Posted by: woodcreeper | October 20, 2007 @ 5:47 am

Huge migration into North Florida


Wow! The cold front (stretching roughly from New Port Ritchie to St. Augustine) marked the southern boundary of very heavy migration into Florida last night. 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
You may notice the radar loops are a bit short this morning, as both the Key West and Miami feeds were incomplete during the night (radar failures, not mine). The regional composite, though, is the most telling since the majority of migration occurred into north Florida. Heavy migration was evident over the Southeastern US and north Florida last night, with most movement heading in a NW –> SE trajectory. These conditions are perfect for good birding throughout the northern half of the state. There was some heavy precipitation evident along the frontal boundary, so if you’re in this area, and experienced precipitation early this morning, stop what you’re doing and bird! The best locations will be along the frontal boundary, and possibly along the extreme NE coast where birds over water will be returning to shore in the first few hours after sunrise.

Migration decreases as you move south of the front, since winds south of the front were blowing from the south. There was some migration over central and southern Florida, though, as can be seen on the composite, as well as the Miami radar feed. Birds were moving against the wind from NW to SE, and therefore should favor migrant traps throughout the central part of the state, and specifically coastal south Florida locations such as Cape Florida. The question will be whether these were indeed passerines or not. If so, I would expect them to be strong fliers (thrushes etc?), otherwise I would expect them to be shore or wading birds. No birds were seen making the leap into the Florida Straits, as the conditions were just too unfavorable for heading out to sea.
I’m looking forward to your reports from the field!

Good Birding! 🙂

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  1. They weren’t in Cape Florida today, even with the rain we had around 0400. 4 new birds banded. Yesterday morning we banded 13, with 23 the day before. We’re looking forwards to this next push of birds, although that front is supposed to stall short of extreme So Fla.

  2. Not much going on in eastern Broward today. I was able to find 12 species of warbler, mostly Palms and Redstarts. Best were Bay-breasted, Tennessee, and Black-throated Green. Saw one Red-eyed and a few White-eyed Vireos and a few Indigo Buntings but no Tanagers or Thrushes. There was one Peregrine Falcon hunting over Birch but no hawks were seen heading south.

  3. About a dozen of us met at Mead Gardens in Winter Park for the monthly survey. The rains started to clear around 9:00 and the birds got active right afterward. 14 warbler species in decent numbers, best of which were Bay-breasted, Chestnut-sided, Tennessee and Orange-crowned. Numerous Scarlet Tanagers and a couple of Summers. Also a few Swainson’s Thrushes.


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