Monday, May 4, 2015

May 4th, 2015

Tonight, as predicted, a cold front has descended over Northern Illinois, bringing northeasterly headwinds with it (winds are southerly in the rest of Illinois). Likewise, low pressure to the west is pushing more spring showers over the Prairie State. As of ~9:30 PM tonight, it appears that only the rain is deterring migration. In regions of Northern and Central Illinois where rain isn't falling, birds are carrying on northward, sustaining their pursuit of northern breeding grounds. Overall, Illinois is witness to moderate to heavy concentrations of migration, with the heaviest movements in Southern Illinois. This means that, like this morning, there will be new arrivals and influxes to behold tomorrow. Don't you love it when southerly winds stick around?

According to the wind forecast, that love will remain gratifying until early on Saturday, so we've got quite a few more days of migration in store. What will that migration entail? Check this handy eBird page or the latest BirdCast National Migration Forecast to answer this question.

For now though, as yesterday, keep aware of when precipitation hits your area shortly before sunrise. These are times when bird arrivals will be most spectacular (migratory fallout), when all birds in a given volume of sky are forced earthward en masse by rain. And as always, when observing migrants, focusing on habits and habitat can be infinitely interesting. There's much to be learned about the ecology of neotropical migrants, and, as birders, we're on the forefront of those discoveries.

Here's to that forefront, and to what new things we'll find tomorrow. 

Good birding!

While birding right now is great, is there more to come? Indeed there is: check out tonight's heavy to extreme migration
along the Texas Coast. Still thousands of birds arriving from across the Gulf,

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