Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | April 27, 2013 @ 12:05 pm

Early Bird Gets the Worm

National Overview

Below is a snapshot of the national map with radar and weather fronts. Use this map to get an overall feel of migration and how weather affects nocturnal migration. High pressure has taken hold once again and east winds are in place over the State. Birds continue to enjoy the favorable winds and clear night and are flying at higher altitudes and clearing the state all together.

Frames are every 1/2 hour. Click on the thumbnail to view the full-sized animation.
Base Reflectivity image from Tampa Bay, FL Base Velocity image from Tampa Bay, FL Base Reflectivity image from Miami, FL Base Velocity image from Miami, FL Base Reflectivity image from Key West, FL Base Velocity image from Key West, FL

As mentioned above, high pressure is the major player in the weather pattern right now. These conditions are great for the birds–less than optimal conditions for the birder. With birds flying over the state at high altitudes and little to convince them to slow down and land, we can expect migrants to fly farther and faster over the landscape. Spring is a time of haste for the birds, he who gets to the breeding grounds first gets to pick the best perch or feeding habitat. It’s a lot like getting to the rock concert early to get front row seats, the show goes on whether you got there first or not, you just get to see the action from the back if you were slow to arrive. Birds know this and fly as far as they can in one shot. Tampa radar showed some of this strategy last night. Birds were moving S->N along the coast until they reached the Bay Area; at this point they shifted direction and headed NW over the Gulf. Why would they just continue over land, it’s certainly safer! The straight line flight to the panhandle was shorter than circumnavigating the big bend. These birds are smart, they know that old saying; early bird gets the worm! Tried and true migrant traps will once again be your best bet for today. Some birds always trickle out, much of this movement made it north of FL overnight, but get out there and take a look around. Have a great day all, enjoy the beautiful weather!

As always Badbirdz depends on its readers to help us understand the magic of bird migration. We ask our readers to take a minute to email us at, post a comment on the site or share what you are seeing on our Facebook page. As a whole the Florida birding community is large and enthusiastic about bird migration, lets join together this year to make Badbirdz an integral part of every birders toolbox. Together we can track and monitor birds and learn more about this phenomenon called MIGRATION!

Nature is Awesome,
Angel and Mariel


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