Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | April 28, 2013 @ 9:18 am

Heavy Migration Over KW & the West Coast

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. A frontal system is rolling eastward over the next coming days, but for now High Pressure is still in effect. A high pressure system is sitting pretty over the western Atlantic. What does this mean for birders in FL? Read below…

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

Nocturnal migration was HOT last night! Many birds are still aloft as of 8AM, flying up the west coast and just offshore over the Gulf. These migrants have chosen to fly into the daylight hours, but with little precipitation to stand in their way we shouldn’t expect the typical fallout. Without the mix of headwinds and precipitation, birds should not concentrate at migrant traps. A sizeable group of birds are going to hit the west coast from Sanibel to the Panhandle this morning or early afternoon; this can result in a mediocre day to a wonderful day depending on where migrants choose to land.

Key West radar shows heavy migration overhead and as the sun rose over the horizon, lots of birds were still aloft. A quick look of the Miami radar shows that a bit flew in from the Bahamas but these birds are likely to move west. This is very different from what is being recorded over the KW radar station. Here we can see that easterly winds are vectoring birds N-NW. As mentioned above, the lack of precipitation will not likely cause a fallout, but birds should arrive, fuel up some, and continue to move north during the day. Migrant traps along the west coast of the state should be checked, some of these spots such as Fort DeSoto may not have action until late morning. Birds visible on radar are already choosing to head back towards the NE and can be expected to hit the coast soon. Get out and bird, please let us know what you are seeing.

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


  1. Barnes had only 3 Blackpolls, 3 Ovenbirds, and 2 Redstarts. Only other migrant was a Catbird. As is typical for spring here in SE Florida, no Thrushes, Tanagers, Orioles, Grosbeaks, Pewees or other empids, or Vireos. Looks like Texas is having its best spring migration in 25 years, while we are having the worst.


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