Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | April 11, 2011 @ 10:00 am

Migrants Heading North

This is the radar from 5:00pm last night to 8:00am 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

High pressure has secured itself over the southeast thus bringing on S-SE winds which are of great help to migrants hoping to reach their breeding grounds in the mad dash to set up territory. Optimal winds triggered migration out of Cuba and over Florida. Early in the night east winds seem to have pushed migrants out over the gulf as they headed over the FL Straits. Winds across the west coast of the state mirrored these conditions which only kept migrants out over the Gulf. Birds should be aloft into the morning and making landfall somewhere along the western panhandle and Alabama during the late morning hours and into the early afternoon. With a front moving SE across the plains, birds are not expected to fly far inland but rather take refuge along the coast.

Radars across the state were glowing with returns moving in a general SE–>NW direction. The densest migration took place over the Jacksonville area as migrants crossed into Georgia and eventually over the Carolinas. Birders north of Florida should see new faces today as lots of birds were on the move north. If you are in states north of Florida we would love to hear from you. What is new around the neighborhood or in your local migrant traps?

Both Key West and Miami radar had birds moving over and out of the area. Migrant traps look like your best chance of seeing new migrants around here. Most of the activity made it far north of S. FL as a result of the SE winds and the lack of weather to bring down birds.

As the front continues its path SE we should see a shift in winds down here on Tuesday night into Wednesday depending on the front’s arrival. Southwest to west winds should change things up a bit and send us a care package along with some wet weather. If the fronts timing coincides with the arrival of migrants we could see the first big day in S. FL this spring.

Please leave your comments and share your sightings with the rest of the Florida birding community. This site works best as a collaborative effort between Badbirdz and the birding community; your sightings are vital to the better understanding of Radar Ornithology.

Nature is Awesome,
Angel and Mariel

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