Sunday, October 6, 2013

Likely a good night for migration

It sure feels odd to go overnight from thinking tropical storm waifs to thinking about migration coming down from the north, but hey- I don't make the weather!

Apart from eight probable Magnificent Frigatebirds that I saw circling over Harahan at a great distance yesterday, I have not heard any reports of birds displaced by TS Karen.  There are probably birders still afield who have not reported their sightings yet, so a few may yet be reported.

The cool front that has now passed New Orleans (ah- feels good!) will probably bring in a wave of migrants.  Tomorrow it will be worth checking the trees in your yard, or stopping by a woodsy spot like Couturie Forest in City Park.  We are still in the peak period for neotropical migrants (ie, birds headed to tropics), but this will only be true for another two weeks or so.  Then we will still get migrant pulses, but they will be predominantly species that will remain around in winter.

 Tonight seems like it is going to have the somewhat unusual combination of a low cloud deck and north winds, which means that there may be a lot of audible vocalizations of birds flying overhead.  Worth stepping outside and listening, especially after about 9 pm.  Remember that earlier in the evening, there may not be much plying our skies, since we have 25 miles of lake to our north- we may have to wait for the birds from north of the water to arrive overhead. Usually thrushes are the most audible- the peeper-like heep of Swainson's, and the grainy veer of Wood Thrush being the most likely.


For a copy of Birding Made Easy-New Orleans, email me at, or look for it at the Garden District or Maple Street Book Shops.

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