Friday, April 17, 2015

April 17th, 2015

Radar at the time of
this post
Hey everybody,

Tonight's winds.
Remarkably, tonight is showing a remarkable similar pattern to last night's migration. Throughout most of Illinois, winds are fairly weak, with directional variation observable every 25 miles or so, depending on where you are. Birds are indeed migrating through this variation, doing so with light concentrations everywhere in the Prairie State except for far southern and southeastern IL, where migration is reaching moderate concentrations. Given that we've had some noteworthy migration last night and tonight, tomorrow morning should be a great time to bird. I'll be excited to read your reports. Today, species as diverse as Broad-winged Hawk, Northern Parula, Ovenbird, Common Yellowthroat, Palm Warbler, Swainson's and Hermit Thrushes, Purple Finches, and even a Loggerhead Shrike. We're really digging into spring migration folks; it only gets better from here.
Winds forecast for Saturday
 night. Click to enlarge.

SO, the big question remains to be about Sunday morning. Winds are forecast to be powerfully southeasterly (18 to 28 mph aloft) tomorrow night, which makes it likely that even more blue will be packed into the radar. While the easterly component of the winds may deter some migrants who intend to head northeast-ward, I expect to see a lot more migration tomorrow night, reaching moderate concentrations throughout the state at least. We'll see if this actually plays out, but Sunday morning is likely to be an exciting time to bird.

Given this forecast, as always it's important to know what you may out there! So, here's our handy page of eBird data that depicts the year in bird frequencies. Also, I encourage you to take a look at the latest BirdCast National Migration Forecast, hot off the press from the pros at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Good luck to all those birding tomorrow morning!
The confusing amalgam of weather systems ("L's" and "H's") responsible for tonight's winds.

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