Sunday, May 19, 2013

5/19 IL Migration Report

Insane storm line preceded by migration over IL
So, Northern IL, we're going to have some storm fun tonight, aren't we? In all seriousness, hazards tonight are not only serious for us humans, but also for migrants, who will be grounded with the activity of tonight's storm system. Luckily, southerly winds will continue through the event of any storm activity, and migration should resume at good numbers after it passes. See the complex combination of systems carrying the storm activity to the right. If you're not under the influence of imminent storms tonight, bird migration will remain moderate to heavy tonight, and southerly winds are in perfect condition to carry birds northward (right into the storms). See here: or here: below. Looking at IL now ( or, birds are moving through the whole state in mostly moderate levels, but in some heavy and some light concentrations here and there. If you're in an area that could be receiving storm activity beginning close to dawn tomorrow morning, know that migratory fallout could occur as birds are forced down out of the sky, and large numbers of them could appear seemingly out of nowhere. Cool!
Wind at the time of this post

Alrighty, so how about today? Today saw a considerable ebb in bird activity in many places, with migrant numbers down from yesterday. However, this wasn't an absolute trend; some places were packed with good birds, and in many places, localized breeding residents are returning to their territories. One species that exemplified this today was BLUE GROSBEAK, which was reported three times today, all three in Northern Illinois. Another example of this is Summer Tanager. As per usual, fewer reports came in from the rest of the prairie state, but I suspect that things were more productive, especially in Southern IL. Radar showed much more movement there than anywhere else last night.

Moving forward through the next few days, it looks like throughout the state, winds will remain southerly in the favor of migrants (Northern IL Wind Forecast:, Southern IL Wind Forecast: So the next few days should be pretty good compared to any ebb
An ugly but useful 18 hour wind forecast. Click to enlarge.
today, but the time will be coming soon when migrants have, save a few groups, mostly made it to their breeding grounds. I don't want to think about it, as this spring still hasn't had too many days swarming with peak concentrations of  migrant passerines, but May will be done before we know it :(. We still have a few weeks of migration, so let's make the most of it!

Anyway, to figure out which species to look for in your area, here are the eBird resources I've made a habit of sharing.
General IL charts:
Make your own:

That's all for tonight, folks. Good luck, and be safe in the oncoming storms.

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