Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Migration and tonight's front

A front is scheduled to pass tonight.  It may not get by us until morning, but winds have been out of the north half of the compass for a few hours now at Lakefront Airport- perhaps it is already passing.

There is usually a pulse of birds after a fall front-  it will be worth getting out and looking around after this one.  There may be call notes overhead tonight if there are north winds.

There should still be Indigo Buntings, Gray Catbirds, Common Yellowthroats, and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks coming through with this front- among our last neotropical migrants (i.e., migrants headed for the American tropics to winter).  The earlier season groups (neotropical migrant vireos and warblers, etc) are over their peak in numbers now, but some should still be mixed in.

Early waves of birds that are primarily temperate zone winterers should be evident as well - such as Swamp Sparrow, PineWarbler (arriving on the South Shore- already present year round on the North Shore), and Eastern Phoebe.

It is also a good time to find a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher.  Keep your eyes on fences, powerlines, tips of small trees, etc- they often perch in the open.

It is hard to say whether the best birding will be tomorrow AM or the next day.  And of course, some fronts mysteriously produce little movement at all- while others are truly memorable.  Let's get out and look!

Good birding,


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

I will be having a book signing (and leading a bird walk) at Longvue Gardens in Metairie on Saturday October 26.  Come and join in!

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