Friday, May 29, 2015

May 29th, 2015 ~ Spring 2015 Conclusion

Tonight's confused southerlies
Well, here we are. This spring's last Illinois Migration Report. Let's dive in.

Tonight, while winds are southerly throughout the state, they are highly inconsistent. In some areas, they are strong in southeasterly. In other areas, they are weak and southwesterly. This inconsistency, combined with precipitation sailing overhead, has resulted in limited migration tonight, hardly reaching light concentrations in most areas. Tonight is a good time to close the report indeed. What species might be among the last migrating this spring? As always, check this eBird page for an Illinois focus, and the latest BirdCast National Forecast for a regional focus.

Beyond tonight, how is May predicted to conclude? By tomorrow night, Illinois is forecast to be ensconced in powerful northerly winds. Powered by low pressure, these winds will shut down any last traces of spring migration. Weakening out a bit, this winds are forecast to remain in place through Sunday night, at which time they will gradually be transitioning to an easterly direction. So that's that.
Winds forecast for tomorrow night (May 30th)
Winds forecast for midnight on May 31st

Now that we're done with tonight, I'd like to share a few closing remarks and stats for this spring. As mentioned earlier, tonight will be this spring's last Illinois Migration Report. In addition, it will also be my last Illinois Migration Report, as I will have moved to Minneapolis by the time fall migration rolls around. But fear not! I'm extremely pleased to announce that Henry Griffin will be carrying the torch starting next fall. Many of you may know him from his posts about bird walks led in Oak Park. These walks, along with his blog (viewable here:, are both evidence of his passion for sharing birds with others. For that reason, he's a perfect candidate to take on this report, and I'm sure he'll do a grand job next fall. Kudos to you, Henry!

Next, I'd like to share some analytics from this spring's migration report:

  • Since I started the report on April 1st, as of today I will have written 50 reports, most of which were on consecutive nights
  • Between Illinois Birders' Forum and this blog, the report has received 14,016 pageviews. This number is an astounding increase from last spring's reports, which received only 4,101 pageviews. These numbers do not count any views on Twitter or Facebook, nor do they count views on the Illinois birding listerv (IBET), where most of the views are. To attain a conservative estimate, we can take the number of people subscribing to the listerv (2454), round way down to 1500, and multiply by the number of reports. That number comes out to 75,000, bringing the view total to a staggering 89,016.
  • The preface to this year's series of reports reached 904 pageviews alone.
  • Between all mediums on which the report has been posted, the link to radar with which we view migrating birds has been clicked 942 times. Similarly, the link to a useful page of eBird Data with which we predict what birds we see has reached 1,046 clicks.

These numbers are a remarkable testament to what interest in nature there really is, even within our relatively niche topic. I'm incredibly humbled and honored to have been given the privilege of writing these reports. Given the results above, it has been an extremely rewarding endeavor, writing for you. My only hope is that through this process, you've learned something new about how birds interact with their world, and perhaps learned to make some of your own predictions. The natural world is equally exciting and mysterious, and I'm glad to have been here to seize our mutual curiosity. 

All said, if you have any feedback, lingering questions, or other commentary, feel free to contact me anytime! I love nothing more than some correspondence on a good question.

As always, keep watching, keep listening, keep questioning. I'll see you out there soon.

Here's to the birds!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Nick for your fascinating and informative reports. Wishing you great success in Minneapolis and wherever else life takes you!