Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | April 12, 2011 @ 10:36 am

WOW; Migration! Big Push Out Of Cuba

This is the radar from 5:00pm last night to 9:30am 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

Excellent conditions for lift off over Cuba and the Caribbean prompted a mass exodus of migrants last night. SSE surface winds over the Straits pushed birds out over Key West but a look at winds aloft confirmed a westerly component once past the Keys. WNW winds in the upper levels over the Gulf slowed progress for these birds. This seems to have eased birds west into areas north of Ft. Myers. With the front making its way SE bringing small amounts of rain and variable winds; birds started to make a descent along the west coast. True-and-tried migrant traps will be your best bet but inland sites may favor better due to the westerly winds.

Miami radar did show an influx as well as outflow over the night. Part of the wave of birds that passed over the Keys started to turn and head east in the Key Largo area. Inland sites again look best for the Miami area. Coastal locations north of Key Largo may not see much in the way of migrants today. Tomorrow could be a different story though. Winds are forecast to shift and a westerly component along with the weak front may bring down some birds. For today we believe the best birding out here is confined to the upper Keys as well as the western Everglades.

Jacksonville radar was alive with pulses last night. Lots of returns have moved over heading NE and eventually into the Carolinas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and the Mid Atlantic region. Some birds will always trickle out especially when dense migration was overhead all night. Look for birds at your local hot spots and you could be rewarded.

As always we hope to see your comments on the site and would be ecstatic to see more involvement from the birding community and those of you that visit the site daily. If you do not know how to post or have any questions for us; please don’t hesitate to write us an email. Send us your thoughts and comments at

Nature is Awesome,
Angel and Mariel


  1. I didn’t stop anywhere this morning, but the drive up Old Cutler Rd produced no fly-by migrants. In the past, when there was any migrant activity, a few warblers and stuff are seen each morning. Trey checked Sadowski and a couple of other places, but didn’t see a single migrant. So far, only Bill Baggs seems to be getting any amount of migrant activity. TAS should plan all their walks at Bill Baggs during migration.

    • So working just north of Cape FL must have its perks, bird wise. In the last five work days (M-F) we have seen 10 species of warbler and 4 over the weekend. We have seen B & W, Black-throated Blue, Cape May, Common Yellowthroat, Hooded, Magnolia, Palm, Prairie, Swainson’s, Worm-eating, Yellow-rumped, Yellow-throated, Louisiana and Northern Waterthrush. Not to mention a very probable Kentucky Warbler we saw at work yesterday. We heard a low chuck type call consistent with this species and found a warbler working under some down trees and exposed roots. Looking under leaves and gleaming insects off roots, a warbler with yellow spectacles, yellow throat and belly, thick bill, dark crown and olive-greenish back caught our attention. Having banded this species we feel confident on our ID but would have liked to see the bird out in the open to clinch the ID. We missed the Blue-winged Warbler at the Cape on Saturday and did not look for the two Chat that Robin had seen the day before which would have netted us 16 species over the span of seven days. American Redstart was a big miss but then again they must be chilling in Jamaica. In the same week we have seen both Eastern and Gray Kingbird and a ton of new Great-crested Fly’s that are definitely migrants at work. We have only come across two kettles of raptors, one kettle containing 2 Northern Harrier, 2 Red-tailed Hawk, 1 Broad-winged Hawk and 4 Osprey and ~75 Black and Turkey Vulture; all very high and in a migratory pattern. A new Merlin and a Peregrine Falcon have also shown up at work.
      We feel for you, but have to say that migrants are on the move; we have not seen huge advances by migrants on radar as of yet. A couple of sizeable waves of returns have flown the coop and crossed the straits but nothing like it will be in about three to five days. Be patient the birds will get here.


%d bloggers like this: