No good (for nocturnal migration) south wind

Regional Overview

Last night, north winds across the Northeast greatly limited the amount of nocturnal migration ahead of the advancing storm. This means there was likely little turnover, but there could still be good migrants around in areas that saw a big influx yesterday.

Perhaps the most exciting weather news for the day are the steady NW winds across Lake Erie which I hear is great for bringing jaegers within scopeable distance from the shore.

I don’t always have time to comment on the radar in each state. To interpret it yourself, read the quick tutorial at the bottom of the page.

New York

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Not much going on last night as south winds keep things quiet. The velocity radar shows all movement in the NW direction with the winds, indicating that there was not much moving.

Pennsylvania & New Jersey

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The radar showed little activity and velocity radar showed all detected objects moving north. This indicates there was not a noticeable influx of new birds. There was a huge influx in some parts yesterday, and the lack of movement means that those birds are still there somewhere, foraging in flocks with chickadees probably. It may be extremely productive to get out to an area with good food resources (forest edges with a lot of weeds can often be good).


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

From the NorthNW blog –

Today, NNW winds at 15-20 mph with gusts to 40. A twenty degree temp drop (from yesterday) and rain fronts from a big cold front pushing down from the northern Great Lakes is creating ideal conditions for a big push of waterbirds along Lake Erie. Strong NNW and WNW winds associated with a cold front are perfect for lakewatching atop bluffs that offer a clear view of the coast. Waterfowl, gulls and jaegers move ahead of, with, and behind these fronts in typically sizable numbers as they high-tail it to move south or east. Essentially these fronts act as a slingshot to ride along or over Lake Erie.

If that doesn’t exciting you, you might be in the wrong hobby! read the rest of Jen’s report at the NorthNW blog.

Maryland and Delaware

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Prediction coming soon…

Quick guide to interpreting the radar

On the top row (reflectivity radar), the images show the magnitude of migration. When birds are migrating, it looks like a donut shape around the center of the radar station.

The bottom row is the velocity radar. This shows the direction that the objects detected by the radar station are moving. Blues are moving towards the radar station, yellows and reds are moving away from the station. So for southbound migration, blue should be on the top half of the donut, yellow on the bottom half.

Watch for precipitation moving through during the night hours, this can cause birds to stop migrating in a concentrated area, creating the fabled ‘fallout’, particularly on nights with strong migration.

For more in depth info, watch this video.
For migration updates or other regions check-

Pac NW – Birds Over Portland by Greg Haworth

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!