Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | October 9, 2013 @ 11:01 am

Mucho Birds on the Move Between Lows

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.

Sandwiched between a cold front and a trough birds decided it was time to make a move, but this was localized. The rule of thumb for most veteran birders that follow weather patterns in search of migrants is that “there is usually no further pulse of migrants the night after a good movement”. -B.Duncan
This was evident last night, moderate to light migration over the SE and Mid-West despite favorable prevailing conditions. The heaviest migration was recorded over Central and South Florida, birds picked up and moved along with the sagging front. Winds at surface level and at 1K ft. had a deep SW flow over the region. Dry air surged south ahead of the front, this could lead to foggy conditions as colder, drier air clashes with moist lower levels. Fog disrupts migration for most birds, along the frontal edge of this front would be where fog had its best chance of setting up. These areas could be worth a check to see if migrants indeed were met with fog and decided to call it a day.

Southwest flow is currently taking on a more northerly component to its wind field. This should push bird movement to inland migrant traps as well as southeastern coastal traps. Rain should move in along the frontal boundary that is slowly moving south, ahead of the front some low level moisture could gain support and spark diurnal showers. These showers would be concentrated to the SE given the winds. Look out for birds hitting the migrant traps later in the morning or afternoon. Have fun out there y’all, enjoy the cooler, drier atmosphere 🙂

Yesterday for the first time, we were able to put together radar ornithology and ground truth, something that is utterly hard to do. Read all about it later today, we will be posting about it here.

Our computer is still down and we were unable to download and post the radar as usual so we are doing the second best thing. Below is a list of links to radar loops from 2am-6am.
The regional radar is in reflectivity mode which is best used to quantify birds and to get a picture of where they are moving from. The rest of the radar links are velocity radars, these are best used to determine speed and direction of travel. With these images you are looking at light blue-dark blue returns (incoming birds) and yellow-orange (outgoing birds). The grayish line between the two colors is the line of axis, this line will give you an idea of which direction birds are entering the radar from and which direction they are flying as they exit radar range.

Regional Radar:







Key West:

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 & Mariel


  1. Congratulations on your awesome collaboration w Hawkwatch! I just read their blog post – it must feel amazing to have all your hard work over these years come together like that – hard work, persistence and teamwork really do pay off. Kudos!!!


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