It is possible that these activities suggest shorebirds over the water, but the huge surge in the number of song birds in the following day with hardly any noticeable increase in shore birds numbers suggests that these are actually song birds flying over the water.
I received an explanation (it was sent to my email alone) suggests that these song birds might have landed (forced by the north wind) in New Jersey close to the water edge sometime between 12 and 4 am, like usual. And then when the sun rose, these birds decided to fly over the water to the southern shores of Brooklyn and Queens and from there inland.
Why? No one knows. They might think "if you can make it in New York City, you can make it any where."
But why did this happen once last year and this is the first time it happened this year? Why doesn't it happen more often?
Is it possible that song birds actually do migrate over NYC water a lot but not in a large number to show up on the radar every time?
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---- On Fri, 11 May 2018 14:19:08 -0700 Peter Reisfeld <drpinky...> [ebirdsnyc] <<ebirdsnyc-noreply...>> wrote ----
I don’t have an explanation for it. The activity over water near the shoreline most likely indicates shorebird migration and would not explain high density of songbirds birds over our parks. If you look at the landing density on both mornings of your maps, it concentrates fairly symmetrically at sites of radar stations in NY and NJ. This is expected as when birds, start to land, their altitudes drop so that the birds in areas further from the radar no longer reflect as they are “under the radar”. If the concentration is very asymmetric it could suggest birds concentrating in one or more geographic areas, but here (except for the shoreline migration) it looks pretty even.
The best I could say is that the migration was pretty diffuse and covered a wide swath. But if you look at paul hurtado’s map for night before last it looks even denser.
So it would be hard for me to explain Chris Cooper’s tweet of a dozen Cape Mays in one tree at Central just based on that landing pattern. Perhaps the shorebird migration is a clue that densities of birds were greater than they appeared to be based on reflectivities. But I’m not an expert, just a dedicated amateur. Any other comments are welcomed.
Good birding to all,
On May 11, 2018, at 3:44 PM, Gus Keri <<guskeri...>> wrote:
Hi every one,
I would like to share this observation with all of you and I like to know what you think of it, especially those who know radar well.
Look at this radar map: (go to the minute 4:41 am CT and zoom to NYC area.)
You will see the same pattern. A lot of activities (blue color) in the water between NYC and LI and NJ with no activities on land.
That day also was the best birding day in NYC that season.
I am trying to explain this phenomenon.
It only happened once last year but it correlated with a huge number of birds.
Any one has any explanation?
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