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.
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.
Nature is Awesome
Angel & Mariel Abreu