Tuesday, May 14, 2013

5/14 IL Migration Report

So firstly, check out tonight's winds on this snazzy display --------------------------------------->
Guess what? As predicted, we are again experiencing very favorable conditions for migration. Our state is, like last night, host to southerly winds with a bit of a westerly twang to it. As heat swept across the state from the southwest today, winds actually become more powerful in their direction, so tonight should be as good for migration as last night was, if not a bit better. And this means the whole state. From Carbondale to Winthrop Harbor, birds may even be audible as they fly over in the blackness of night, and for those of you with the desire to stay up late, without too much background noise, you may be able to observe migrants moving north directly (i.e. without radar). Worth a shot, right? Cool!

These conditions should last into tomorrow, when, as predicted, winds will become unfavorable in some areas. For the Northern half of the state, see this wind forecast: http://bit.ly/10Qj1Zr. For the Southern half, see here: http://bit.ly/10QiZAS. Lucky for us, favorable conditions should return on Friday to rack up a great weekend of birding.

Tonight's report wouldn't be complete without a summary of today's birds, as, well, they were pretty great. The first IBET report this morning was of a CONNECTICUT WARBLER in DuPage Co, which truly is a sign of the progression of migration northward. Birds like MAGNOLIA WARBLER, LEAST FLYCATCHER, EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE, ORCHARD ORIOLE, LEAST SANDPIPER, and the like are beginning to work their way toward peak levels throughout the state (worded carefully), which is certainly something to get excited about. Another species worth noting, Pine Siskins have made a remarkably late stay in IL, and ultimately appear to be breeding residents in some places. As well-advised by Steve Bailey, keep an eye out for potential Siskin nesting sites (nest info here: http://bit.ly/129SUZ1). This is where your sightings really count...we're all ornithologists in one way or another!
Range map of Pine Siskins during the summer. Note low frequencies in IL. Map created with eBird.
I got a lot of positive feedback on last night's report, so rather than posting a giant list, I will again post eBird frequency charts to help you draw your own conclusions and make your own predictions. If you don't already know, my goal is ultimately to make migration forecasters out of all of you, and this is a great what to get started. Here y'are: http://bit.ly/129Tru1

eBird Data...all sorts of fun. Click to see this page.
The above-linked chart is one that I pre-defined to generalize the entire state. You can make your own http://bit.ly/129Tfed. After you select Illinois as your region on the left, you can select your own county on the right for charts based on data specifically from there, and even from individual locations. Awesome, right? EBird is just too good.

Good stuff folks. Keep an eye on the radar, then. It should be lighting up in full splendor soon.

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