Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | April 14, 2015 @ 1:22 pm

Moderate Movement Last Night

Hi all,

Southeast winds are killing us 🙂 The weather is great for migrants, but not so great for the birders. That’s OK though, we should want the birds to make it up to their territories sooner than later. Migrants were aloft overnight, many birds were flying in a NW direction, this puts birds heading out over the Gulf and away from Florida’s west coast. If a cold front were to be pushing its way south into the Gulf of Mexico, then we would have a chance at these migrants putting down in the state. For now we wait for better birding conditions, right now southeasterly winds dominate the forecast, a wind forecast that does not bode well for the birder.

Radar loops below are for Miami and Key West. You’ll find two radar products for each radar site. A reflectivity product and a velocity radar product. Reflective radar picks up objects in the atmosphere and displays it for us. The velocity product provides us with valuable data that makes this product very useful to the radar-birder. A study of the velocity radar will provide trajectory and velocity. You can learn more about this radar product in our Radar FAQ page.

Frames are every 1/2 hour. Click on the thumbnail to view the full-sized animation.

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

Nature is Awesome
Angel & Mariel

Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | April 7, 2015 @ 11:28 am

Spring has Sprung

Badbirdz is back up and running with a little help from our friend and Birdar mentor, Director of the Cape May Bird Observatory, David LaPuma. New scripts, new program; same great radar interpretations and migration predictions 🙂 In the coming days we will be adding new Florida radar stations to the script which will allow us to post more radar animations from around Florida. Thanks again David 🙂 Last night marked a change in winds which have not been optimal for birds departing from the West Indies, Cuba and northern Mexico as of late. Winds whipping around from the ESE triggered some migration out of the islands and north out of Cuba.

Winds @ 3,000ft

Since we only have the Key West and Miami radars working on the site at the moment, we will only cover the lower half of the state. Bear with us as we get the other radars up and running on the site 🙂 Key West radar shows a definite lift-off from Cuba overnight. We can see radar signals showing up on the animation over the Florida Straits, presumably migrants due to time of year, direction of travel and speed at which said signals are moving. A look at the reflectivity radar shows us what is in the air. The velocity radar product clues us in on speed and direction. With the use of these two radar products we will know if birds are actually flying and in which direction they are headed and at what speed.

Last night birds were departing Cuba as shown in the KW reflectivity radar animation. As birds climbed to optimal elevation, winds carried them towards the NW and out towards the SW habitats of Florida. Many undoubtedly headed out over the Gulf of Mexico on a long and dangerous flight, these migrants would likely end up catching some help from the winds that should carry them to the western Panhandle of Florida and points west into Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. With clear skies and no precipitation over the Keys, expect a flyover of these migrants with only a trickle of migrants at tried-and-true migrant hot spots such as Fort Zachary, Big Pine Key (Pinelands, Blue Hole and Bahia Honda), Long Key State Park and other great birding locations along the Keys archipelago.

With migrants flying NW we urge birders along the SW coast of Florida to keep an eye out for new arrivals. Migrants may have trickled out over Naples, Sanibel, Ft. Myers and north to Port Charlotte. Fort DeSoto has a chance of late day arrivals as migrants caught out over the Gulf during mid-day may choose to head for land. If this scenario occurs, migrant traps such as Fort D, Ceday Key and St. Marks may see some of these late day arrivals.

Miami radar did not paint much of a migration picture last night, but this morning it did pick up some incoming signals out of the south and southeast. No major influx or anything, but a bit of a sprinkle. Migrants hitting the coast late in the morning may drop in for a fuel-up at spots with suitable habitat. Southern birding locations may have your only signs of migration in Miami today. Everglades National park always bodes well in the spring, migrants flying over the Florida Straits in the spring almost always head west, which puts them over the glades. Look for migrants at upland habitats such as Old Ingraham Hwy, Royal Palm, Mahogany Hammock and further west towards the subtropical portion of the park, Flamingo.

Frames are every 1/2 hour. Click on the thumbnail to view the full-sized animation. 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

Happy to be back online and providing the Florida Birding community with migration predictions and radar interpretations. If you enjoy the site, please help us spread the word and share our posts on Facebook, retweet on Twitter and other social media outlets that you may use. You can find the share buttons below every post. Look out for us on our Facebook page Badbirdz-Reloaded as well as on @Badbirdz2 Twitter. Thanks for taking your time to read our migration updates! We hope to see many sightings posted to the site and/or social media, you are our “boots on the ground” sort to say, you all help us make these predictions and interpretations more accurate. Please help us by sharing your migration bird checklists or simply by posting a list of what you are seeing and a snapshot of what the weather conditions were like.

Thanks again,
Nature is Awesome
Angel & Mariel Abreu

Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | October 22, 2014 @ 8:15 pm

TD #9 & Southbound Bird Migration


We’ve been paying close attention to an area of low pressure that has been gaining steam in the Bay of Campeche and threatens to block migrants way to Mexico via the Caribbean. This disturbance has continued organize and is now TD #9. As we continue to monitor the movement of this storm we realize that birds should be headed south along the Appalachians and the eastern seaboard given current winds.

Tailwinds are a birds best friend and currently cool northerly winds are in effect. If migrants do indeed take flight, we feel birds will attempt to make long distance flights in hopes of making up for lost time. After the last semi-strong cold front passage, subpar migration conditions have loomed over much of eastern migratory flyway. This has caused many migrants to be stranded, awaiting optimal winds to continue with migration. As conditions gradually improve, birds should be taking to the skies. This could spark long flights from birds that are farther north than they would like to be by now.

Migrants leaving southern GA and northern FL could take a cue from winds and try that long flight, if so they will run into a large area of unfavorable migration conditions over South FL. TD #9 may fall apart, but the heavy precipitation is still forecast to move north into South FL. If this scenario takes place, we feel that a stack up of sorts could take place. Migrants will be forced to land and wait for better conditions which could take some time to clear according to weather forecast models.

So long story short: Birds should be on the wing. With the aid of a tailwind and clear skies, birds may attempt longer flights. Once over South FL, migrants will likely be met with harsh conditions which should cause them to suspend migration. Northerly winds will continue to give migrants to the north a push down the state, only adding to the number of migrants down on the ground awaiting better conditions. We call this a “Stack-up”, it usually involves waves of migrants headed south while waves of precipitation move north into the path of migration causing great concentrations of migrants at migrant traps.



Take a look at the following forecast maps. Notice the increasing amount precipitation moving in from the south while winds continue to be optimal for migration to our north. We expect some good birding days for the last days of October and beginning of November. Get out there and enjoy these migrants as they try head south for the winter.


Nature is Awesome
Angel & Mariel

Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | October 15, 2014 @ 8:10 pm

Big Flight Tonight!


Current Weather Map

Southeast Mosaic Radar Loop

The moment we’ve all been waiting for, the floodgates are open and birds are taking to the skies. Winds behind the most recent cold front passage are optimal for migration. North and northwesterly winds will give migrants a tailwind allowing for longer flights tonight. On average, migrants will travel approximately 200-300 miles a night, but favorable winds may help them stretch that distance.

Winds at Surface Level

Winds at 3,000ft

Winds are the biggest key factor as to when and where birds will migrate. Tonight winds offer an influx of migrants that have been held up by unfavorable conditions north of the state. A new batch of migrants should be expected at migrant traps around the state. Both coastal and inland locations should fare well tomorrow and through the weekend.

Get out there and enjoy the migration!

Nature is Awesome
Angel & Mariel

Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | October 3, 2014 @ 4:13 pm

New Batch of Migrants on Tap Tonight!

The first strong cold front of this fall migration season is forecast to slide through northern FL tonight. Traditionally big flights of migratory birds occur on the first night after a fronts passage. Tonight should be no different! Winds will be optimal for migration to the south, this should give migrants a tail wind which could carry them all the way to the Caribbean, Mexico and beyond.

Check out the wind forecast maps (notice the wide array of northwesterly winds pictured, a migrants dream).




Current forecast


Weather forecast for the next 36 hrs.




As long as winds are coming out of the west, we can expect some trans-gulf migrants to be pushed east into the state instead of flying over the Gulf. This also puts more birds on the east coast of the state that wouldn’t usually visit, birds such as Golden-winged & Blue-winged Warblers or maybe some grosbeaks, tanagers, orioles…you never know what’s going to pop up with westerly winds. Caribbean based migrants traveling down the east coast and over the Atlantic usually drop in with threats of bad weather over the western Atlantic. If the frontal boundary brings in storms with it, we could expect a few of these migrant’s to land for a refuel.

We will be at the Wings & Wildflowers Festival in Leesburg, FL this weekend. We are giving a workshop on Radar Birding and a Kids Birding Workshop. Come out and say hi if you will be in town!

Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | September 13, 2014 @ 9:56 pm

Will They Stack Up?


Tropical moisture is still lingering over extreme South FL and threatens to shut down migration out of the state tonight. Birds that landed in South FL and the FL Keys last night and this morning, might get stuck here waiting for better migration conditions if the bands of precipitation and wind hold together. With the impending front coming in from the north we may see a “stack up” of sorts. The front isn’t the strongest and doesn’t boast the stiff northerlies that would trigger a massive movement of migrants, but birds should still move out ahead and behind the frontal boundary.

Miami radar showing tropical moisture coming in from the south.

Southeasterly winds feeding the surface low with warm tropical moisture.

Satellite imagery shows some clear skies north of South FL and frontal boundary along the FL/GA state line.

Southeasterly winds should continue to feed this surface low pressure overnight an into the day on Sunday. This will only increase the chances that birds will stay put and that the storms limited footprint on the state will allow birds flying the clear skies north of South FL to fly into a trap of sorts.

12hr forecast shows that precipitation moving west into the Gulf may block migration out of the state via the Gulf coast.

We will keep you updated. Check for our post tomorrow 🙂

Nature is Awesome
Angel & Mariel

Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | September 13, 2014 @ 5:45 am

Migration on a Soggy Night


Migration is heating up across North America! With every night that passes, more and more birds are headed south. Florida birders are beginning to enjoy the daily arrival of neotropical migrants. Those cute little buggers are back and ready to inflict warbler neck. If you aren’t careful you can put yourself out of the game, so take proper measures 🙂

Today we saw migration ready birds taking flight just after yesterdays sunset. Winds at 3,000ft were ripe for a Gulf Flight and birds took note. Looks likes many birds took the ocean route rather than an overland migration. Signals were pouring out from the Nature Coast as well as the panhandle and out over the Gulf of Mexico. Most of these birds will be able to make it out over the ocean by morning, but some will choose to return. If this happens, coastal migrant traps such as Fort D and Honeymoon Island may see lots of birds after sunrise. Coastal hot spots along the panhandle may also experience some morning flight due to overshoots.


Central state locations along the east coast may be slower than one would like due to winds. These winds are more conducive with pushing birds to the west and away from coastal locations. This makes inland locations your best bet for today.

Precipitation dominated the night over South FL, particularly the Greater Miami area and the Florida Keys. Birds were on the ground yesterday according to “Boots on the Ground” reports. We heard a few Swainson’s Thrush and Bobolink flying low overhead just after sunset and then again around 2a.m., perfect timing for birds dropping in over Miami. Some of these birds might attempt to fly a bit south, but all this storm activity might have put them down earlier than they expected. With the constant threat of rain and variable winds overnight, we should see an increase in migrant activity. Winds were again favoring inland or west coast locations. Atlantic coastal locations may be overshot by birds riding a tailwind on their descent. Look out for migrants at inland migrant hot spots such as AD Barnes, Kendall Indian Hammock, Lucky Hammock/Annex and other inland locations. Coastal spots should have lesser numbers due to the onshore winds.

The Keys are likely to see birds stacking up as they await favorable migration conditions. We expect an increase from yesterday’s reports of migrants on the ground. Hope to hear from the FKH Crew.


Hit us up on our Badbirdz Facebook page and tell us what you are seeing. What new birds did you see or hear? How did the weather affect your birding spot today? We want to hear from you 🙂

Nature is Awesome
Angel & Mariel

Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | August 1, 2014 @ 3:21 pm

Purple Martin or Wading Bird Roost?

Hey all,


We’ve been looking for our local Miami area Purple Martin roost via NEXRAD radar and noticed this apparent roost ring in the Cedar Key, FL area.  Do we have any readers in this area that may be able to confirm the species involved?  Cedar Key Scrub State Reserve and Waccasassa Bay Preserve State Park are in the area, as well as Cedar Key Museum State Park.  These may be good spots to investigate the roost further.  If you can confirm the species involved please post here via the comments link below or at our Badbirdz Reloaded Facebook page.  Thanks in advance 🙂


The video is embedded below or you can follow this link, Roost Ring – Cedar Key 7/2014

Nature is Awesome

Angel & Mariel

Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | May 8, 2014 @ 1:47 am

Migrants Push North

Winds are ripe for success tonight and the birds know it! Good flying weather with a tail wind, what else would a migrant bird want? Below are images and links to National and Miami radar loops as well wind maps that help you understand why birds pick good nights to migrate.


Winds at surface levels look good, but winds at 3,000 feet are GREAT! Time to move for the birds.

National Composite radar showing many migrants on the move north. The Great Lakes Region looks amazing and let’s not forget coastal migration along the Carolina’s north into Maine.

Migrants are still making the flight across the FL Straits. New crop of birds for west coast FL birders.

Miami radar recorded birds coming in from the east. This could be a good indication that a few Connecticut Warblers have made it to our local migrant traps. This also elevates the chances of a vagrant such as Western Spindalis, Bahama Mockingbird or other Carib vagrant. Click on the links below for radar loops of migrants coming over from the east into the Miami radar. Birds also leaving the Everglades region and flying to the NW.
Miami Radar Loop
National Composite Radar Loop
National Composite radar loop

Hope the migration gods bring you all some new goodies 🙂

Nature is Awesome
Angel & Mariel

Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | May 3, 2014 @ 4:28 am

Stalling Front & Migration Ready Birds


Hey all

This weekend may prove to be the most productive birding weekend we’ve had all spring in South FL. An approaching cold front has stalled over Central FL, elevating the possibility of precipitation overnight for the Lake Okeechobee area. Ahead of this frontal boundary, increasing moisture is forecast to move through South FL and could spark scattered to isolated showers. With winds out of the SW and eventually WEST as the front approaches, migrants that decide to fly should be vectored towards the Atlantic Coast. We are just stepping into the Connecticut Warbler migration window and west winds usually do the trick, so keep your eyes open for the sulky birds.

If this forecast holds true, our Sunday morning Bill Baggs Cape FL SP walk should provide some great birding. Meet us at the front gate of the park on Sunday, May 4th @ 8:00a.m.

IR Satellite shows lots of cloud cover making it hard for migrants to fly high and navigate. This could lead to an increase in audible flight calls as well as birds on the ground Sat & Sun.

Winds at surface levels. Notice the difference in wind direction ahead and behind the frontal boundary. This is why cold fronts are so effective at knocking birds down. Rain and headwinds are two factors a migrant doesn’t want to deal with.

Winds at 3,000ft are holding true to the forecast and are blowing out of the WSW and looks to be W by morning. This should push birds east and into South FL.

Hope you enjoyed! Let us know what you are seeing 🙂

See you out there!
Nature is Awesome
Angel & Mariel

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