Date: 3/18/23 7:27 am
From: park mcgehee <parkmcgehee...>
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Early migrants - origin
Thanks…I always enjoy your post


On Fri, Mar 17, 2023 at 9:14 PM Lucy & Bob Email <
<RobertADuncan...> wrote:

> Hi all,
> At the risk of being repetitive, I will explain this season where some of
> our early migrants originate for the benefit of the numbers of new birders
> getting into the birding scene. Judging from the volume of eBird reports
> posted for our area in the past couple of years, there are a lot of birders
> who might find it useful.
> We hear a lot about trans-Gulf migration, but there are other routes that
> birds breeding in the eastern US use. Many of our Neotropical migrants
> winter in the West Indies. Some have populations that winter there as well
> as in Central and South America. Populations that winter in the West Indies
> can afford to head north in March. Why? In March, although cold fronts with
> northerly winds and sometimes rain sweep across the Gulf, these early West
> Indies migrants only have to jump to the southern Florida Peninsula and
> travel northward well-protected over land. But in April, these fronts
> slacken off as the month progresses. The last thing birds want is to face
> headwinds and rain in the Gulf as they move north. So early in the season,
> many of our arriving birds on the northern Gulf Coast originate in the
> Indies and move up the Florida Peninsula or eastern Gulf where they can
> land safely and forage for food if stressed. In April, populations of these
> species wintering in Central or South America can make the Gulf transit
> with less risk.
> What are some of these species that winter in the Indies and are early
> migrants? Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, White-eyed Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo,
> Northern Parula, Yellow-throated Warbler, Prairie Warbler (almost the
> entire population winters in the Indies), Black & White Warbler and
> Louisiana Waterthrush. A check of eBird reports along the Gulf Coast
> reveals that these species are occurring now. And looking at the weather
> that’s coming to the northern Gulf Coast tonight and tomorrow, I would not
> want to be a bird moving north across the Gulf tonight!
> Bob Duncan
> Gulf Breeze, FL
> --
> Lucy and Bob Duncan
> Gulf Breeze, Florida

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