Friday, April 21, 2023

A Rough Start to the Spring Migration


 After a LONG, snowy winter here in Minnesota I was more than ready for the changing over to spring. However, the transition has been slow and irregular. Last week we had 2 days in the 80's and now we're back to high temps in the 30's and 40's along with spits of snow. We had one good night of migration last week and many nights of little or no movement. Northern Minnesota looks more like mid-January than mid-April.

  In spite of that we are getting some migrants showing up but it is far from heavy movement. The radar image from last night shows how the strong weather systems moving across the country can interfere with migration. The weather front moving east is about 1200 miles long from Texas to the Great Lakes. Ahead of the front shows significant migration all over the eastern U.S.. Behind the front - nothing. That swirl of blue in northern Minnesota is snow.

  The upshot of all this is that, for us in the midwest, migration will be weak until the winds shift and the temps rise. I've only gotten out banding 3 days so far. Certainly the latest I've started my banding season recently. As things progress we'll get back to conditions that are more typical of spring. Now if we could only get the rivers from rising anymore....

  ...of course the flooded fields might be good for shorebirds!

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