and the Keys, since both places will be hit hard with truckloads of birds by sunrise today. Okay, now it’s your turn! Make sure to come back and let me know how it went!

Good Birding! 🙂

p.s. if you look at the composite image, you’ll notice that migration was quiet over the Jacksonville area- don’t be fooled! The radar was down. You can assume that there was an equally large movement of birds over the NE coast as well, based on the GA and Melbourne, FL radars.


  1. Well, reading your report predawn this morning, I was hoping to walk out into the yard and see the lawn littered with thrushes, but it didn’t happen. It seems that everything just went right on by. Didn’t hear a peep. I’ll be counting hawks today and I’ll try to give a report this evening, but the preliminary report for Key Largo is nada. (It didn’t rain last night.)

  2. Well, I tried Matheson Hammock this morning and left after 20 minutes due to the lack of birds. Wherever the birds were going, it was not here. Some BTB’s and a couple of Redstarts were the only things seen, except for one Parula. I only birded the east side, but didn’t see anything that would make it worhwhile birding the rest of the park. I did see two flocks of Bobolinks heading south overhead, and heard a few other migrants, all heading south. Perhaps other locations in South Florida experienced some form of fallout, but it’s not the general fallouts we’ve had in the past where the birds are just everywhere. October 2004 it is definitely not!

  3. As of the Florida radar at 9:15am, birds are STILL moving over Florida. There are still high densities over the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, which will probably take several hours to come ashore. Birds are also still moving into Cuba from the mainland…again, without weather we wouldn’t expect fallout conditions- but given the sheer number of birds aloft, if you give them time to land and find suitable habitat you’re likely to have a good birding experience.

  4. Lucky Hammock and Annex seemed to have a lesser number of birds this morning compared to yesterday, but with 16 warblers species there today including a female Canada Warbler, plus Magnolias, Chestnut-sided, etc… it was a great time. No complaints from me. Thanks for getting me out there D.

  5. We weren’t slammin’ and jammin’ today but we agree with David’s and Rafael’s assessments. At Cape Florida this pulse of birds is more diverse than previous flights. Birds were steady in the banding area *after* 9 AM and I heard a Gray-Cheeked Thrush flight call at 9:30. We think that birds over the water after dawn decided to land and then worked their way to the hammock. We’re banding FOS birds like House Wren, Philadelphia Vireo and Bay-breasted Warbler. As pointed out by others, weather didn’t force the birds down (small shower at 6 AM) and most of the banded birds were in very good shape.

  6. This morning Angel birded his regular spot in Doral after he dropped me off at work. In 40 minutes all of the following birds were observed in multiples: American Redstart, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Palm Warbler, Ovenbird, Northern Parula, Common Yellowthroat, Gnatcatcher, Fish Crow, Starling, Blue Jay, Red-winged Blackbird, Boat-tailed Grackle, Common Moorhen, Mockingbird, Green Heron, Great Egret and Mourning Dove.

    After that he headed out to Barnes for about an hour and a half.
    At Barnes he observed multiples of the following: The same suspects mentioned above and also… Hooded Warbler (male) highlight of the day, Cardinal, Prairie Warbler, Pine Warbler (many), , Red-eyed Vireo, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, possibly a Rufous Hummingbird (slight rufous coloration on the tail), Red-bellied Woodpecker, White Ibis (125+) and a Gray Catbird. RATS!…all while I was at work of course.

    Well I just had to get some birding in after work so we headed out to the Cape late this afternoon. We observed many Merlins, American Kestrels, Sharp-shinned, Northern Harriers, Peregrine Falcon and what appeared to be a Short-tailed Hawk (too far for solid identification) soaring and gliding above. It was awesome when a Merlin flew directly over us no more than 15 feet to check us out. BEAUTIFUL!

    Tomorrow we plan to bird Barnes in the morning before work hopefully.
    We will report our sightings if we make it there tomorrow morning.

    Nature is Awesome!
    Angel & Mariel

  7. I birded Mead Gardens in Winter Park this morning with 9 other people. We had 19 warbler species in fairly good numbers, including Black-throated Green, Hooded, Bay-breasted, Blackpoll, Magnolia, Chestnut-sided, Tennessee and Blackburnian. Numerous Scarlet Tanagers, 3 Summer Tanagers, 1 Wood Thrush and numerous Swainson’s and Gray-cheeked. Large numbers of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, 2 Baltimore Orioles and an early American Goldfinch. A Philadelphia Vireo was seen by others. Also, 2 Bald Eagle flyovers. It was a very good day.


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