Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | May 1, 2011 @ 7:04 pm

Lots Of Birthday Migration Over FL & The Keys

This is the radar from 5:00pm last night to noon this morning. Sorry for the tardiness of the post but Angel’s birthday celebration was far from home and we did not have access to the server from where we were at. Enjoy 🙂

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

Migration was moderate to heavy over the state last night. Birds were moving over the peninsula in a general S->N direction but over Miami the axis of movement was definitely SE->NW. The Keys radar was very interesting to say the least. A small push out of Cuba came in early in the night and continued into the western portions of the Everglades and into the Naples area. What was interesting was the late morning arrival of birds that must have flown from somewhere other than Cuba judging by the axis of movement and the timing of the arrival. Our best guess is that these birds came from either Jamaica or Haiti since the arrival time was so late into the morning. Birds started to arrive around 5:45a.m. and continued to pour in till noon. With easterly winds at ~13kts throughout the night over the eastern Caribbean birds were able to bypass Cuba and fly into the Keys. Sugarloaf Key to Marathon seems to be the sweet spot where these birds made a landing. A swift east wind over the Atlantic just before Marathon seems to have helped birds make their final leg of the flight easier. Hope some birders were out there to report back what they experienced today. Wish we were in the area today; it would have made for an awesome birthday gift from the migration gods.

Elsewhere in Florida the birds were on the move north with loads of birds exiting the state from Tallahassee to Jacksonville. Both radars were alive with pulses exiting the state. Some impressive densities were recorded over this region. Flight calls must have filled the skies for hours!

Farther down the state you can see that birds flew over Miami heading NW. These pulses seem to have flown all the way to the west coast. Some birds may have trickled into migrant traps such as Fort DeSoto or Green Key Funnel but the bulk of these birds flew farther up the Nature Coast. We would expect the best birding at migrant traps north of Pasco County today.

Miami radar had some activity last night but majority of these birds took advantage of the favorable winds and ran or flew with it. We only expect tried-and-true migrant traps to hold any numbers of birds today; that said we don’t expect much in the way of migrants down here today.

Hope to see your reports on the site, loads of visitors pass by everyday but very few post their sightings. It would be ideal to have us post the radar images and interpretations and you post your sightings. This would make the value of this site to birders; priceless. Either way we are radar junkies and will continue to post the images and interpret them for you all to read and learn. Good birding!

Nature is Awesome,
Angel and Mariel


  1. Continued to have luck with a few migrants falling into my yard in NE Broward – BTB and C Yellowthroats again. They must be trying to make up for hours of searching in my usual ‘good’ spots, with few birds found. I managed to find a few A. Redstarts and BTB at Hillsboro Pines and Daggerwing on the Western edge of Broward/Palm Beach. I still have PABU, so maybe the winds have not been perfect for leaving 😉


    • Thanks Holly! Your recent reports are very much appreciated it.

      Angel & Mariel

  3. Happy Birthday! I hope you got a good Birthday bird.

  4. We had a number of warblers in our fruiting native ficus over the weekend; blackpoll, Cape May, redstarts, black throated blues, black and white, parula and a couple unidentified. We had all those rain showers going by from the NW to the SE…although we didn’t get any rain until Sunday night.

  5. Sorry we are in central Palm Beach County. Donna


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