Posted by: woodcreeper | April 18, 2008 @ 6:08 am

Big flight into South Florida

Now THIS is what spring migration is all about… east to northeast winds blowing over Florida, but birds are ready to move out of Cuba and there’s no stopping the evolutionary pull of Zugunruhe!
Here’s the radar from sunset last night through 5:30am 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, FLBase Reflectivity image from Miami, FL Base Velocity image from Miami, FL Composite base reflectivity for the Southeastern USA

While the composite image indicated some light to moderate migration over North and Central Florida, the real show-stoppers were the Key West and Miami radars. A huge flight from Cuba is still making landfall across the Keys and southern coast. Some birds apparently stopped in the Keys, so birders there should be seeing some new faces this morning. The highest density, though, appears to be moving west on the easterly winds, so places like Sanibel, Fort Meyers, and Naples should be seeing new birds as well.
A second wave of birds is also arriving in South Florida this morning, this one coming from the Bahamas and making a direct hit along the southeast coast. Locations from Key Biscayne to AD Barnes should be seeing new arrivals this morning as well. If you’re in south Florida, this would be a good time to go birding! Because there’s no severe weather in today’s forecast, hit the tried-and-true Spring migration hotspots for the best diversity and density.

Good Birding!


Please don’t forget to become a member of the Badbirdz/Woodcreeper flock today. Membership has its privileges, so read the Become a Member post to find out more.



  1. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, stops at Sadowski and Matheson this morning produced one each Prairie and BTB. No other migrants. Fortunate for the birds, they continued on towards their destination. Unfortunate for the birders who won’t get to see them, at least, not in SE Florida.

  2. I was passed along a report of a Common Nighthawk and a Chuck-will’s-widow seen while fishing offshore of the Sanibel/Ft Myers area today, 18 April 2008.

  3. Roberto & Charlie: Thanks for the posts. All ground truthing is helpful in calibrating my interpretation of the radar. It seems interesting that “very little” was seen at Sedowski and Matheson, yet the departure of birds from SE Florida last night was huge… so there were migrants around… but where were they???

    The more I learn about this stuff, the more I realize I don’t know!

    It’s awesome nonetheless…

    Good Birding


  4. Hey David, like I promised, the birds Mandy and I saw today. Although we didn’t head out till late (after 11am!) we saw a few.

    Mary Krome Park – yellow-billed cuckoo (1), black-and-white warbler (1), worm-eating warbler (1), Nth Parula (1), blackpoll (1), redstart (1).

    232nd (aka Lucky Hammock rd) 3pm – Cape May (5+), redstart (3), black-throated blue (1), prairies (3), palm warbler (2), Nth Parula (2).

    House 124 Pine Island 5pm – black-and-white (3), prairies (3), cape may (1), Nth Parula (1).



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