Big weekend movement

Regional Overview

Go birding, that is all you need to know. If it is still dark out, or you want to learn more, read below. Last night, the radar positively lit up with migrants as south winds and anxious birds combined to create a large movement. With the lack of any precipitation, birds should be spread across the landscape. Check traditional migrant traps and breeding locations. The bulk of migrants in many areas should still be sparrows but the excitement from this mid-April push will be in the scattered warblers that arrive early, such as Northern Parula, Black-and-white, Nashville and Yellow Warblers. Keep an eye out for these. Other than warblers and sparrows, this big influx should also bring an increase in shorebirds, waders and terns.


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After a long period of north winds, central PA finally saw a big wave of migrants migrating across the state. Conditions were good all night so expect the birds to be spread across the landscape. Check good habitat for sparrows and warblers. We should also be finding some more of the mid-April birds. Green Herons, Caspian Terns, Eastern Whip-poor-wills are all species that should be found more broadly across the state now. It will be interesting to see if this big night of migration caused an exodus of sparrows and other early migrants that breed to the north of Pennsylvania.

As always, please leave me comments on what you find out in the field.

Check out Alex’s post for an idea of birds to be expecting in the next week.

New York

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Like PA, New York had its best night of migration in over a week. Birds were moving in a SW -> NE direction across the center of the state. New species should be scattered across the landscape and many early arrivals should be found in higher numbers.  Look for scattered reports of early shorebirds. All of the swallows should be around in good numbers– Purple Martins, Rough-winged and Barn Swallows should become more widespread at lakes and ponds as well as any traditional breeding areas. Ruby-crowned Kinglets should be around in higher numbers as they peak and Brown Thrashers should be showing up in shrubby habitat. As far as warblers, last night should have brought in Yellow-rumped Warblers, Palm Warblers and Louisiana Waterthrushes. Expect a pulse of White-throated and White-crowned Sparrows, and a continued influx of Chipping Sparrows as they become common.


Click on the thumbnail to view the full-sized animation.

Ohio saw some early morning bands of precipitation move through the western part of the state and along the lake. This could be excellent at putting down birds. Great Egrets should be more widespread and the first Green Herons should be showing up further north. Broad-winged Hawks will be spotted migrating in small flocks, especially if there is thermal formation. Look for more shorebirds (yellowlegs, pectoral and spotted sandpipers, and dunlin) to show up in larger numbers. Look for Chimney Swifts in urban areas as they return to traditional breeding areas. All the swallow species could now be found only lakes and ponds. Ruby-crowned Kinglets should be pulsing through in higher numbers and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers should be showing up in northern Ohio. Yellow-rumped Warblers should be around in decent numbers as they make their mid-April push through the region and Pine and Yellow-throated Warblers should be found in appropriate breeding habitat. Fox Sparrows are at peak levels so get out and find them!  Check Kenn Kaufman’s post for more specifics on what to expect.

For migration updates or other regions check-
Woodcreeper – David focuses on Wisconsin and New Jersey
Tom Auer – Tom’s blog covers New England
Birds Over Portland – Greg blogs about the Pacific Northwest
Badbirdz Reloaded – Angel & Mariel cover Florida and the southeast
Birding the Crane Creek – Kenn Kaufman’s predictions for NW Ohio

I need your help! These reports will only be as good as the feedback I get on these updates. Please leave comments on interesting patterns of migration you are seeing in the field so I can incorporate some ground truthing to my forecasts and predictions. Thanks!