Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | October 14, 2011 @ 5:35 am

Frontal Bird Action

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

*An impressive flight was triggered by the approaching front last night. Get out and check out your local migrant traps this morning. Due to time constraints we will not be able to post an interpretation for an hour or so* OK we are back…here it is

Whoa that was major! With the cool breeze in our face as we were doing laundry the itch to look at the radar was too much to handle. As a cold front pushed its way south the impending force of high pressure sandwiched in behind the birds triggered a huge migration. Just about what we expected for this time of year. With unfavorable weather during the last week or so, birds seem to have hunkered down in anticipation of better winds. The high pressure did its part in providing clear skies, drier and cooler ambient temperatures behind the front and optimal migrating winds. All the ingredients for birds to take advantage of, and boy did they do just that!

A look at velocity radars across the state has most birds along the west coast moving N—S with stations along the east coast picking up a more NW—SE movement. Winds across much of the state reflect the flight that is seen on radar with an N wind along the western half of the state and NW winds across the eastern half of the state. Many of these birds will take advantage of this great fortune and fly faster and farther in hopes of making the trip shorter. With all flights of this magnitude we expect migrants to be seen at tried-and true migrant traps across the state. Coastal locations in S. FL look best for quantity and the lure of a vagrant but inland locations can boost your diversity.

For our Miami and Key West peeps, the birds were in the air; now all they have to do is land. As mentioned above many of the birds aloft will fly past our area but we always expect birds that are flying longer distances to show up later in the morning. Migrants that depleted or did not put on enough fat before the flight last night will have to refuel and what better place than Miami and the FL Keys to do just that! Get out and bird your hearts out today and this weekend. Inland locations may be a bit left out with the current winds but we can never leave out locations such as Barnes, Kendal Indian Hammocks, ENP or Lucky Hammock/Annex. We expect some cool reports to come out of these areas, diversity should be interesting as wintering birds and neo-tropical migrants fly south together this late into October. With northerly winds over Miami birds are trying to fly later into the day which can lead to a huge fly over but can also aid birds that are yet to arrive this far south. Coastal migrant traps may hear a lot of birds overhead early in the morning but expect some of these birds to put down and give you some looks. Please post your sightings and share with us and the rest of the badbirdz community.

Below is a velocity radar image that shows what may be Raptor Migration at 7:45am. Look for the straight line heading N—S right down the middle of the radar beam. Hope we hear from our friends at the Florida Keys Hawkwatch today.

Nature is Awesome,
Angel and Mariel

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