Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | April 19, 2011 @ 8:31 am

Feeling The Zugunruhe!; Big Flight Over The SE

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

What an awesome flight! Southerly winds triggered a major migration event last night. Surface winds across much of the state and the southeastern US gave these birds the tailwind they needed. Upper level winds favored a NW flight over Florida which puts more birds on the western side of the peninsula. Key West radar looked incredible with a massive flight over the straits. With prevailing S-SSE winds we favor birding interior migrant traps around Florida unless you are on the west coast. Birds were out over the Gulf until morning when they made a turn back to land. Migrant traps such as Fort D and Greek Key funnel could be hopping today.

Down the state birds were coming in and seem to have hit the Keys chain of islands late morning. From the middle Keys to the southern portions of Miami-Dade migrants were making landfall. Get out and bird today, there has got to be some diamonds in the ruff if you know what we mean. Report back to us with your sightings. We love to hear from our readers and compare what you see with what we see on radar. We can all learn from these images if we can correlate the radar to actual ground truth. Hit your local migrant trap and compare your sightings to others around the state. Then take a look at radar images to see if you can pick out what caused the birding you experienced.

Have a great migration day 😉

Nature is Awesome,
Angel and Mariel


  1. Matheson East Side this morning: 1 Gray Catbird

    Bill reported 1 Redstart and 2 Cape Mays from Barnes in 20 minutes.

    • Birds are still in the air but seem to be dropping down way south of the areas you and Bill birded. Sometimes the early birder doesn’t get the worm. LOL

  2. I’m not going on a wild goose chase for birds that aren’t there. With increasing SE winds I highly doubt any birds will drop in S. FL. NOAA forecast for the next century calls for E-SE winds 15-20 kts.

    I reported my sightings. It’s not what people want to hear, but they are accurate. I can find birds; I can’t create birds.

  3. Spent the latter part of the afternoon checking for migrants in the Upper Keys, from Dagny Johnson Botanical State Park to mile marker 90.
    Passerines were not in the great numbers seen yesterday, but the variety of warblers was not disappointing. It seems most migrants took advantage of the favorable winds to continue beyond the area.

    The diamond in the rough was a Blue-winged Warbler at Dagny.
    Other species included:
    Black-throated Blue
    Cape May
    American Redstart
    Northern Parula
    Northern Waterthrush
    Common Yellowthroat
    and others

    A Mangrove Cuckoo was calling near the half-loop crossover at Dagny, about a mile in from the entrance.

    Best to all!

  4. Thank you so much for your report Rafael!


%d bloggers like this: