Posted by: woodcreeper | August 26, 2008 @ 6:00 am

Birds over Florida…finally!

Well, it sure wasn’t the mother-load, but given the recent dry spell, anything will do! Here’s the radar from 7:00pm last night through 5:00am this morning.

Frames are every 1/2 hour. 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 radar, and in turn migration, has been fascinating during the last couple of nights. The winds over Florida are still out of the southeast, and you can see the movement of weather across the radar even as birds move south into a headwind. It would be really cool if we could actually see the vertical wind profile, and predict the altitude at which these objects were moving, to see if they were finding areas within the atmosphere which caused them less opposition in flight… otherwise it’s very hard to predict that birds will take to the sky given the wind forecast alone. Anyway, birds were on the move across Florida last night with the heaviest movements in Northern Florida (although much is also obscured due to the southerly flow restricting the southbound velocities of the birds).

Over south Florida we can seen a good push through the Miami region and a small pulse of birds leaving the Keys into the Florida Straits. The trajectory appears N->S, but the southeasterly winds this morning would tend to favor inland sites over coastal ones. Still, Cape Florida should see more birds than it has in recent days… hopefully!

Good Birding,


Please don’t forget to become a member of the Badbirdz/Woodcreeper flock today. You can read the Become a Member post to find out more information.



  1. Liz banded 9 today at Cape FLA; don’t know how many nets she had open.

    I have a theory that early season migrants move regardless of the presence or absence of tailwinds. Since cold fronts are few and far between this far south this early, they can’t really wait around for them like late season migrants do.
    I have noticed (both here and at Ft Morgan AL) that there is a light movement nearly every night unless something unusual shuts it down in the early season, and later you catch almost nothing when the wind gets southerly in between fronts, and then a huge movement on N winds. Not that early migrants won’t use N winds if they come, just they are less dependent on them?

    It’s not like I have quantified any of this.

  2. Birded Matheson Hammock late in the morning. In theory, not the best time to bird, but there were still migrants about. I counted Yellow-throated Warbler (3), Yellow-throated Vireo (1), Northern Parula (1), Black-and-white Warbler (1), American Redstart (3), and Louisiana Waterthrush (1).


  3. MD- either way, it’s a great observation- and different than what we see up here in NJ during the same time period (where they tend not to migrate against the wind). That could be due to the cold fronts that make it through up here, but stall over Florida… very interesting indeed!

    Thanks for you observations!

  4. A single Swainson’s Warbler was seen this morning at Matheson NW Hammock trail.
    Swainson’s were seen at the same spot last year about 2 weeks later (most likely there earlier in 2007 but overlooked). They’ll peak in the coming week or two.
    Many ovenbirds were at that site also.
    Additionally, most of the same birds reported from Matheson yesterday were there today, with an apparent influx of Red-eyed Vireos (YBVI and BWVI were also there), and a few Chuck-will’s Widows.
    Only 1 female-type Hooded Warbler was seen (4 were there yesterday).
    Michelle’s theory on early season migrants makes sense.


%d bloggers like this: