Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | May 13, 2011 @ 2:39 pm

Northward Migration Over Florida

This is the radar from 5:00pm last night to 11:30am 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

More birds were on tap for points north of Florida! We are seeing the last of migrants around here in Miami for this spring. Young males and females are streaming through; noticeably slower migration with this group. Earlier in the season when males were moving through we would see less birds but now they seem to be moving at a more leisurely pace. Banding has proven this as we have caught lots of females and first year males. Connecticut’s are moving through with a good showing this spring down here in Miami. Lots of Blackpoll, Redstarts, and Northern Waterthrush on the move north this week.

Radar showed another great night of northern migration last night. Miami radar had a small influx of birds from the eastern Caribbean. Birds departing from Cuba were absent last night on radar. This may have a lot to do with the storms that were moving SW towards the FL Straits. These storms look pretty intense on radar! Miami, Melbourne and Jacksonville radar were in the path of flight last night as the others did not show much of anything. This tell us that the birds are most probably birds moving up from the Caribbean and that most neo-tropical migrants from South America have passed us by.

Make the best of the end of spring migration in Florida as it is quickly coming to an end. Soon we will be waiting for shorebirds and of course here in FL we can see rarities at any time of the year. June is a great month to take the time to learn your resident species better and spend time brushing up your skills. The June Challenge is a great way to do this; if you have never participated you should give it a try. Last year our Miami-Dade team “Los Marielitos” found 139 ABA countable species for the challenge. This team included Bill Borienger, Rober”toe” Torres, Trey Mitchell, Brian Rapoza and ourselves. It was a cool way to learn more about our resident species in a month that is seldom birded enough.

There is a front moving in from the NW sliding across the SE and should provide much-needed precipitation for the state. If there are more birds departing their vacation spots Saturday and Sunday may look good. We will keep you all updated on the progression of the front and what it may mean for birding in the sunshine state.

Please share your sightings with us and the rest of the radar birding community. If you would like to leave a report on the site just simply click on the title of the post and scroll down till you see a window that reads leave a reply. Here you will be able to post your observations. Have a great day all.

Nature is Awesome,
Angel and Mariel



  1. Hi all,

    Well, it ain’t over till it’s over. Many thanks to Chazz Hesselein for
    alerting Lucy and me to a fallout that was occuring at Dauphin Island this
    afternoon. It caught this weather-wise old timer completely off guard. I took a
    mid-day nap after looking at radar and the general surface map this morning and
    didn’t expect much. We rushed to Ft. Pickens with Cecil and Pam Brown after
    Chazz’s call and ran into some birders who said there was a good fallout about
    the time the rain ended, around 2:00 p.m. What we found around 3 p.m. were
    leftovers, but quite a few Red-eyed Vireos, a Magnolia and a Yellow Warbler,
    and several of the following: Redstarts, Rose-br. Grosbeak, Ind. Buntings, a
    few Y. B. Cuckoos, and Chuck-w-widow.

    Apparently an upper level disturbance ahead of an advancing cold front got
    reinvigorated in the north central Gulf and caused rain showers and
    thunderstorms from about the mouth of the Mississippi River to the AL- NW FL
    coasts. All the ingredients were there for fallout, rain in the Gulf and along
    the shore, S & SW wind at the surface and aloft to vector birds our way. The
    birds went according to script. The birds at Ft. Pickens were not tired and
    most had taken off for the mainland about a mile away before we got there.
    Dauphin Island birders fared better, since there were 7 more miles of water to
    cross once birds got there.

    What a surprise, a late spring movement of birds and rain!

    Bob Duncan


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