Date: 3/18/23 9:03 am From: Lucy & Bob Email <RobertADuncan...> Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Early migrants - origin
Will do. Hope to see you there.
From: <ALbirds...> [mailto:<ALbirds...>] On Behalf Of Bob Reed
Sent: Saturday, March 18, 2023 9:41 AM
Subject: Re: [ALbirds] Early migrants - origin
Is your book on winds, etc. still available? I have read it, but I apparently loaned it to someone. If so, would you please bring one to AOS next month?
As always, thank you for your post.
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On Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 21:14 Lucy & Bob Email <RobertADuncan...> wrote:
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!